State-of-the-art technology on your skin: more and more so-called wearables are tagging along with us in our everyday lives, trying to make our lives as enjoyable as possible. And manufacturers have finally cottoned on to the fact that even the best technology is of little use if it doesn’t look impressive. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas there is technology that will even delight the fashion-conscious. Here are our six favourites straight from the world’s largest electronics fair.
Misfit Ray At first glance, this smart gadget by Misfit, a subsidiary of Fossil, doesn’t look that clever. A small aluminium pipe, it can be worn on a rubber or a leather strap as a bracelet or a necklace – whatever you prefer. The integrated sensors measure the steps you walk, the calories you burn and the distance you travel while also monitoring your sleep pattern. Cost: from US$99.99. Samsung Welt This smart belt by the Korean electronics corporation looks like a simple fashion accessory. But the Welt (short for wellness belt) is much more: thanks to a range of sensors hidden behind the buckle, the belt notices minimal changes in the wearer’s waist measurement. As it happens, the accessory also doubles as a pedometer. The data it collects is sent to the corresponding app, which then compiles a personalized fitness plan. Details of the gadget’s price and availability have not yet been released. Oura Ring This ring conceals a sleep-tracker. Its manufacturer, Oura, describes it as a wellness computer. This piece of jewellery not only analyses the wearer’s sleep pattern, but also the more stressful and quieter periods over the course of the day. The data it collects is then used to give the user tips on how to organize their day more efficiently. Cost: from €299. Hexoskin Smart Shirt The Canadian manufacturer Hexoskin is no newcomer to the world of smart clothing. Their latest product: the Hexoskin Smart system. The gadget uses sensors in the shirt to feed additional information into fitness apps. Some of the variables it measures include heart rate, respiration, steps walked and calories consumed. Cost for the complete package: US$399. OMbra Also from Canada is the corporation OMsignal, which has made great strides towards making the idea of wearables fashionable: voilà, the smart bra. It measures heart rate, respiration, calories burned as well as speed and distance travelled while out running. The individually adjustable straps are intended to make the bra stand out for being extremely comfortable to wear, too. To optimize the design, OMsignal has joined forces with Ralph Lauren, among others. Cost: from US$149. The smart motorcycle helmet This motorcycle helmet by BMW is still in the conceptual phase. The clever headgear provides information about speed, fuel consumption and the route – displaying the data in the rider’s field of vision. In the near future, the helmet will apparently even be able to recognize street signs. A camera on the front means your ride can be filmed, while another camera on the back serves as a virtual rear-view mirror. The controls are built into the handlebars: very practical. Details of the helmet’s price and availability have not yet been released.