Wearable Technology Show dons fitness trackers, smart shorts (pictures)
Sensor-packed shorts, exercise trackers, and various heads-up display glasses are among the gadgets being shown off at the Wearable Technology Show in London this week.
Although Samsung might be stealing headlines with its Galaxy Gear smartwatches, there's a whole world of wearable technology out there and it's expanding fast. We popped along to the Wearable Technology Show in London, taking place Tuesday and Wednesday, to take a look at some new arrivals on the scene, as well as some familiar faces.
First up is the Ora by Optinvent. Rather than use a screen, these Android KitKat-based specs beam the Android interface directly onto your retina. While that sounds terrifying, I managed to escape with my eyes unscathed and was actually quite pleased at the transparent heads-up-display effect.
A projector in the arm creates the image, then this prism bends the light into your eye. You'll be looking at the normal Android interface which is a bit clunky to navigate with the side-mounted touch panel, but Optinvent said it's considering a more stripped-down custom interface.
The Reemo by Playtabase works alongside power socket hubs that allow you to turn any of your household electricals on and off by waving at them. As more home devices become "connected" (such as the Nest thermostat), Playtabase reckons that the Reemo will be able to interact with those, too.
Want smart shorts too? The MBody shorts by Myontec contain heart-rate monitors and sensors that detect electrical activity in your muscles, designed to tell you exactly how much work your muscle groups are doing during a workout -- if it's not balanced, you'll know to change your workout style.
This little disc is probably the smallest activity tracker I've seen today. It's called the Shine by Misfit and you can wear it anywhere on your body while exercising -- including when swimming -- and it'll feed back data to your phone. It's submersible to up to 50 meters and its battery will last six months.
The Xensr (pronounced "sensor") captures all kinds of 3D motion information. It's going to work its way into trackers on snowboards and similar sports where it'll be able to tell you the height of jumps, how many spins you achieved and how fast you get down the mountain. Hopefully it will give you a score indicating how much of a certified badass you are on the slopes.
Sure, your fitness band can tell you how many steps you've taken, but do you actually know what to do with that information? The FitBug tracks your activity and diet and comes with a host of 12-week plans targeted at certain goals such as busting stress, getting in shape after pregnancy or monitoring exercise and nutrition for those at risk of diabetes.
This chap is modelling the Intelligent Headset. Essentially, it's a set of headphones that pack in a host of sensors to allow them to produce 3D sound. If you're hearing the sound of a car on your left hand side, for example, when you turn your head, the sound will digitally move around you as though you were actually turning away from the noise.
If text messages are too quick and impersonal, Kiroco jewellery uses NFC to receive a message from one phone, then you can give the jewelry to a loved one -- a child going away to camp for weeks, perhaps -- who can pick up the message in the same way when they start to feel homesick.