BARCELONA -- Smartphones, smartwatches, smart shirts, smart shoes, smart glasses, smart hats. Sure, why not?
The LifeBeam Smart Hat doesn't look all that exciting at first or even second glance: it kind of looks like a beach hat you'd wear around on a lazy Aruba vacation. And yet, under the brim, a heart-rate sensor sits, ready to rest against your forehead and collect heart-rate data. We tried one on here at Mobile World Congress 2015.
This ANT+- and Bluetooth LE-ready heart-rate hat doesn't use optical LED sensors as heart-rate wristbands do: it's meant to offer "aerospace-grade" heart-rate and calorie-counting data while running, biking or doing any exercise, powered by an ARM Cortex processor. And like a chest-worn heart-rate monitor, it can pair with any app or accessory that works with these types of external sensors.
A removable battery pack hides under Velcro near the back of the hat. The model I tried wasn't working, so I couldn't test it. So, real first impressions will have to wait till later.
I was told at my demo this was "coming soon," but it looks like LifeBeam has been selling these since late 2014. I never tried one on before. It's not my style. But the idea of a smart hat, if it's accurate, wouldn't be such a horrible idea.