The range of wearables available for the consumer market is vast. We present a selection of exciting wearables which are already on the market or will be launching shortly. The selection demonstrates how colourful the world of wearables already is today.
London-based company Vinaya has developed a collection of smart jewellery, branded Altruis, providing wearers with a combination of online and offline appeal. The rings, brooches and chains vibrate discreetly when a new message is received on the wearer’s smartphone. Messages can be filtered using the linked app. As a result, users are no longer distracted by their smartphones from the things that really matter.
Modular smart watch
The Blocks smart watch from the London-based company of the same name can be upgraded with modules that click into the bracelet. They enhance the watch’s basic functionality with features such as sensors or additional batteries. Available add-ons include a heart rate monitor, GPS, NFC, and a module incorporating an altimeter, barometer and temperature sensor. More add-ons, such as a SIM card module, camera module, fingerprint scanner and SD card unit are set to follow.
The Skugga sunglasses from Stockholm company Skugga Eyewear use an ambient light sensor to electronically tint the glass. The tint can also be adjusted manually via Bluetooth using the linked app. An integrated UV sensor additionally enables the app to record the daily dose of UV radiation to which the wearer is exposed.
Hand-held virtual reality controller
Samsung has launched a new controller for mobile VR devices. The Rink is slipped over the hands and uses a variety of sensors – including magnetic fields – to track their movements. A transmitter sends the recorded data to a VR headset. Rink also uses infrared sensors to track the user’s fingers. This enables VR applications such as games to be controlled intuitively by hand and finger movements.
Analogue watch and fitness tracker
Austrian company Runtastic’s Runtastic Moment is a conventional wristwatch which adds the benefits of a fitness tracker. The wearable is available in a variety of shapes and colours. The analogue watch records the user’s steps, distance covered, active minutes, calories burned, as well as sleep phases. The partner app Runtastic Me converts the conventional watch into a state-of-the-art fitness tracker.
Fashion designer Pauline van Dongen has worked with the Holst Centre in Belgium and TNO in the Netherlands to develop a Solar Shirt. With 120 thin-film solar cells worked into its fabric, it supplies about 1 watt of power when the sun is shining – enough to charge a typical mobile phone in a few hours. It can also be used to power other devices such as MP3 players, GPS units or cameras. Any surplus electricity can be stored in built-in batteries.
Sports bra with cooling
The Chromat Aeros Sports Bra from Chromat of New York uses various sensors to measure its wearer’s stress and adrenalin levels, pulse and respiratory rate. It cross-checks the data obtained against the ambient temperature and humidity. If set limits are exceeded, ventilation slots open or close as appropriate. This is made possible by components made of a shape memory alloy.
With the Xperia Ear from Sony, users no longer need be oblivious to what is going on around them. It provides information on the move to keep users up to the minute with all that’s going on, without having to look at their smartphone. It is operated by voice control. The earphones link via Bluetooth to the smartphone. The linked app enables users to personalise their device, specifying exactly what information they need at any given time, for example.
(picture credits: Chromat: Getty images; Skugga Eyewear: Ted Soost; Vinaya; Blocks Wearables; Pauline van Dongen/Holst Centre: Liselotte Fleur; Runtastic: Jakob Lehner, Sony)