Tech BoomAccording to popular blogging site Business Insider the wearable technology industry is expected to be a USD 12 billion sector by 2018.
2013 will probably be remembered as the year of wearable tech, with the market being bombarded by a barrage of wearable gadgets. These have ranged from the incredibly ingenious to some absolutely wacky impractical ones. Whatever the scenario, even the staunchest advocates of the anti-wearable gadget brigade would concede that wearable tech is definitely the future.
Here's a look at some of the most impressive and practical wearable tech devices in the market today.
Wearable tech was reserved to science fiction and Bond movies, till Google Glass came along. The Glass is probably one of the very first devices to actually think out of the box, and it comes across as a perfect marriage of ultra-modern tech and practicality. The high tech device, currently, is available only to a select group of 'explorers', and is still a work in progress. It sports an ultra-flexible and super-strong modular frame fitted with a small prism screen to the upper right corner which displays all the relevant information. On board is about 12 GB of user accessible memory, a 5 MP camera to record videos at 720p, and a bone conduction transducer amongst other hardware. Glass responds to a wide range of commands and acts as your virtual assistant. Google's venture into wearable tech is one of the most popular ubiquitous computing devices which is expected to be available to the masses pretty soon.
You can always trust Nike to make even the most basic of things real stylish. The same goes for its popular fitness wristband, the Nike+ FuelBand. The band makes quite a style statement with its matte finished body and cool LED light screen. It acts as a great motivator for exercising as it keeps track of how many calories you burn, the intensity of your workouts, the number of steps you take, and it also tracks your progress in real time. Its handy iOS app is also feature-rich, and this further adds to its functionality. Besides all this, it can also tell time. The latest version of the band, the FuelBand SE can also track your sleeping patterns. This is a fantastic and futuristic way to burn away all those calories.
The wrist space suddenly finds itself to be the most highly contested area for the latest gadgets on the market. Leading the charge is Samsung with its smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear. The Gear packs some incredible specs and features that are guaranteed to make the wearer feel like a part of the Mission Impossible
series. It comes equipped with a 1.9 MP camera, a Super AMOLED touchscreen, capable processor, 4 GB of storage space, and the ability to receive and make calls (via the connected phone) on the watch. It even displays text messages, emails, and other notifications from the connected Galaxy phone. Voice commands work like a charm on the device, and make using the watch a real fun experience. The fact that the Gear runs on an OS based on Android opens up a whole world of possibilities with an ever-increasing app library. The Samsung Galaxy Gear is one of the hottest gadgets of the year, and one that currently leads the smartwatch wars.
The NFC Ring is precisely what the name suggests, it is a finger ring with an embedded NFC chip. This is the smallest gadget in our list, but it sure has some BIG tricks up its sleeve. Having raised more than £240,000 (392,500 USD approx.) from its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter
, this little gadget has garnered tremendous support across the globe. It features two inlays, one private and the other public; this enables you to control the content accessible when you choose to unlock your NFC-enabled phone either with the inside of the palm (private), or the outside (public). You can also use the ring to unlock NFC-enabled door locks, and share website links and other information with other NFC devices. It can also be used to launch preset apps on your smartphone. The best part about the ring, and for that matter all NFC chips, is that you don't need to charge it at all. The NFC Ring is currently shipping to all its Kickstarter
backers, and is expected to go on pre-order soon.
The Nike Hyperdunk+ is a one of its kind 'smartshoe'. Apart from being ultra-stylish and uber-comfortable, the shoes also have embedded sensors which, literally, keep track of your every move. These sensors then wirelessly relay the information in real-time to a connected iPhone. Here, using the dedicated Nike+ app, you can gauge just 'how high, how quick, and how hard you play'. This information is especially useful for basketball players who can use this data to improve on their game using the insights and tips from a community of elite players. With these beauties on and tons of practice, you too could be dunking ball like a pro with the track 'I believe I can fly' to egg you on!
These were some of the hottest and most sought after gadgets of the year. And if rumor mills are to be believed, 2014 promises to be another stellar year for wearable tech gadgets.