Wearable tech – it’s where we’re all headed isn’t it? But we want our wearables to be stylish and helpful, not bulky and, well, uncool (looking at you Google Glass). We’ve combed through internet to find the best 5 bits of tech you should be hanging off your body this year.
Bellabeat (pictured above)
The Bellabeat can be worn as a necklace, bracelet or as a belt glip. It is a small tracker that packs a powerful punch: it tracks your sleep patterns and physical activities, including how many steps you’ve taken and how many calories you’ve burned. It also has a stress prediction facility based on your lifestyle habits and a fertility calendar to track your body’s cycle. It needs no charging and has no buttons. It just works. The highly sensitive movement sensors and vibrating reminders let you know when it’s time to wake up or get moving. And with a long battery life you only have to change it every 6 months.
Swimming is one of the ultimate workouts: it’s low-impact, uses pretty much all of your muscles and has the added excitement of – if you stop, you drown. It’s better than jogging in almost every way. Except one – being able to check your lap times or your pulse, or anything really. Sure you can try and do a hurried glance at your watch but that’ll throw you off your stroke or your turn. So what are you going to do? Well you get some Zwim Smartgoggles don’t you? Conceived by triathlete Taegoo Kang, these goggles actually feature a Google Glass-like display that tracks lap time, lap count, total elapsed time, heart rate and calories burned. You can choose what kind of data sets you want displayed as well as how much data is in your eye, with up to four sections of data being shown. When you’re done in the pool, you can sync your Zwim with a smartphone app, allowing you to save and share all of your data.
MuchBetter Payment Fob
That moment when you go to pay for your coffee and a cold shiver runs through you at the the till. You’ve left your wallet at home. Only the most gifted gab can persuade the barista that you definitely will come back and pay for it. If only you could attach your wallet to something you always have with you, like your keys. Well there is. And it’s the MuchBetter key fob. Okay, okay, this might not actually be ‘wearable’ but you’re going to have it with you pretty much all the time. Sleek and slim, this little beauty fits on your keyring/belt loop/on your bag clip and is a fast, safe and efficient contactless payment system. You can use it anywhere in the world you see the contactless symbol and easily top up using the handy app.
Komodo AIO Smart Running Sleeve
When you’re serious about running your heart rate is one of the most important thing to keep track of (to be honest, it’s one of the most important things to keep track of whatever you’re doing). But the trouble with wrist monitors or watches is that they’re not entirely accurate. The AIO smart sleeve from Komodo, however, uses electrocardiogram (ECG) technology to monitor your heart rate activity – yep same as they use in hospitals. By analysing the electrical activity produced by the heart as it beats, via a compression sleeve, it gets a much more accurate reading of what’s going on in your chest. As well as keeping an eye on your ticker, the sleeve also provides reports on steps, distance, MET values and the intensity of your workout. And, as you can wear the sleeve all day and night, it can also report on the quality of the sleep you’re getting. The sleeve contains a small tracking device that’s packed with sensors, a Toshiba processor and internal memory. You just need to connect it to your phone via BlueTooth and away you go.