Wearable tech looks to be the next step to integrating all the silicon with more of our daily interactions. While there are many pieces of tech that offer opportunities to tune out with features like large screens, social apps, and built-in cameras; we’re more interested in the type that will help us stay active out there. Here’s a quick look at what tech is coming that we may find a use for while we’re out chugging life:
1. Nike Fuelband SE $150
Nike’s Fuelband is a passive monitor that keeps track of workout intensity, sleep, and steps during the day with a visual feedback line to let you know how you’re progressing throughout the day. The SE also connects via Bluetooth so your smartphone can provide updates and feedback as you want it. We like the idea of knowing how every moment in the day helps (or hurts) our goals to stay active and healthy. In the tradition of things we wear on our wrist, it can also tell you what time it is.
2. JawboneUP 24 $150:
This svelte little rubber and nickel band has no visual feedback and relies completely on a Bluetooth connection to provide feedback about movement and sleep. The app also has the ability to store user-entered information about stationary workouts in the gym and meal tracking for a full overview of calories in versus calories burned during the day. The thin and styled design of this band will really appeal to those who want to wear some tech without advertising the fact they’re a geek at heart.
3. Samsung Gear Fit $ TBA
This band looks more like a traditional watch, with a large color touchscreen, continuous heart rate monitor, and smartphone notifications. This little marvel provides real-time fitness coaching and the standard array of activity and possibly sleep monitoring. With all these features, it’s bound to be up past the $200 mark, but with such a pretty face, it’s going to keep that smartphone stashed away more and that’s worth a bit in my book.
4. Misfit Shine $120:
This quarter-sized medallion looks sexy enough for just about any situation, and with multiple attachments it really can come along anywhere. The aluminum body with inset lights looks more like jewelry than tech, and fits into a leather or sports band, a medallion or clips onto a pocket or collar. The shine tracks fitness and sleep, and visual cues let you know how you’re daily goals are progressing or tells the time. To sync the device, open the app and place it on your smartphone screen, and Bluetooth takes it from there. For the price and the style, this is hard to beat.
5. Fitbit Flex $120:
The flex tracks daily activity and sleep patterns, even silently waking you in the morning through the vibration feature. Slim and lightweight, it’s comfortable to wear and provides visual feedback to track goals during the day. The app has a lot of features centered around sleeping better, and tracking health goals which are accessed wirelessly or through Bluetooth connection. The design of the band doesn’t really look great compared to some of the thinner or more polished options, but it seems to have a loyal following and interfaces well with a variety or apps you may already use like Runkeeper, Endomodo, and about a dozen others.
No matter what tech may make it onto your wrist, the key is to keep moving. While these bands can provide more information on how much life we’re living, they still rely on us running those hills and biking that single-track to really have a useful place in our adventurous lives. -DS