From the glitchy Google Glass to clunky smart phones, wearable tech has a bit of a bad rep. But with CES 2015 and London Fashion Week showing off technology you might just actually want to wear, we thought we’d round up the best clever clobber you can buy this year. Here’s our top 10.
1. Archos Music Beanie – £20
We’ve all been there. It’s freezing cold and you have to take off your gloves and untangle your headphones to listen to your tunes. Archos has solved this feckin’ about with its wireless Music Beanie – hat and headphones in one that connects to your smartphone, tablet or music player. With two built-in speakers on each side of your noggin, you can stream, pause and skip tracks. And make or take calls with the hat’s built-in mic. That way, your fingers will always be toasty.
2. Withing’s Activite Pop smart watch – £100
They’re chubby. You need to charge them. And they’re shackled to your phone. Smart swatches are naff. All eyes are on Apple to change that in 2015, but a Swiss company may have pipped them the post with its Withing’s Acivite Pop smart watch. With a waterproof silicone band and simple round face display, it looks just like a Swatch. Lightweight, it won’t drag you down like most smart watches. Its app add-on diagnoses your sleep. And with a replaceable battery that lasts up to 8 months, you won’t have to worry about recharging every night. Your move Apple!
3. RunPhones® sweatband – £30
You’ve got your playlist sorted, but your ear buds keep falling out as you run. RunPhones® has come to the rescue with its sweatband/headphone combi. With “ultra-thin stereo headphones” and a “comfortable moisture-wicking headband”, you’ll keep the sweat out and the Rocky soundtrack on.
4. Jawbone Up 3 – £150
In firm competition with Fitbit for the tracker crown, Jawbone might have the upper hand with its v3 model. As well as the token calorie burning bollocks, it has skin sensors that measure your resting heart rate. Jawbone reckons this is “a leading indicator of your overall health and fitness level.” Its Smart Coach app then suggests how to improve your sleep and eat better. Plus it’s water-resistant and will go a week between charges. Rival Fitbit Charge HR shows caller ID, and, wait for it, the time. Where will it end? Plus, it’s £30 cheaper.
5. Ralph Lauren Polo Tech Shirt – £TBC
We first saw this smart shirt at the 2014 US Open. Built-in sensors monitor your heartbeat, respiration and stress levels. That data gets sent to an iOS app that shows your heart and breathing rate, steps taken, calories burned and how long you were in THE ZONE. Ralph Lauren will be selling the shirts later this year. If you can’t wait, makers of Nicole Scherzinger’s Twitter Dress, CuteCircuit, make a sports top that glows when you run (£90) and a T-shirt that broadcasts your FB status, tweets and pics. #why?
6. MOTA SmartRing – £TBC
Don’t wanna wrestle your smartphone outta your tight jeans? Now you don’t have to with the MOTA SmartRing. This piece of jewellery vibrates to alert you of calls, texts and social media updates. And shows you notifications in a clever swipe-LED display. Then you just have to wrestle your phone outta your jeans to look at your messages, wait a minute…You can preorder now in black or white. Just be careful searching for a “vibrating ring” on Google.
7. Netatmo JUNE sun bracelet – £60
Netatmo’s JUNE bracelet measures your exposure to the sun and talks to your smartphone. It tells it the best sun factor cream for you to layer on (based on current UV levels), when to put your hat and sunglasses on, or hit the shade. With faux diamond display in platinum, gold or gunmetal, you can choose from leather or silicon bands too.
8. Sporty Supaheroe cycling jacket – £TBC
The Sporty Supaheroe cycling jacket has stretchable, wearable circuit boards. A gyroscope tracks the cyclist’s movement, and in-built sensors display a variety of patterns on its 64 RGB LEDs. So the panels glow red if you brake and flash on one side if you move sideways. The jacket even flashes when you get an incoming call. Maybe not the safest feature.
9. Melomind – £195
No, it’s not the new Bond villain, it’s a headset from myBrain that measures your brain waves and uses music and meditation to help you chill out. Four electrodes measure your brain activity and transmit data to an app which picks the right musical tones to play to help you relax.
10. Oculus Rift VR headset – £130
Oculus Rift has been around a while, but 2015 is set to be the year its virtual reality (VR) headsets go mainstream. Oculus offers a “wide field of view, high resolution display, and ultra-low latency head tracking” – all of which means you’ll feel like you’re in the video game. Facebook bought up the company last year, and now there’s talk Oculus is collaborating with Samsung to bring out an off-the-shelf headset for gamers. Look behind you!
Want to see what happened when we teamed up with Oculus Rift? Go take a look.