by Jonathan Yaniv | December 19, 2017 12:23 pm
Gadgets and tech come in all shapes and sizes. If there is a job that needs doing there will be a pint-sized device that fits the bill. And although technology is getting smaller and smaller, doors are opening for more purposed and portable technology; in fact, the wearable tech market is set to improve from 125.5 million wearable devices in 2017 to 240.1 million by 2021. Of these devices, smart clothing is a major factor. With this tech rising in popularity I’ve decided to have a look at some of the top trending wearable devices selling today so that you guys know what to keep an eye out for now, and in the future as this tech expands.
There are several promising and unique smart-jackets out and about now. The first one I have to mention is the SCOTTeVest which I reviewed last year. Since then SCOTTeVest has expanded greatly with vests, jackets, hoodies, pants, shirts and even underwear being sold on their online store. These ‘eVests’ and later clothes are created with storage and use of your devices in mind, with the SeV system I reviewed sporting a whopping 43 pockets! Each item of clothing has enough storage to fit everything from pens and sunglasses to cameras and your tablet, making this some of the most convenient clothing on the market.
If you’re only carrying yourself around in the cold 43 pockets might not be necessary, instead, you probably should look at some gear from Gerbing, who have been creating and distributing heated clothing for the last 12 years. Most Gerbing clothing is produced in 12V and 7V applications and range from heated gloves and jackets to kidney belts and seat cushions. These clothes offer a smart and safe way to stay warm, particularly with winter biting hard this year.
However, when summer comes around you’re not going to be keeping your 12V jacket heated and ready. This is where the H2Flow jacket steps in as the ideal solution to a constantly fought but rarely discussed the problem; how do you regulate your body heat without letting the rainy summer in. H2Flow features a multi-layer feature that creates air pockets that warm users up, but should they get too hot strategically placed ventilation zippers let the user exchange heated pockets with cool new air, allowing you to control just how warm you get without letting the rain in. Toby Hodges of YachtingWorld describes it as the ‘ultimate versatile jacket’ for all seasons and weathers. If it’s perfect for men and women at sea, surely its more than enough for us, their land-locked counterparts.
So far, we’ve looked at clothing designed to simply be better clothing. To be warmer, colder and more convenient. But what if clothing played an active role in our sporting activities? I think this is where smart-clothing starts to get really cool.
Nadi X Yoga Gear is really pushing the field in this area. Nadi X is activewear that features woven in sensors and vibrators around the hips, knees and ankles, that sync with their (IOS only) mobile app. These pants provide gentle pulses that let you adjust your form to get the most out of your Yoga stretching. They’re pants that literally show you how to do Yoga. The app features over 30 poses, and more can be added easily, meaning that any yoga practitioner (budding or experienced) can learn something new by using this cool gadget!
The Reebok Checklight Skullcap is another device that could really change the game. The Skullcap is a comfortable and easy to use a device that you wear as a hat, once worn the checklight can provide feedback on any head impact it receives. It’s three indicators; green, yellow and red, indicate light, moderate or more severe impacts respectively, which in turn allow athletes and medical professionals to identify whether there is the possibility of the user having any form of head trauma. The Checklight isn’t a predictor or preventer, but it does provide incredibly useful data which can lead to the identification of other injuries, which makes it an incredibly useful tool in sports.
Smart Glasses are the new portable computers. Although Google Glass was pretty unsuccessful, it did cause quite a stir. Once all the hype settled down other companies soon emerged to fill the void and make better and more specialized use of the emerging medium. Of which, Solos is a pretty impressive and promising look at what the technology can achieve. These smart glasses were designed in conjunction with the USA Cycling Team with the specific aim of improving sports performance.
These glasses contain a tiny AR optic module which generates a small transparent display on the glasses which displays measurements like power, heart rate, speed, cadence, distance, and navigation. Speakers built into the sides of the frame allow users to take calls and get navigation updates. All of this is operated and configured through an associated app on your phone, and through voice controls to the glasses. All in all, this is a pretty impressive and useful piece of tech.
Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses are the closest glasses you can get to a computer. Described as an ‘ergonomically designed and rugged Android-based wearable computer’, the M300 is compatible with thousands of existing Android apps from Firefox to Skype and Spotify. With this one though, the possibilities are endless. They can be used to surf the web, access online presentations or even play games like casino slots which, with many internal free spins and great sign up bonuses, let you play without paying a penny.
The M300 are a promising new look at portable smart computing, and they’re great for both businesses and the everyday user. But the Safilo X glasses offer a new and incredibly interesting application. These glasses sense your brainwaves through a variety of methods and sensors from EEG, EOG and EMG technology, UV sensing and temperature and pressure sensing, in order to work as a tool for cognitive training, meditation and as a presenter of real-time biofeedback. These glasses literally help you ‘get into the zone’, and they’re being marketed to anyone in a high-intensity job, sport or other hobbies. They’re a pretty cool piece of tech, that I think you guys should check out.
Now Backpacks are the classic tech-saturated wearable item. They’ve been changing and improving over a long time, and nowadays there is some really cool and specialised stuff out of there. But what should you be keeping your eye on? ECEEN is a pretty cool place to start.
ECEEN offers an ultra-lightweight Hiking Daypack which sports a solar charged 3.25 Watts battery and USB ports. It’s the perfect backpack for carrying and charging your other devices on the go. The pack features breathable and adjustable straps for comfy usage, the removable and foldable solar panel system which has its own specific pocket in the backpack, and the backpack itself can be folded into a smaller and compact handheld carry-along. It’s portability to the max!
Oscaurt have instead taken a different approach, with their high-security backpack. This backpack features a hidden zipper that’s hard to access from certain angles and secret pockets at the back of the bag, retro-reflective tape for nighttime visibility, USB charge ports that can connect your phone to your own charge bank, and multiple other dedicated components for pens, phone, wallets and laptops. Although bells and whistles like the USB ports are there, the backpack’s design is focused on security, which it does very well. With its water-resistant coating and sleek safety design, you can be sure you’ll make it to your destination with all your valuables intact and accounted for.
These are the devices that have really caught my eye, smart clothing and wearable gadgets are so much more than just watches, which are getting by far the most attention. There’s a new tech idea for every requirement, tech such as the Gerbing heated clothing or ECEEN serve to make your life on the go so much easier, while tech like the Reebok Checklight Skullcap or Safilo X glasses are engineered around providing data and assisting human tasks. There’s so much more out there too, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for any innovations in the future. As the wearable tech industry is still only just getting started.
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