The world of technology has amazing innovations to ponder – self driving cars (at least by 2018), Google Glass, underwater wifi, self-parking cars and more. Watches, app-integrated cars, hybrid luxury cars and more have now joined the ranks of wonder tech. While each of these is amazing, what if these technologies were connected?
The Pebble Steel, which was named the best Smart watch at International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), was certainly one of the biggest buzz generators. The latest version of the Pebble product is a physical and design improvement over the original. It no longer looks like a nerdy black plastic digital watch on steroids. It comes in brushed stainless and black matte steel with steel and leather straps. The buttons are easier to operate, and a new operating system greatly enhances the notification content that can be viewed and browsed on the wrist. Other great features of the new device are the professional apps (such as this one) that are being developed, including a promising concept introduced by Mercedes-Benz. The German automaker showed off technology at the Detroit Auto Show that allows Pebble devices to integrate with its Digital Drive Style iOS app. This integration feature will allow you to monitor the location, fuel consumption and other important statistics of your tech-equipped Benz with a quick glance at your wrist. Pebble buttons can also be programed to tap into real-time traffic warnings or features such as Apple’s Sirivoiceassistant.
Although arguable the best, Pebble didn’t have a monopoly on exciting wrist devices at CES this year. In addition to a growing crowd of fans, the Galaxy Gear has it’s own right as a smartwatch of notable mention. The BMW i3 connects with this smart watch, providing many features including the ability to make your car blow its horn remotely so you can find it in a big parking lot or garage. This smartwatch doesn’t feel clumsy or large on your wrist, considering the 1.6 inch screen and 1.9MP camera. The Gear’s camera is built into the strap, which means the strap is not replaceable, so make sure it fits well before buying. Charging your watch is also a little unique – strap your watch onto its plastic case and then plug it in with a micro USB port. While an unusual charging system, it is likely a compromise to save space on the watch. The biggest drawback is that means each person’s charging dock is unique to their watch – no borrowing a co-worker’s charger if you forget yours.
Other Wrist Warriors
Other wearable tech devices include more body monitors that are coming to the market, especially heart rate sensors. The soon-to-be-released Wellograph Sapphire Wellness Watch includes both heart rate monitoring and steps to give an accurate picture of calories burned throughout the day. If Livestrong-style bands are your thing, more are coming to market, including the PS-100 and other Pulsense products from Epson. Continuous heart rate monitoring is one of their basic functions.
Eyes on the Road
The other main body part that is being increasingly adorned with tech is the eyes. While high-end automaker Mercedes-Benz made a splash with its technology-on-a-wrist, South Korea’s maker of reasonably-priced automobiles, Hyundai, showed how it can integrate with Google Glass.
With the help of Hyundai’s Blue Link and Google Glass,2015 Genesis owners can unlock doors, turn over the engine and tell their onboard navigation systems their next destination. They’ll also be able to fire up Apple’s Siri “Eyes Free” mode, which allows drivers access to and control of messages, maps and more without taking their eyes off the road.
Sock It to Us?
Glasses and wrist devices. What more could there be? How about smart socks? Sensoria smart socks combine socks, an anklet device and a smartphone app to provide runners with a wealth of information. Not only can the system assist in training with cadence and other factors, but it can help to improve technique and avoid injury. The company also manufactures smart bras and smart T-shirts.
What new tech toy is your favorite?
Chris Turberville-Tully, an avid writer for http://www.hrowen.co.uk, spends his time discovering the latest technology, playing with his young sons and traveling the world. To date Chris has travelled to over 80 countries. Follow Chris’ adventures on Google+.