Wednesday was the first official day of CES 2016 in Las Vegas. And when the doors of the massive tech trade show opened, they revealed a wealth of new wearables, from the truly innovative to the wonderfully wacky – and some a delightful mix of both.
Unsurprisingly, many companies are focusing on the wrist, offering their own take on the ubiquitous fitness band and/or smartwatch. GPS brand Tom Tom offers its Spark activity tracker, which can also store 500 songs and links to Bluetooth earphones so your phone isn't needed during workouts. The HeHa Qi band promises to measure ECG signals if you place your finger on a large sensor button at the top of the band for two minutes. Once you have your results, the band coaches users through a three-minute breathing session to combat stress. Another popular take is to focus on the luxury aspect of watches. Martian, for instance, launched a new line of stylish watches with discreet “VIP notifications” that can be set to unique vibration patterns for different friends and family members.
But developers aren’t limiting themselves to one body part. I’ve seen smart rings, a smart belt, smart shoes, smart socks, smart insoles, smart sports bras, smart jackets, smart necklaces, smart glasses, smart umbrellas and even a smart attachable “animatronic tail.” If you can wear it, chances are someone has created a “smart” version of it.
Children and pets aren’t being neglected, either. I saw several companies with smart, activity-tracking collars for Fido. There were GPS and Bluetooth-enabled trackers to help you keep track of your kids and candy-colored smartwatches and smartphones to keep those same tykes entertained. One gadget, the EyeForcer, is meant to help combat “GameBoy disease” in children, sending notifications and limiting screen time when youngsters hunch over their handheld devices.