Dick Tracy had one, Batman had one, and now its your turn. Starting with the Samsung Galaxy Gear last September, smart watches have hit the market hard.
At least 6 other manufactures are putting out their own version of the hands free device, though not all of them will live up to the hype or the steep price tag. The Galaxy Gear, made accessible for Android users with the latest software update, retails for roughly $300, depending on who you’re buying from. The watch/phone can make and receive calls, track your run, comes in several “fashion” colors, can run about 70 apps and even has a camera.
Of course, the hardware giant isn’t the only one in the wearable tech market. The Gear is in direct competition with smaller start ups like Kickstarter’s Pebble and the Kreyos Meteor watch. Sadly, the pebble, with its much lower price tag of about $150 can’t do one of the major things the Gear can – make and receive calls – so for many that alone knocks it off the list. The Kreyos, aside from the added cool factor of having a “meteor watch”, can make calls, and is actually water resistant.
Blackberry users can look into their options, the I’m watch and the Martian Watch (another pretty cool name), both of which run around the same as the Gear price wise and have similar capabilities, though the I’m Watch offers apps, a fitness feature and better screen resolution than the larger, more blinged out Martian.
If you’re looking for something a bit more discrete, you wont have long to wait. Tech company Innovega is working on something big…er, small. The iOptik will give Google glass a run for its money, and may be easier to use in daily life as its not only a wearable device, but is small enough to fit over your eye. The Innovega iOptik system consists of specially augmented contact lenses that, when paired with special glasses (which resemble old school sun glasses) give the wearer a heads up display totally invisible to others. Not only does the system offer a more subtle approach, the use of the glasses adds to the amount of actual information the system is able to display. Google glass will maintain its corner of the market for now, as the iOptik still has some hurtles before it hits the market. First displayed at last years CES, the company still needs FDA approval for the contact lenses, so its unlikely consumers will have access before late this year or early 2015.
In the coming year consumers will see their options for wearable tech move from the practical to the futuristic. In April the Smarty ring will begin deliveries. This fashionable ring will give the wearer text and call updates, keep track of the time and even allow outgoing calls to preset numbers.
Not all of the wearable tech on the horizon has to do with your smartphone; some of the proposed high tech fashion is the sort of thing you might expect to see in the Capitol.
Lauren Bowker’s PHNX fashions, for example, are not only beautiful, but by using thermochromatic ink (PdCI2) she has created fashion pieces that not only change color based on the surrounding environment, but they also absorb air pollution.
The GER Mood Sweater, developed by San Francisco based design firm Sensoree, uses LED lights to change the color of your sweater based on your mood. A galvanic responder worn on the hand conveys your mood to the sweater, which in turn warns the outside world.
The world of high technology and high fashion will no doubt continue to bond, with everything from Bulletproof suits to Sony’s proposed “Smart Wig”, the future of fashion seems to have fallen into the hands of the Techy Geeks, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Lead Image: Samsung