Let’s go ahead and say 2014 was the year people tried hard — really, really hard — to make wearable tech a thing.
Fitness trackers like FitBit were out in force early on, a high-tech assist to New Year’s resolutions. Google Glass, that much-maligned but nifty trailblazing gadget that puts the digital world before your eyes, was released to the public in May. And there were watches, sleek timepieces from Samsung and Motorola running Android Wear, plus all the hoopla about Apple Watch (not actually available until 2015).
But that’s just the beginning. Want an entertaining peek at what the wearable tech future could hold? Look at Kickstarter. There are more than 200 wearable tech pitches on that crowdfunding site. Or take a dip into the tech circles on the Internet. You can’t scroll to the bottom of a blog before stumbling across new tech to put on your body.
Some of it has clear applications, especially in health and fitness, as we collect more data about ourselves. Some of it is just zany (ahem, bras and hoodies that tweet), seemingly put together to prove it’s possible. A sampling:
• Hush earplugs connect with your phone, blocking out noise but putting your alarm and selected smartphone notifications right in your ears.
• Shock yourself out of bad habits with Pavlok, a bracelet/fitness tracker that will zap you with up to 340 volts if it senses you’re not meeting your goals.
• The Muse headband promises to train your brain, guiding you through thought exercises and helping you stay calm. Om.
• Launch a drone from your wrist with Nixie, a bracelet camera that takes flight. The future of selfie snapping?
• Fitness tracking gets intimate with the Incredible bra from Victoria’s Secret that tracks your heart rate. Or put a personal trainer in your pants with smart compression shorts from Athos Gear.
It all makes donning an Internet-connected watch sound downright normal.