Wearables '16


Chuck Fletcher at Media Post's IoT Marketing Forum (Photo: Chuck Martin)

Chuck Fletcher at Media Post's IoT Marketing Forum (Photo: Chuck Martin)

What are this year's hottest wearables?

In preparation for my talk about wearables for MediaPost's IoT Marketing Forum, I dug a bit deeper into what’s hot and interesting with wearables. While we deal with IoT and wearables every day, its nice to take a few hours and look around at the state of the industry.

The Pokémon Go Plus (Image: Nintendo)

The Pokémon Go Plus (Image: Nintendo)

Pokémon Go Plus

Just because it's a fad, doesn’t mean it won’t drive the sales of tens of thousands of units. Pokemon Go Plus connects to your phone and will allow you to be notified of events in the game without staring at your phone.

The Pilot (Image: Waverly Labs)

The Pilot (Image: Waverly Labs)

Pilot

Waverly Lab’s Pilot is an in ear translation system under development. Imagine traveling to a foreign country and understanding everyone you encounter regardless of what language they speak. That's the goal of this wearable that's hoping to launch in 2017. 

The Dash (Image: Bragi)

The Dash (Image: Bragi)

Dash

The "hearables" category has a few other interesting contenders too. Bragi Dash is a smart earbud that is laden with sensors and features to provide health and athletic feedback like measuring heart rate, cadence, breaths while swimming and more. It also can be used as a stand alone music player that doesn’t need a tethered phone and also acts as a set of traditional wireless mobile/phone earbuds.

I’m also hoping for version of Alexa that I can pop in my ears while around the house or at work. 

Alcohol monitoring system (Image: University of California, San Diego)

Alcohol monitoring system (Image: University of California, San Diego)

Smart Stickers

Earlier this year L’Oréal introduced a smart sticker that can be scanned by a IOS and Android app to tell how much UV exposure you have gotten while out in the sun.

Earlier this year L’Oréal introduced a smart sticker that can be scanned by a IOS and Android app to tell how much UV exposure you have gotten while out in the sun.

Crossing the line between consumer wearables and medical devices are a new set of devices that stick directly to the skin, including  a blood alcohol sticker developed by University of California, San Diego. This device attaches to the skin and provides a data feed to a companion app. The device is currently a one time use item that can be produced for a few cents, but they are working on a version that can be worn 24 hours a day. 

The Fitbit on NBC's "Strong" (Image: NBC)

The Fitbit on NBC's "Strong" (Image: NBC)

Another interesting wearable development this year was the inclusion of Fitbit data as part of content on the NBC's reality show “Strong”. This might open up the potential for physiological stats to become a regular component of sports related coverage: heart rate and other stats may become as common as RBI, or passing yards. 

Header image: The Misfit Shine fitness and sleep tracker (Source: Flickr user hide10)


Chuck Fletcher (@chuckfletcher) is Technology Director for the Razorfish Emerging Experiences team, based in our New York office.

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