Off The Cuff – 4 Wearables That Aren’t Watches

The apple Watch is available in thee models (pictured left to right): Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and the $10,000 Apple Watch Edition.

The apple Watch is available in thee models (pictured left to right): Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and the $10,000 Apple Watch Edition.

With the Apple Watch launching today, wearable tech stands to explode into the consumer market. Smart watches, as we’ve explored on Mobile ID World before, stand to change some integral parts of everyday life if they manage to catch mainstream tension. Everything from payments, to  physical access control and the Internet of Things stands to be transformed by a mainstream wearable.

But wearable tech doesn’t start and stop with the watch. Here are five examples of wearable tech that cover up more than your wrist.

Connected Headphones

Outside of the smart watch, wearable tech is still strongly focused on the active living market and, like the other gadgets on this list, the new wave of biometric headphones measure a user’s vital statistics. Unlike two of the heart rate wristbands before them though, connected headphones are already an integral part of a user’s workout routine. Now, with biometric headphones from Jabra or SMS Audio, not only is keeping heart rate, calorie and blood oxygen stats intuitive, but your playlist can adapt to best suit your pace. Wearable tech is a great way for your workout routine playlist to get to know you.

The Biometric Shirt

Some vital biometrics are more important than others, which isn’t to say that a high tech workout is frivolous,  but the health stats of an astronaut or South Pole explorer can be categorized as mission critical information. Hexoskin, a wearable tech company from Montreal, has created a biometric shirt that can be purchased for the extreme outdoors person, but is designed with our most high altitude scientists and explorers in mind.

The Hexoskin biometric clothing has been tested for Antarctic exploration and space-bound professionals. It measures all the usual heart-related metrics, but in addition to that it gathers repertory and motion data, and it can offer actionable sleep analytics (like sleep positions). In extreme climate conditions, knowing how a body is functioning internally can mean the difference between success and failure, if not life or death.

Smart Shoes

Coming back around to the active living tech that fits right into your routine, connectivity is spreading to shoes. Li-Ning, a Chinese apparel company, is aiming to bring smart shoes to the athletic wear market.

Stretching beyond workout monitoring through, smart shoes can actually have applications in healthcare. Veristride, using biometric sensors from Flexpoint Sensor Systems, has designed connected footwear to aid in the rehabilitation of stroke victims. The smart shoes from Veristride won acclaim at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, named one of the expo’s five most disruptive technologies. It’s an excellent example of how, with wearable tech, the starting point might always seem to be monitoring a work out, but the end result can be life changing.

The Concussion Management Patch

Sports fans will undoubtedly be aware of the current discussions happening in regards to the long term effects of concussions sustained by athletes, particularly in football. X2 Biosystems has created a platform through which to better understand this negative side effect of rough play, and wearable tech enters into the overall solution with the xPatch.

The xPatch, a connected bio-sensor worn behind the ear of an athlete, monitors concussive impacts in real time. The impact data is monitored by coaches and trainers as it is collected, allowing for best health and safety practices to be observed. Currently, X2’s Integrated Concussion Evaluation (ICE) solution is being used by all 30 NHL teams, and is also employed in the NFL.

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