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7 game-changing wearables to watch in 2015
Last year was billed by many as the year of the wearable, but in 2015 the technology is set to jump out from concepts and Kickstarters and onto our wrists, arms, legs and heads.
If you thought wearable gadgets had been and gone then, think again, because the next wave of smart gizmos for our clothes and bodies will be the true test of the technology’s staying power. With that in mind, here are the wearables to watch over the next 12 months.
1) Fitness-tracking headphones
So far the main focus of the wearable revolution has been fitness tracking, with the majority of products designed for our wrists and ankles. Not very imaginative, huh? Rather than strapping on additional accessories to work out, then, next year will see the technology hidden inside headphones which are already widely used for exercise. This could be a huge growth area for the headphones market, with available products already including SMS audio bio-sports from Intel and 50 Cent, and Jabra’s Sport Pulse earbuds (pictured above) which connect to your phone via bluetooth.
2) A classier smartwatch
The thing about wearable fitness gear is it’s often very ugly. Cheap plastics and garish colours mean that most wristbands and smartwatches are removed after exercise – or at least hidden under a shirt – but that could all be set to change. Withings Activité is one example of the nicer-looking smartwatches that could soon become the norm. Complete with an elegant leather strap and a sophisticated analogue face, Withings’ watch will track your activity but also keep you looking your best.
3) Wearable drones
Marketed as the first wearable and flyable camera, NIXIE is the combination of two technologies which dominated tech headlines in 2014 – wearables and drones. Put simply, NIXIE is a miniature drone that can be worn as wristband. When released, the strap unfolds into a flying quadcopter, takes photos or video, and then returns to you on command. Still in development at this stage, the smart wearable concept could make big splash in 2015.
Don’t like wearing watches? Then how about a smart ring? Pre-orders have now begun on Ringly, which, as you might have guessed, wants to take take technology into the jewellery market. Priced at $195, these clever gems not only look great, but will vibrate to alert you of phone calls, texts, email and app notifications so you can keep your phone out of sight and out of mind.
5) Oculus Rift
We’ve already seen what Oculus Rift can do, but in 2015 we’ll finally get to buy one for ourselves and put it to the test. The possibilities for virtual reality’s second wave are seemingly endless, and we can’t wait to see what brands, tech companies and app developers have in store.
6) Contactless payments you can wear
As developments in smartphone technology could be about to signal the death of the wallet, the future of contactless payments might also soon be wrapped around our wrists. As well as swiping smartwatches at tills and checkouts, banks are launching their own gizmos such as Barclaycard’s bPay band (above) to make your transactions smoother than ever.
7) Apple Watch
Another smartwatch, yes, but let’s face it – if any device is going to seal the fate of wearable tech it’s the Apple Watch. The tech-giant’s long-awaited timepiece is not radically different to what we’ve already seen, but it is different, and it’s success or failure could be one of the defining stories of the year ahead. Watch this space.