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The 8 weirdest wearables money can buy
From the Kickstarter success of Pebble to the popularity of fitness tracking bands in every size, shape and color – the recent boom of wearable tech has had its triumphs. Despite all of this innovation, though, as well as the imminent launches of Apple Watch and Oculus, not all wearables are on to a winner.
Like all tech trends founded on buzzwords, there came a point when wearable tech stopped solving actual problems. That’s not to say there aren’t still problems wearables can solve, but until somebody invents a watch that can make us jump higher or a flower that launches fireballs, we’ll just have to make do with these…
The 8 weirdest wearables money can buy;
1. Brainwave cat ears
There’s a time and a place for fluffy cat ears (Ed – no there isn’t), but outside of an animal-themed fancy dress party your opportunities are fairly limited. These, however, are fluffy cat ears with a difference, transmitting your inner thoughts and reactions through a series of expressive movements. Claiming to read your mind through two light-touch sensors, the ears perk up when you’re interested, fall down when you’re relaxed and wiggle when you’re ‘in the zone’. Regardless of whether or not the first two work, we can’t be the only ones struggling to get in the zone with these things attached to our head.
2. Glove One
Convincing somebody to swap their watch or wristband for a smarter alternative is one thing, but inventing new concepts for smart wearables is a tougher sell. While Glove One may look a bit like glove, really this is more of a gauntlet, and unless you’re planning on taking up sword fighting or space travel anytime soon, you’re unlikely to need one of those. Admittedly, this particular gauntlet can be used as a cellphone, but when you get to the point of lugging it around with you to make a quick call, then you have to ask, “are cellphones really all that bad?”
3. QR Tie
Hey, who is this handsome guy-in-a-tie chomping on a BLT? Why isn’t he wearing a shirt? What’s he so smug about and what’s his phone number? QR Tie can tell you all of this information and more, just lift the bottom of the striped garment and scan the QR code to download his details. It’s bound to be far less awkward an interaction than saying “Hello.”
Unlike our first three wearables, iGrow is at least here to solve a problem. It might look like a clumsily designed crash helmet or a discarded Beats by Dre prototype, but this FDA-approved device is actually here to help combat hair loss. Using laser growth technology, iGrow claims to strengthen hair follicles and thicken areas of the scalp that may be thinning. To be fair, that sounds great, but on the other hand you have to wear this thing and it will cost you $695 for the privilege.
5. Like a hug
Do you spend more time impressing your friends on social media than IRL? Then you deserve a pat on the back for your online efforts, too. Thankfully there’s Like a Hug, the world’s first ‘wearable social media vest’ that inflates like a life jacket each time you receive some internet kudos, giving you a gentle real-life hug to go alongside that digital approval. Doesn’t it feel warm and loving?
Like the social media vest, Ping is a social networking garment that allows you to send messages and communicate on Facebook by a simple lift of your hood. The problem is – aside from it just being a very stupid idea – that we’re not really sure what kind of garment this is, and who might wear it. It’s a sort of dressing gown / apron / hoodie hybrid, and while this isn’t exactly our area of expertise, we don’t recall seeing anything like this at last month’s London or Paris fashion weeks either.
From the same guys that brought you Ping, comes Peekiboo – a sort of child spy cam disguised as a knitted hat. The ‘device’ is said to read the baby’s thoughts (goo goo, gah gah etc), and instruct the camera to spring into action when they find something interesting. So, look forward to lots great pictures of stuffed animal toys and brightly colored litter.
Like the idea of Peekiboo, but feeling a bit too old to wear a baby blue knitted hat? Then we have some good news, Neurocam is the adult’s version. The device somehow quantifies users’ interest levels on a range of 0 to 100, triggering the smartphone camera into action to record a 5 second GIF clip when the value exceeds 60. We don’t know about you, but we’d rather be seen out wearing Peekiboo.