2014 ushers in new wearable technology

Pebble Steel

Pebble Steel was announced in January 2014 as Pebble’s higher class smart watch. Original image found here and used under fair use.

John Gillis

Wearable technology has long been a futuristic element in movies such as the Star Trek communicator. For many years, companies have tied to bring wearable technology in to our everyday life and failed. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy launched in the 90s as a virtual reality game console and was a huge commercial failure. Now in 2014, it looks like the wearable technology scene is taking hold.

Pebble Steel
Pebble Steel was announced in January 2014 as Pebble’s higher class smart watch. Original image found here and used under fair use.
Pebble, a smart watch designed for the average consumer, started on a crowd funding site, Kickstarter. This product raised over 10 million dollars on the site to go towards funding its development and production. It proved to be the first well accepted smart watch.
Smart watches are an important part of wearable technology and are continually improving. Pebble Steel released this week aims to satisfy those looking for a high-class smart watch with more emphasis on design. Fitbit focuses on fitness tracking while Qualcomm’s Toq focuses on a higher end color display. Many smart watches have a particular expertise except for maybe the Galaxy Gear.
Galaxy Gear may be the most well rounded watch taking inspiration from spy and sci-fi movies. It features a front facing camera and a speaker as well as a full color touch screen. Some fear that the watch will invade people’s lives too much especially after Samsung’s own Are You Geared Up? ad.
While many are competing in the smart watch category, Google is taking a bolder move with its Glass project. Currently only available to a limited few, Glass provides a virtual assistant experience through a microphone and mini display on a glasses like headset. Glass also features a front facing camera and speaker allowing for casual on the go picture taking.
Glass gets about as very immersive as the average consumer is looking for, but for gamers looking for a fully immersive experience the Oculus Rift and Crystal Cove take the spotlight. The recently released Crystal Cove features a headset that goes completely over the eyes and does motion tracking to make it feel like you are actually in the game you are playing. Some users have claimed it to be so realistic that they have fallen over trying to lean on a virtual box that only existed in the game world.
Many of these wearable technologies are set to release this year to an audience who is finally ready and accepting of its integration into their daily lives. The development of this technology will make 2014 a great year for innovation and success of wearable devices.
By John Gillis
Would you be interested in buying any of these wearable products? How do you think these type of devices will change people’s daily lives? Leave a comment below and continue the conversation.