January 6, 2014
CES Unveiled, an event open to the press on Sunday, was a veritable fashion show of wearable devices, from high-tech headphones to digital solutions for fitness, health and even orthodontia. Part of the fashion show experience of high-tech wearables involved the attendees: quite a number of early adopters sported Google Glass eyewear and FitBits as they roamed the floor. Among the categories of wearables, the fitness market was particularly in evidence, no doubt because the popular FitBit has proven a market exists.
Among the fitness wearables were the FitBug Orb, a fluorescent-hued disc that can be clipped to clothing or worn as a bracelet and tracks steps, distance and sleep.
“We offer everything that other fitness wearables have,” says Chief Technology Officer Danny Ogen. “And the Orb is priced at $49, which we think will be attractive to many people.”
Another fitness solution comes from Wellograph, whose Sapphire Wellness watch tracks activity, monitors the heart and acts as a running watch. The sapphire crystal display makes it scratch and shatter-proof, says Wellness Product Manager Punwess Sukavanich. Acoustic Sheep demonstrated its RunPhones, which embeds speakers in a lightweight headband, connected wirelessly to a media player. The Tinke sensor is an Android or iOS thumb sleeve that monitors vital statistics via a smartphone app.
Another angle on fitness came from Liquid Image, which showed goggles embedded with HD cameras for skiing and water sports (pictured here), not dissimilar from GoPro’s cameras aimed at sporting enthusiasts.
The digital health market is also burgeoning and CES Unveiled demonstrated wearables for a large range of health conditions and concerns. The French-based Netamo is readying the release of June, a glittering gem-like device that can be worn as a bracelet or brooch that offers personalized sun protection advice.
Siemens is offering a variety of miniTek’s solutions for the hard-of-hearing, enabling these users to filter out ambient noise. Some of the devices connect to TVs, MP3 players and computers, sending the audio directly into the hearing aids.
Perhaps the most intriguing – and strangest – wearable came from OrthoAccel Technologies. The company’s AcceleDent Aura is a wearable vibrating device that fits on the teeth, much like a night guard. The vibration accelerates tooth movement, says the company, and cuts orthodontia time by 50 percent, says Kristin Taylor, the company’s media contact. According to Taylor, AcceleDent Aura is already available at over 1,000 orthodontists in the U.S.