To say that wearable technology is taking over our lives is an understatement. By 2018, the global wearables market is expected to be worth a cool $19 billion. Many of these devices come in the form of fitness trackers and activity monitors, but it isn’t all about keeping tabs on your health. Wearables have advanced into “do it all” gadgets that beautifully complement the smartphone.
In a world where technology seems to be changing on a daily basis, it can be overwhelming to navigate and complete big purchase decisions. Running GPS watches and activity trackers have evolved at an incredible rate in the past decade. The line between “smart watches” and fitness trackers has become increasingly blurred. Devices in the activity tracker category now log data on fitness-related metrics like quality of sleep, number of steps, calories burned, and heart rate in addition to mileage, pace and elevation gain. Some even provide real-time notifications from your phone, or wireless headphone options.
Fortunately, there’s a wide range of products to choose from in a spectrum of prices to meet your needs and anticipated use. Whether you want to meet your New Years’ resolution, or a person who works from home and is looking to increase your steps, or the occasional gym-goer, avid runner or multi-sport athlete there is a wearable for you. A great resource to compare and review all the options out there is our friends at Runnerclick.com
That said, let’s take a look at three top trends in wearables.
1. Bigger is Better
We already saw manufacturers head this way in the fashion industry with watches featuring oversized faces. Now, the wearable world is taking some tips from fashion leaders and placing an emphasis on size as well.
Take the Samsung Gear S2, for example. The smartwatch from Samsung has everything from health tracking to voice activation capabilities, and it does it all with a screen that’s almost two inches in diameter. It might not sound like a lot, but once it’s on your wrist, you feel like you’re toting around exclusive technology that warrants a large, beautiful face.
2. The End of Bluetooth
Wearables like the Garmin Vivosmart and Pebble Steel work wonderfully – as long as your phone is nearby. Unfortunately, the versatility of many wearables stops short as soon as they lose Bluetooth connection to a phone. However, the market has started to shift toward 4G capabilities, which allow the devices to retrieve notifications without being near a mobile phone. LG, for instance, made a splash when it released the Urbane LTE watch, which uses 4G to make and answer calls. As long as you’re willing to pay for a data plan, you can take advantage of wearables that use this technology.
3. Looks Matter
This isn’t just true of tech-savvy Millennials who want something flashy on their wrists. Early watch adopters who’ve been staring at the same top quality Rolexes and Swatches for decades want similar appeal in the devices they wear today. As a result, we’ve seen manufacturers like Apple release a smartwatch that comes with multiple different strap options. Huawei, a budding smartwatch leader, has four strap options to choose from, including one plated in rose gold.
These days, there’s seemingly a wearable out there for everyone. Whether you buy one, there’s a good chance that you’ll run into someone using a wearable to stay on top of everything from their text messages to their heart rate.
“Wristwear, eyewear, fingerwear, clothing, accessories – thanks to the advances in mobile technology, you can now carry the power of your desktop on your body,” says Robin Raskin, founder and president of Living in Digital Times. Who knew it was so easy to capture power in such a little device?
by Krystle Vermes
Top photo by Stephanie Lanzetti