Another year, another CES, brimming with start-ups and household names alike seeking ultimate glory. But who will come out victorious? In the first of a nine-part series, we give our verdict on the most awe-inspiring hopefuls of the New Year in the Wearables category.
Let’s face it – 2016 was a tough year from every potential standpoint. Wearables were no different: Fitbit acquired the Kickstarter legend Pebble; Apple Watch sales plummeted; Android Wear 2.0’s release was delayed until later this year; and Microsoft’s Band 2 was discontinued.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom – the basic wearables market, which includes most fitness trackers, grew almost 50 per cent year-on-year, while shipments of wearable devices reached 22.5 million in Q2 2016, up from 17.8 million the year before. Growing pains, perhaps, but as new uses emerge, it’s clear that wearables are slowly finding their feet.
And here to prove their worth are the latest CES hopefuls – but who will pave the path this year? Here’s our guess at the top 10 Wearable Technology companies we should be keeping our eyes on;
- AcousticSheep (US) – Founded by husband and wife duo, Jason Wolfe and Dr Wei-Shin Lai, in 2007 from their kitchen table, AcousticSheep develops headphones in the shape of headbands specifically designed for sleeping and fitness. No more bulk or discomfort, and the perfect way to block out a snoring partner!
- BioMindR (CA) – Redesigning sensors for wearables, BioMindR has created a unique technology that is able to monitor bio-signals such as hydration, glucose and fluid levels, and blood pressure without even the need to be in permanent contact with the skin.
- Bloomlife (US) – With 15 million preterm births every year globally – which puts infants at greater risk for a number of diseases, and can cause significant complications during labour – Bloomlife have made it their mission to empower confident prenatal decisions. A small sensor placed below the belly button helps pregnant women monitor their contractions and determine what patterns are ‘normal’ for them.
- DokiWatch (HK) – While there are a few children’s smart watches on the market, DokiWatch is arguably the most connected, being the first strap to include an integrated video calling feature, as well as voice and emoji (?!) messaging functionality. It’s the walkie talkie of the 21st century, all the while enabling parents to accurately track their child’s location, and children to send out an emergency SOS when they’re in trouble.
- Freemie (US) – For many women looking to breastfeed their children, working life and feeding do not go easily hand-in-hand. Here enters Freemie – concealable, wearable breast pumps enabling mothers to collect breast milk on the go, with their tops on and their hands free. So effectively, mothers can now pump anytime, anywhere, and around anyone.
- Mevics (UA) – Anyone in an office job will know how sedentary the day to day can be – and with that inevitably comes hunched shoulders, bent backs and sore muscles. Mevics promises to help you improve your posture with a patch that will gently vibrate to remind you to sit up straight!
- Neofect (KR) – Neofect are the manufacturers of the RAPAEL Smart Glove, a high-tech rehab device that enables patients with neurological and musculoskeletal injuries to perform training exercises wherever they are. Using games carefully designed by expert therapists that adapt their level of difficulty based on the user, the digital solution looks to invigorate the muscles, and stimulate visual and auditory senses for faster recovery.
- QuietOn (FI) – Too distracted at work? Struggling to sleep on a plane? Want to read your book in peace? Well QuietOn is here to save the day with a one-of-a-kind wireless earplug that combines noise cancellation and acoustic attenuation technology to create silence. So relax, switch off the world and enjoy the tranquillity.
- Reliefband (US) – This pulsating wristband uses the body’s natural processes to re-balance the signals that cause nausea and vomiting, so for those that suffer from motion sickness, morning sickness or simply aren’t that good with rides, they can now take back control within just a few minutes. The Reliefband also comes in five different settings, enable users to adjust as required.
- ReSound (DK) – From cutting sound out, we move on to accentuating sounds for those suffering from hearing loss. The ReSound Smart Hearing aid takes the device to a new level, offering an experience similar to surround sound technology for more detail and colour. As an additional bonus, ReSound users can also stream sound from electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones – so whether you’re talking to a loved one, or listening to your favourite track, you won’t miss a thing.
Enjoyed this post? Read more of our series on the latest and greatest from CES 2017
Top 10 Telecoms and Infrastructure Companies to Watch at CES 2017