Another year, another CES, brimming with start-ups and household names alike, looking to become the next big tech trend. But who will come out victorious? In the fourth of a six-part series, we give our verdict on the most awe-inspiring hopefuls of the New Year in the Wearables category.
With the launch of the Apple Watch, fitness tracker Fitbit floating the New York Stock Exchange at an estimated value of $4 billion and smartwatch Pebble Time becoming the most funded project on Kickstarter ever with over $20 million pledged, it’s clear that 2015 lay strong foundations for the era of the wearable.
And so, as we greet another year’s CES hopefuls, it’s not surprising that ‘Wearables’ is one of the bulkiest categories in the show. But who will be the next Fitbits and Pebbles? Here’s our guess at the top 10 wearable companies that could be gracing our homes, gyms and offices in the coming months.
- BLOCKS (UK) – With over $1.6 million raised on Kickstarter, BLOCKS describes itself as the world’s first modular smartwatch that lets you personalise its features to fit your lifestyle. The company currently has over a dozen modules to choose from, with functions such as contactless payment, GPS, heart rate monitor, camera, gesture control and environment sensor, and promises that this is just the beginning of what the watch could be capable of.
- CHILD ANGEL (UK) – Designed first and foremost with children in mind, Child Angel is an advanced GPS locator for parents to view their child’s movements and offer peace of mind. It allows parents to set up ‘safe zones’, alerting them when boundaries are breached, as well as warning them when a strap is undone. For an added bonus, it’s splash, sand and sticky proof, so it really can go anywhere.
- DE RIGUEUER (FR) – Starting life in 2008 as a leather-satchel manufacturer, De Rigueuer is this year combining technology with style with the launch of its ‘Connected Sleeve’ – an elegant, wireless solution to phone batteries that never seem to last long enough. You simply slip your phone into the sleeve and let the magic begin.
- SENSORY (FR) – Perhaps the wild card in this list, E.Sensory is looking to launch the world’s first platform that will enable readers to interact with and ‘feel’ the written word via numerous connected devices generating physical sensations. Their first product promises to connect users with erotic literature, though they are also working on creating dynamic cinema, sensory tourism and sensory audiobooks for the visually impaired.
- WISEWEAR (USA) – Continuing with the Fashion Tech theme, WiseWear and its Socialite Collection marks the company’s first line of luxury smart jewellery, enabling women to track their activity, receive real-time mobile notifications, but perhaps most interesting and important, send distress signals to a pre-approved contacts list in a subtle and concealed manner.
- HELIX CUFF (USA) – Another stylish bracelet-like entry, the Helix Cuff contains hidden Bluetooth headphones that promise to offer incredible stereo sound and noise reduction. You’ll never need to worry about tangled headphones again.
- PITPAT (UK) – Who said fitness tracking need be reserved for humans? With PitPat, now your dog can get in on the action. It attaches to the collar with a strong Velcro strap and, when paired with the app, can help owners set goals and keep their furry companions healthy.
- XENOMA (JP) – Xenoma’s e-skin wearable apparel enables users to monitor motion, breathing, pressure, body temperature and more through over 30 sensors integrated in the stretchable circuit technology. It’s machine washable, highly durable and can be worn like any other t-shirt, so what’s not to like?
- FEETME (FR) – Though targeted at a niche market, FeetMe’s smart insoles could save more than a few feet. Initially targeting diabetic patients who have lost sensation, FeetMe helps to avoid ulcers that can ultimately lead to amputations. However, over time, the company hopes to expand into athletics to give runners detailed information about their technique and avoid injury.
- HEARSHOT (CA) – Heartshot is a wearable personal communication device targeted at the extreme sports market to enable groups and instructors to keep in touch on the slopes, waves or mountains within a 600m radius. Using propriety audio technology, Hearshot should allow users to communicate clearly even in the loudest of conditions.
Enjoyed this post? Read more of our series on CES 2016 companies to watch:
- PART 1: Top 10 Robotics Companies to Watch at CES 2016
- PART 2: Top 10 Fitness & Sports Tech Companies to Watch at CES 2016
- PART 3: Top 10 Safety & Security Companies to Watch at CES 2016
Check out our CES 2016: Ultimate Guide to Tech PR to help raise the profile of your brand: