8 Game Changers in the Wearable Tech Space
Wearable Tech That Has or Will Change the World as We Know It
I recently read an article in Business Insider listing the 8 hottest companies in wearable tech right now. Although many of the devices on this list are respectable in their own right, I felt that there are too many devices out there that are better positioned to be game changers in this space.
So if I can be as bold to make my own version of this list it would be as follows.
1.Nymi — The Heartbeat Authentication Bracelet
Bionym has found a way to use our heartbeat (or more correctly or electrocardiogram) to uniquely identify us and have created a technology which will allow us to authenticate in this way.
The Nymi is a bracelet which, once configured and connected, will securely authenticate users across any bluetooth connected thing. This means that the Nymi can be used to access your laptop, smartphone, email but also with any thing under the internet of things umbrella — unlocking doors, starting your car…you get it.
What’s great about the Nymi is that once the bracelet is activated you seamlessly use digital devices that have been granted to authenticate in this way as you move throughout your day. BAM — no more passwords and you just shaved minutes off your day wasted on security.
2. MYO — The Gesture Control Armband
Gesture recognition has heated up ever since the Kinect hit the market. Leap Motion took this one step forward with their device which launched earlier this year. But both of these technologies require you to be in front of a camera to use your hands like Tom Cruise in Minority Report.
That’s where MYO is revolutionary. The armband uses motion and the kinetic energy in your arm as input for any bluetooth connected device. This mean that you can control your smart TV, laptop or a parrot drone anywhere.
This device can really come in handy with a Heads-Up display, like Google Glass, allowing users to swipe through information on the screen with the flick of a wrist. And of course, for gaming its a game changer.
3. Meta — The Augmented Reality Pair of Smart Glasses
Where Google Glass is really just a communication device with its screen being used to relay information, Meta promises to create a digital world within the physical through the lens of its AR smart glasses.
Meta merges digital experiences with real-life to take reality to the next level. Their concept video shows off many of the use cases we have been waiting for like facial recognition to pop up useful information on people we meet to being able to design things in mid-air and push the final concept to a 3D Printer to create it.
With the father of AR and wearable technology, Steve Mann, as the company’s Chief Scientist — this wearable device is sure to hit the mark. Although its reliance on computer processing power means this device is a little ways out from being an everyday tool for everyone.
4. Google Glass — The Smart Glasses That Caused Some Noise
I still can’t believe that 10,000 people are walking around with Google Glass. Sure there are many things we all hoped it would do (e.g. some of things mentioned in #3 Meta above). But the fact that I can walk around and use voice to take pictures, share, check my email and get directions is pretty incredible — especially that it works so well.
Regardless of what you think about this device, Google really has done a great job of making significant noise in the wearable tech space. There isn’t a day that hasn’t gone by since they released the device in Beta to the Explorer community that Glass isn’t making the news or being shared on Twitter.
Creating noise in this space has and will pave the way for many other wearable devices that will come after it, including Google’s mainstream version of Glass. This device has not only helped to wake up the tech, startup and VC community but also started to groom the masses that walking around with wearables is coming which is even more important.
5. Kiwi Wearables — The Device That’s Really a Platform
Kiwi Wearables have created a motion sensor device which is more a platform than it is one piece of wearable tech. Vertical winners at TechCrunch Disrupt this year. Kiwi doesn’t believe that a wearable device should only be one thing.
What the team behind this technology is doing is offering up their hardware to developers to build an ecosystem around the device to allow it to do anything from tracking your fitness, to controlling your automated home and more.
Like what Apple did with the iPhone, Kiwi is attempting to do with their device — offer their hardware and SDK up to a community to take it to the next level. They are definitely the ones to watch in this space to see if this model succeeds.
6. Pebble — The Smartwatch that Started It All
This list couldn’t be complete without Pebble. The Kickstarter darling which raised over $10 Million dollars proved that the wearable space has a market.
Although there have been smartwatches before Pebble, namely the Sony Smartwatch, Pebble really put smartwatches and wearables on the map for actual users.
Pebble has benefited from a leg up by being one of the first devices to hit the market before a massive amount of smartwatches hit the shelves including the Galaxy Gear which is set to arrive this month.
7. Recon Jet — The Sports-Focused Smart Glasses Backed by Intel
Fitness, sports and health are the natural sweet spot for the start of wearable tech. Why? Because there is so much data that can be collected and used when things are in motion. So one pair of smart glasses I am keeping my eye on is the Jet from Recon Instruments.
Unlike the other smart glasses mentioned above, Recon Instruments is focusing their device on one vertical which may prove successful since its very early days with Heads-up Displays.
The company recently saw an investment from Intel who is moving full steam ahead into the wearable technology space both from an investment perspective but especially in terms of new processors designed for these types of devices.
8. iWatch — The Device That Represents the Dream
Finally I am putting the iWatch on this list even though it doesn’t exist. In fact, it’s because it doesn’t exist that I am adding it here. The iWatch represents the dream of wearable tech encompassing the potential of what these types of devices can do for us.
Like Glass, the iWatch has also helped create a lot of noise in the tech and consumer space which I’ve pointed out is needed and beneficial for the entire ecospace.
Whatever Apple delivers as their first forray into the wearable technology space it doesn’t really matter because the dream of an iWatch is much more powerful than any device can ever be.
That being said, it does put the pressure on Apple to get it right.