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In light of CES 2019, our devices are slated to get a significant IQ boost in the new year. So if you think your smartwatch is advanced now, think again. You can even purchase a denim jacket that’s essentially an extension of your smartphone — just look at the collaboration between Google’s Jacquard and Levi’s.
But the wearable sphere is venturing beyond bringing you new ways to access and manipulate smartphone data. Strides in biometric technology are bleeding into our everyday lives to help us make more informed decisions when it comes to our health — far beyond sending mile, heart rate, and calorie tracking to our mobile or wrist devices. While health-focused wearables outside smartwatches haven’t reached the same level of consumer attention, both the technology and trends are certainly here and will continue to make their presence known moving forward.
A good majority of the wearables making their debut at CES are kept secret until the event, but we’re going to give you a sneak peek into a few presentations that might shake up the market.
But first, where is the trend going and why?
Even though Apple won’t be attending CES this year, just look at its latest foray into electrocardiogram monitoring with its Apple Watch Series 4 — the first of its kind in allowing consumers to check for heart rate irregularities like atrial fibrillation. Granted, Apple says this feature is not intended to diagnose or replace a visit to the doctor, but it can provide you with data to later present to your doctor (so you have more than just your memory to draw from when describing your experience).
These insights seek to streamline and refine personal health assessments by extending into fabrics, sensors, and other monitoring tools that can be integrated into a plethora of more useful and informative devices beyond clip-on step-counters and watches. This expanse of biometric tech isn’t just intended to help provide faster results on your health status — it can also establish another resource in the healthcare sphere and better focus where medical attention might be needed most.
What to look forward to at CES 2019:
The day in which our clothes can predict when we’re getting sick or alert us when something isn’t right during a workout is not far off — in fact, it’s practically already here. Leading wrist wearable companies like Garmin and Fitbit will make their appearances, but we’re also excited to see what AiQ Smart Clothing Inc. has in store. The Taiwanese company aims to integrate big data into clothing, using “e-textiles” to gather physiological information that can help you perform everyday fitness activities and allow you to monitor your health — like heart rate and ECG data — at the same time.
Biometric wearables in stress reduction
The health wearable space isn’t limited to clothing and fabrics, though, as it also includes head, ear, and eye gear. In fact, CES 2018 brought some interesting innovations to the hearing space, like earbuds that translate conversations into different languages. StoryUP XR will be showing its Healium kit — an augmented virtual reality platform that measures brain activity and heart rate through a headset. Users can actually see their own brain waves and manipulate certain scenarios — like hatching butterflies — to help reduce stress. While it isn’t necessarily new, recent research backs Healium’s efficacy in reducing anxiety — thus, paving the way for future AR and VR applications in healthcare and stress management.
Updates along the way
We’ll be heading to CES and to give you live updates and news as it happens. As this market continues to advance, we plan on bringing a few of the most desired, cutting-edge products in house to physically test and help you decide what’s truly useful and what isn’t.