Gear Guy

How Weird Can Wearable Tech Get?

Wearable tech was all the rage at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, a tech orgy that draws hundreds of thousands of people every year, wrapped up Friday in Las Vegas. And as usual, there was some pretty weird technology on the floor. 

Sensoria Fitness Sock

A tattoo that measures your pH.

A glove to analyze your golf swing.

A belt to improve your posture.

Panasonic's new wearable, high-definition camera.

Take “wearables” for instance, which seems to be the buzzword of the year. From awesome fitness bracelets like the LG Lifeband to the insane Lady Gaga flying outfit, I’m left with the question, “How far is wearable technology going to go? Have we predicted our own cyborg future with movies like RoboCop?”

Maybe. But you can decide that for yourself once you take a look at the following five products.

Sensoria Fitness Socks

Washington-based Heapsylon is offering a Sensoria fitness sock for $149 that the company claims uses textile sensors to deliver data about your running performance and stride to an Android or iOS phone. 

While the idea of foot strike data is enticing, I predict these socks will feed my running form obsession far too much. I would likely descend into madness thinking about my exact number of heel strikes.

Tattoos to Measure Biomarkers   

Electrozyme is developing temporary tattoos that will measure biomarkers such as pH and salt levels—all without needing to draw blood. Users apply the tattoo to their shoulder or wrist, and then use an armband placed over the tattoo to send information to a mobile device. 

This isn’t the company’s first foray into interesting wearable tech. Co-founders Joshua Windmiller and Jared Tangey also helped develop chemical sensing electrode underwear

While plastering chemical receptors on my body seems creepy, I do appreciate the potential for dialing in ways to measure things like calories burned. 

Glove to Analyze Your Golf Swing

Zepp GolfSense uses an accelerometer attached to a glove to analyze your golf swing. The gadget measures details like speed, plane, tempo, and even hip angle before sending those numbers to an iOS or Android device. If you really want to geek out, you can also get 3D analyses and lab reports on your swing.

Just don’t let the numbers get to you while you’re on the course.

Belt to Improve Your Posture

The $150 LUMOback Posture Belt, available in September, rests on your lower back and starts to vibrate when you slouch. It also connects with iOS devices so you can monitor data about your posture.  

Since it will record data and buzz even when you’re standing up, I think this could serve as a training tool for runners as well.

Panasonic’s Wearable Camera

Panasonic's new weable camera will produce insanely high-definition 4K shots and it mounts directly to your head. The cylindrical camera sits above your ear with a plastic piece that wraps around the back of your neck.  

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