Our Favorite CES Tech That You’ll Actually Use
Your wearables, cameras, and even your bike are about to get a whole lot smarter.
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The Consumer Electronics Show proves that wearables are getting more pervasive and more immersive, with brand-new 360-degree cameras and sensors that monitor your heart rate 24/7. Here are some of our favorite new wearables for 2015.
Fitlinxx Ampstrip Glue-On Heart-Rate Monitor ($150)
This little paste-on heart rate monitor was one of the most interesting devices at the show. Smaller than a dollar bill and only a few business cards thick, it’s designed to stick to your rib cage and provide constant heart rate monitoring. The company claims you’ll forget you’re wearing it. The Fitlinxx Ampstrip is made of a super-flexible rubber with an adhesive backing that wears off after about five days, when you’ll replace it with a new one. Officially available in May, you can also get one in March on Indiegogo for $119.
Gymwatch Coach ($199)
Germany’s Gymwatch claims it can prevent bad gym form. Strap it on your arm or leg, and the watch’s memory—loaded with more than 900 exercises—automatically detects which workout you’re doing. Its accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer record your motion, then an iOS or Android app coaches you with audio and visual prompts.
While Gymwatch is debuting as a self-coach for strength-training workouts, it has an open interface, which means other developers can design new software to analyze an athlete’s form while skiing, surfing, swimming, and more.
Bragi Dash Tracker-Earbud-MP3 Hybrid (Preorder for $299)
The Bragi Dash is part fitness tracker, part earbud, and part MP3 player. The wireless buds nest comfortably in your ear (during our brief look at CES, no amount of jumping could jar them free) and track everything from pace and distance to heart rate and oxygen saturation.
Bragi is focused on not just step counting but also interpreting data. Sensors detect heart rate as well as blood oxygen levels, which, according to the company, allows the Dash to determine when you’ve gone from an aerobic to anaerobic state. It’ll also coach you to slow down (depending on your workout goal). The Dash could even be customized to the wearer. Because it contains accelerometers, the earbuds can send information to the wearer based on where you’re looking. Gaze at the sky and get a weather report. Gaze at your shoes and hear a report on cadence, split, and pace. And this is just the tip of where Bragi’s going. Delivery begins in April.
360fly Camera ($499)
Surround video is all the rage this year. We like the 360fly, which weighs just 138 grams and easily fits in the palm of your hand.
The 360fly uses a single hemispherical camera, rather than three; this allowed the company to reduce size, weight, and processing capabilities. (Surround cameras that use three cameras rely on software to autostitch the images together.) The company embedded a patented multiaxis accelerometer in the camera, effectively giving it the potential to be a little fitness tracker. Expect to see developers overlay fitness data on the 360fly video at some point.
To watch 360-degree immersive video, you need either virtual reality goggles (like Oculus Rift) or at least more ways to easily upload the footage to sites like Instagram. Available for pre-order today, the camera will be released this spring.
Cycliq Updated Fly 6 and Fly 12 Bike Lights (From $249)
Cycliq first integrated a camera into a bicycle taillight with its Fly 6 ($249). The camera-light hybrid debuted with a wide field of view that washed out at the edges, which wasn’t all that useful when it came to reviewing license plate numbers of the car that buzzed the rider. The updated Fly 6, on the other hand, captures a narrower, sharper field of view. Run time, at more than five hours, is also exceptional.
The company also released a front light called the Fly 12 ($399) that shoots five hours of 1080p video. (You’ll get an even longer recording time if you run it without the 400-lumen light.) Cycliq has added overlaid guidelines to the video that show how close a rider is to the edge of the road—or how close a driver came to hitting the cyclist.
For bragging rights, users can overlay Strava data directly over the video. Available in November, but you can preorder now.