PSFK picks the top five products from Amazon UK’s recently launched Wearable Tech store.
With Amazon expanding its Amazon Wearable Tech Store this week to include buyers in the UK, it seems likely that this tech has moved from the niche crowd of Silicon Valley self-quantifiers to become a mainstream commercial option.
Already, the store is stocked with over 100 wearable tech devices – from familiar big name brands to start-ups. Based on the knowledge of our (free) Future of Wearable Tech report, in this article PSFK takes you through five hot products listed on the marketplace and considers the potential future consumer trends in wearable tech.
Autographer, which launched last summer and was recently featured in PSFK’s free Future of Wearable Tech report, is a small camera that automatically takes pictures, shooting continously so that the wearer can focus on living experiences rather than merely photographing them. Beyond being a convenient tool for instantaneous documentation of daily life, Autographer takes advantage of the internet-based cloud to create a memory bank that is better than our own brain.
Gow Smart Sports Bra is for the fitness freak who wants their sports clothing to not only be functional and fashionable but also highly intelligent. The bra, which has integrated textile sensors, links to a smartphone app to continually provide a flow of information about the wearer as they train. It is the kind of wearable tech that easily assimilates into daily routines. The sensor is small and suitable, while the data is detailed yet simple for even the novice wearable tech user. Embedding sensors into clothing is a simple way to make wearable technology intuitive. As we create more technology that continuously captures health metrics, it could change the way not only a person tracks themselves, but how others concerned (doctors, parents, caregivers) can track them as well.
Jawbone is one of the most widely-recognizable wearable tech brands listed on Amazon. The latest iteration of their fitness tracking band, UP24, is no different – offering the now standard list of data expected of a fitness band – but with wireless syncing, it constantly provides access to that array of information. In our Future of Wearable Tech report, we envisage UP24 and Jawbone as a part of the evolution in fitness tracking. In a trend we called Responsive Coaching, we explore how sensor technologies are not only monitoring performance but also offering feedback and coaching without impeding the wearer. In this case, UP24 will notify the wearer if they haven’t moved in over an hour.
Similarly, Pear Stride Intelligent Headphones links with a smartphone app and sensor to provide an in-ear personal trainer that motivates and updates the wearer as they train. Instead of the whisper of motivation in your head, the headphones (and app) push or congratulate you based on the metrics measured. The potential for smart headphones, and other similar devices that passively gather information and digest it in an understandable way means we could see headphones that switch tracks depending on an assessment of a wearer’s mood or provide other relevant information automatically.
Misfit Wearable’s Bloom Necklace is the definition of seamlessly blending form and function into a beautifully designed object. Like the above wearable technologies, Misfit Wearables has created a fitness tracking device, Shine, but unlike the others it can go completely under the radar, disguised as a necklace, as well as other jewelry. The Bloom Necklace is a essentially a silver-colored case for the small round device. We believe that technology taking on a softer, more muted aesthetic will appeal to consumers who are not grossly wild about becoming a walking motherboard. It is possible to foresee a future where jewelry and data go hand-in-hand, and not only will the technology be tracking us but also perhaps revealing something about us to the world. Could the mood ring come back in wearable tech form? It could be useful to diagnose stress or as an indicator of health problems. And if the wearer wants to keep that information privacy, the discreetness of the embedded tech allows them to do so.
The opening of a Wearable Technology store on Amazon demonstrates one thing – the belief that consumers are ready to invest in this type of technology. The products picked out today were mostly health-care related, because at the moment that is the area where it is quickest adopted. Indeed, 60% of the wearable tech market in 2013 were health and fitness related devices.
There may only be 100 products on the site just yet, but in the future, as wearable technology becomes more intuitive, integrated and hidden in the background of our lives, there could be thousands of products ready for the trusty Amazon review.