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Welcome to the inaugural post of my new blog, B’s Notions! A couple times every month I’ll be sharing my thoughts and giving a personal perspective on that week’s key developments and emerging trends. With clients across the world, I’ll also keep you up to date on my travels while sharing insight and best practices from around the globe.
One of the major stories to come out of last week’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was wearable technology. Wearable tech devices were everywhere at the Las Vegas event, prompting many commentators to ask whether 2014 is finally the year in which these devices will find some mainstream traction.
Here in San Francisco, in the presence of so many tech workers, we’re pretty used to the sight (pardon the pun) of – usually younger, fairly nerdy-looking – men donning their Google Glass specs in bars or out shopping. But this year’s CES really took things up a notch, with devices designed to take care of every aspect of your daily life so that you could – if you so desired – get decked out from head to toe in some sort of wearable tech.
From the sublime to the ”but why?,” here are some of the new devices that caught my eye:
1. Netatmo’s JUNE bracelet – In this new vertical of ”smart jewelry,” the JUNE bracelet monitors your skin’s ultraviolet exposure and sends the information to a smartphone app. This also wins points as it manages to avoid the outright ugliness of many wearable tech devices, and indeed won the 2014 CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award for “Wearable Technologies.”
2. Kolibree’s Bluetooth-enabled “smart toothbrush” – This device lets you know via your smartphone how long you take to brush your teeth and how efficiently you’ve been doing it. This is something of an eyebrow raiser and falls into the camp of another area of challenge for wearable tech – just because something can be done, does that necessarily mean there is a demand for it?
3. Mimo Baby’s smart baby monitor onesie – This onesie is already a hit with concerned parents – pre-orders have already sold out. Using Intel technology, this onesie has a range of sensors to monitor the baby’s breathing, motion, temperature and sleeping habits. It also comes with a Wi-Fi enabled microphone enabling it to also act as a conventional baby monitor. It’s also highly practical – all sensitive equipment is detachable so the onesie can be safely washed.
While it’s fair to say that technology companies are still largely trying to figure out the true place for wearable technology in our lives, the devices unveiled at this year’s CES definitely show that there is no shortage of ideas, making this one heck of an interesting sector to watch.
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