A roundup of the unique wearable technologies that were unveiled at CES 2021...
Another new year is upon us, and with it comes the latest in technology innovations and advancements from companies all around the globe who have come together to highlight their latest wares. Usually, the latest tech would be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at the Las Vegas Convention Center, jam-packed with crowds of onlookers and journalists trying to get information on a myriad of new devices.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, CES convened digitally this year, but still no less impressive. One of the highlights was wearable technologies. In this roundup, we will take a look at some of the unique wearables that were unveiled and what’s on the horizon.
1: Vuzix Next-Gen AR Smart Glasses
Vuzix is set to release its next generation of AR smart glasses aimed at medical, industrial, and enterprise customers. The latest glasses include the M4000 Longevity series, outfitted with the company’s Waveguide optics, which brings a new level of clarity with an AR overlay driven by a Snapdragon XR1 processor. The M4000 series builds on the M400 and features a full-color DLP display, auto-focus 4K camera, built-in flashlight, GPS module, and navigation buttons. It also packs Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity options, noise-canceling microphones/speakers, an integrated touchpad, voice navigation, and 64 GB of onboard storage. The M4000 series also provides 3-DOF head tracking (3-axis gyro, accelerometer, integrated magnetic compass) and a 135 mAh internal battery with the option to connect a 1000 mAh external battery via USB Type-C connection.
2: Julbo EVAD-1 Connected Sports Glasses
Julbo is known for its active eyewear for sports, including skiing, snowboarding, and biking, offering tailored solutions in both regular and smart headwear. The company has recently tossed its hat into the smart glasses ring with the introduction of the EVAD-1 Connected Sports Glasses, which packs the company’s proprietary See-Through technology that combines photochromic lenses with an adaptive overlay. The AR overlay offers seven real-time data points, including a stopwatch, distance, elevation, speed, average speed, pace, and heart rate information. The EVAD-1 smart glasses connect to wearer’s smartphones via Bluetooth and use motion sensors to change the displayed information using a wave of the hand.
3: Quantum Wearable 24/7 Glucose Monitor
Japan-based IoT startup Quantum Operations unveiled a non-invasive glucose monitor capable of providing continuous measurement of blood sugar levels. The company’s new spectrum technology can measure glucose in the bloodstream without using a needle and is achieved using spectrometer materials. According to Quantum, “One of these materials is designed to emit an optimal spectrum, while the other is highly responsive to target spectra as well as the innovative firmware that efficiently extracts targeted data by canceling noise.” Those same materials can also be used to measure a myriad of other vital signs, including heart rate and electrocardiography. The new glucose monitor will allow doctors to monitor patients remotely and even serve as a useful tool to collect big data.
4: Razer Project Hazel Smart Mask
Razer is known for its exceptional gaming mice and headsets, but the pandemic has opened up another door for the tech company: protective masks. Project Hazel is Razer’s first foray into protective gear and is marketed as an intelligent mask with a high degree of safety and quality of life enhancements. On the safety side, the mask is equipped with an N95 surgical respirator with a high level of BFE (Bacterial Filtration Efficiency) and protection against large droplets and splashes. It’s also equipped with a detachable ventilator capable of filtering 95% of airborne particles and comes with a UV-equipped charging case for sterilization. The mask is also clear, allowing for more personal social visits, and packs an internal light that automatically adjusts based on environmental lighting. Best of all, it houses a built-in microphone and amplifier, so Cobra Commander and Darth Vader cosplay aren’t out of the question.
5: LG Electronics PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier
LG Electronics has entered the protective facemask market with its PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier. The facemask features built-in H13 HEPA filters that scrub 99% of airborne particles. Moreover, it comes outfitted with dual three-phase fans and an internal respiratory sensor, which adjusts fan speed according to the wearer’s breathing patterns, rate, and air volume. LG designed the wearable air purifier to minimize air leakage around the nose and chin areas, which helps to prevent glasses from fogging. They’ve also included a UV-equipped case that disinfects and charges the mask and will send alerts when the filters need to be replaced.
6: xRapid xHale Smart Mask
San Francisco-based startup xRapid has unveiled a new smart mask with the xHale, which is designed for those who have respiratory problems. The mask is outfitted with a pair of fans, which the company states “helps with the exterior air intake and stale air expulsion in the range of 0.5 to 2 L / breaths, and is synchronized with the user’s breathing frequency.” The xHale comes equipped with pressure sensors that adjust the fan speed based on the wearer’s breathing patterns and features a modular air filtration system that can take advantage of PM 2.5, N95, and N99 filters, which scrubs both intake and exhaust. The design helps those around the wearer remain as safe as possible in enclosed environments.
7: Petpuls AI-Powered Dog Collar
Wearables aren’t just for humans, as Petpuls was given a CES Innovation Honoree award for its AI-powered dog collar. The wearable tech is outfitted with voice recognition technology that detects, tacks, and analyzes five emotional states exhibited by dogs, including happy, anxious, angry, sad, and relaxed. It also functions as an activity and sleep tracker that allows owners to understand and manage their dogs’ emotional and physical well-being. The Petpuls smart collar is outfitted with a microphone, status LED, power, and reset buttons, which resides on an eco-friendly silicon collar. The device pairs with most Android and iOS devices with an accompanying app and offers 8 to 10 hours of constant monitoring before needing a recharge.
8: Mudra Band Touch-Free Control for the Apple Watch
Wearable Devices Ltd. has unveiled its Mudra Band for Apple Watches that provides touch-free interaction for music, call management, and notifications using finger gestures and neural signals. The band is outfitted with Sensor Network Consortium (SNC) sensors that capture signals sent from the brain to the fingers, which are then interpreted using deep learning algorithms to classify what finger is being moved. Those movements are translated into function inputs that can then be used to interact with the Apple Watch. The Mudra Band idea is to free up hand use while performing any number of tasks, such as washing dishes, driving, bicycle riding, and more.
9: WHOOP Fitness Band
WHOOP recently released its Strap 3.0 fitness band that provides a series of metrics on exercise and the recovery process, allowing users to tailor their workouts to suit their needs. The band is outfitted with five sensors that collect information on the wearer’s body, including heart rate, calories burned, sleep quality, skin conductivity and ambient temperatures, at a rate of 100x per second. An accompanying app then analyzes the collected data and informs users how much strain their bodies were under and how much rest is required to recover. WHOOP’s previous straps have been used by many different athletes in the NFL, PGA, MLB, and more due to its excellent metrics.
10: KDH Design JARVISH Smart Helmet
Taiwan-based startup KDH Design unveiled its JARVISH AR smart helmet, allowing wearers to answer calls, listen to voice-based navigation, and record video — all while hands-free. It also provides a transparent heads-up display (HUD) that shows key information, such as heading, speed, and other dashcam information. Everything is voice controlled, allowing riders to focus on the environment and traffic around them, as the helmet is designed with safety in mind. JARVISH is also outfitted with a crash sensor, which will call emergency contacts in the event the helmet detects a collision or accident — whereby minutes can mean life, serious injury, or even death.
These were just a handful of the wearables that tech companies were showcasing at this year’s CES. Of course, there are a myriad of new smartwatches, AR/VR headwear, and fitness trackers that could fill warehouses, along with a bevy of new medical devices designed to keep tabs on health that are coming our way.