How to Turn Your Body Into a Computer (Sort Of)
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A wave of companies, many of them start-ups, is creating wearable electronic tracking devices for nearly every part of the human body, from brainwave-monitoring headbands to smart socks. Retail revenue from wearable technology is predicted to reach $19 billion by 2018, according to a new study from Juniper Research. Here’s a look at the products already on the market as well as a few of the items launching in the next year.
Sigmo's language translator clips to a lapel and translates speech into 25 languages ($64, early 2014, buysigmo.com).
The Nike+ Fuelband SE tracks exercise intensity against a preprogrammed goal ($149, nike.com).
InteraXon’s Muse measures brainwaves and lets users control games with their minds ($269, interaxon.ca).
Bodymedia’s Wireless LINK armband tracks physical activity, calories burned, and sleep quality ($119, bodymedia.com).
GoPro’s Hero3+ records video and can be mounted on a helmet or a user’s chest. It’s also waterproof ($400, gopro.com).
Emotiv’s Insight tracks brainwaves and lets users control games telepathically ($229, spring 2014, emotivinsight.com).
Misfit’s Shine monitors activity--and can fit into a necklace or a bracelet or clip onto a shirt ($120, misfitwearables.com).
Under Armour’s Armour39 chest strap keeps tabs on heart rate, respiration, and calories burned. Plus, it wicks away sweat ($150, underarmour.com).
Lark Technologies’ Larklife tracks exercise, calories, and sleep quality. Plus, it gently vibrates to wake users up ($150, lark.com).
Jawbone’s Up tracks sleep, activity, and calories. It sends an “idle alert” for too much time spent on the couch ($130, jawbone.com).
Recon Instruments’s Jet is like Google Glass for athletes. It has a camera and tracks and displays a user’s speed ($599, spring 2014, reconinstruments.com).
The Nike+ iPod sensor fits into Nike+ sneakers to track a runner’s pace ($19, nike.com).
Withings’s Pulse clips to a lapel to track a user’s heart rate and physical activity ($100, withings.com).
Heapsylon’s Sensoria Smart Socks use textile sensors and a Bluetooth anklet (shown) to track speed and cadence ($149, spring 2014, sensoriafitness.com).
LumoBack’s posture belt vibrates when users start to slouch. It also tracks activity and sleep ($150, lumoback.com).
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear notifies users of incoming calls and emails. Also includes a speakerphone, voice recognition, and a built-in camera ($299, samsung.com).
OMsignal's smart shirt contains textile-based sensors that track heart rate, breathing, and activity (no price or release date yet, omsignal.com
Kapture's Klip records audio constantly. Users press a button to save the previous 60 seconds of conversation ($75, spring 2014, kaptureaudio.com).