5 Wearables you need to know about before Black Friday
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Snapchat's Spectacles. Photo Credit: Snap Inc

Snapchat's Spectacles. Photo Credit: Snap Inc

Forget buying dad another tie, these are just some of the great wearable gadgets that have come out in 2016

Figuring out ways to merge ourselves with tech has long been the goal of plenty of gadget fans, and a fast growing reality with the advent of the Internet of Things and wearables.

These devices help collect potentially useful data about how much we exercise (or how much more we more we need to) , interact with those around us, or simply make us look way more fly than those other suckas around us, there is a lot going on in the wearable space that is worth checking out.

With companies like Studio XO which aim to capture teens interest with wear such as “The cap” (basically a simple head cap with imbedded adaptable screen) to Jacquard, a joint operation between Google and Levis that aims to change the way we wear things in a much broader sense. The list is vast and it is just getting bigger, so today we wanted to show you 5 cool wearable toys that were shiny enough to catch our eye.

With Black Friday just around the corner, maybe you’ll even find something for that hard to shop for but active geek in your life.

1. Shiftwear

Lately, there has been an emerging trend of shoe wearables. Most of the shoes I’ve seen have an OLED\LCD screen around and over the ankle of the shoe. This monitor allows, coupled with an accompanying app, to control the visuals that are shown on the shoe. Some manufactures allow for sound to be implemented into the behavior of the visuals selected, some promise vibrating GPS walking assistance, and there are even those that say it will work with VR equipment. I’m a skeptic, but I guess we’ll live and learn.

They ran an insanely successful Indiegogo campaign back a year ago, raising $927,077.

2. iBand+

Were you always fascinated by dreams as a child? If you are like me, you always wanted to understand dreams and seek out their meaning (I still do today), but remembering them is not always that easy. This little gadget allows you to maximize your lucid dream state by keeping tabs on your REM sleep.

The theory behind it sounds promising. The Dutch designed iBand+ monitors a range of physical attributes such as heart-rate, body movement, body temp, and more. Once the band detects you are entering REM sleep state, it plays auditory queues that help you “Snap” awake inside a dream and POOF! – instant lucid dream.

The team apparently tapped into an unconscious desire of more than a few folks out there, raising €644,249 out of the €50,000 asked during their Kickstarter campaign.

Honorable mention in this category goes to Kokoon.

3. Spectacles

Photo Credit: Snapchat

Photo Credit: Snapchat

Earlier this month, Snapchat launched their new head camera gear called Spectacles. Essentially sunglasses with a camera, it is nice to see someone other than Google trying to release a consumer-facing product like this. It seems Snapchat, now known as Snap Inc, has managed to create a somewhat more appealing design than that of Google Glass and I wonder how people will put the POV possibilities into good use. In the pre-selfie era of cameras everywhere, too many folks were creeped out with the idea of someone taking their picture in public. Now that the culture has shifted so radically, this one probably has a better chance of succeeding.

As a side note, they used an interesting marketing tactic in which they promised to sell these glasses from traveling vending machines across the US. Every time in a difference place and there is no itinerary – so no one knows where it will pop up next.

The cameras look cool and are apparently not easy to come by, so if one of you got your hands on one, please don’t hesitate to tell us all about it.

4. xMetrics

This is basically a Garmin running mate but for swimmers. It is designed to measure drag, speed, and all sorts of physical attributes a professional swimmer could want. xMetric will store all of your information and help you track it. It comes in two varieties, the xMetric PRO which is the flagship model and its twin sibling, the FIT.

The PRO, as you might have guessed, is geared up more towards the professional market, with emphasize on lap improvement and more competitive specs. The FIT is more focused on the personal improvement than the more competitive pro version.

5. Muse

A thin light headband that sits across your forehead and ends right behind your ears, the name La Forge comes to mind.

But instead of taking you on an adventure through outer space, this little piece of tech is geared towards more of an inner journey. It is meant to assist users in practicing meditation, taking them through breathing exercises. The idea behind it is that by monitoring your brain waves and detecting the good and bad wave states, it can give you auditory and visual cues so you can counteract your mood.

Honorable mention: Thync

Does the shoe fit

Even though I like my tech in the non-embedded variety, I for one am intrigued to see where this path may lead. 2017 is going to be a very interesting year for wearables and the number of new and emerging ideas are outstanding.

One thing that I wish to see more of is innovation coming from the medical industry, but I’m not holding my breath. If you have any noticeable wearables that you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear about the in the comments below.

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Eyal Plotkin

About Eyal Plotkin


An Israeli with a touch of anglo-saxon fever.
An avid bunny watcher, lover of side-scrollers and pixel art.
A known enjoyer of couches, point and click adventures, and dark chocolate.
And just so you’d know: the cake is a lie, a tasty tasty lie.

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