The Coolest Wearables For 2016
The Apple Watch? The FitBit? Those are so 2015.
Sure, the Apple watch may have been the most anticipated wearable released last year, and the Fitbit was the biggest seller of 2015. Both will release modifications or new models this year, including stress and blood pressure sensors for the FitBit, and the Apple watch 2 expected to have better navigation features and be able to connect to the iPhone. Lots of smart watches and fitness trackers will also be released this year by a huge number of manufacturers.
But there are some much cooler wearables which should be coming in 2016 (or the way the industry has been working, announced for 2016 and then delayed until 2017). Here are just a few.
We’ve been hearing and hearing and hearing about them – but this is finally the year that virtual reality headsets hit the market in big numbers. Sony’s PlayStation VR (until recently, only known as Project Morpheus) is expected in the next few months, and it will include full HD on a 5.7-inch display with a 100° field of vision. It’s also built to support reduced latency and a 120Hz refresh rate for games which are supposedly on the way and will run as smooth as butter. It looks seriously cool, too.
Meanwhile, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive finally launch this spring. The Rift looks clunky (to our eyes, at least) and the Vive just looks weird. But the Vive will let you move all around a room while wearing it (thanks to lasers which mount on the walls), and the Rift promises to deliver the most complete VR experience of the three, even though you”ll need to couple each of them with a powerful PC.
The actual wearable which will be needed for the upcoming Magic Leap hasn’t been unveiled yet, and it’s not definite that it will be released in 2016. Whatever and whenever it is, though, we want it. Somewhat similar to Microsoft’s "augmented reality" HoloLens expected in 2017, Magic Leap will be even more of a mind-blower. It uses a headset somewhat like those for VR, but it actually superimposes computer-generated, "movie-like" 3D images on your field of vision. For example, you can be trying to solve a mystery with two virtual partners who are each sitting on a couch in your living room with you.
The technology works by projecting the virtual images onto your retina, so your brain sees them in the same way it "sees" everything else in your field of vision. And the developers say it will be much more realistic than HoloLens. There’s speculation that the wearable will be something like Google Glass, and the company has already set up its manufacturing facility in Florida – so we’ll get our eyes ready and keep our calendar clear.
You may be familiar with Chaotic Moon, which has created all sorts of goofy tech products that never really become huge, like interactive palm trees and last year’s FitCoin app that pays you in Bitcoin to work out. Their newest brainstorm, though, could be enormous: biowearables.
They are also called biotech tattoos, and are made of tiny electronic components and electroconducive paint which stick to the skin in the same way that temporary tattoos do. They’ll act like a FitBit to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate, for example, but you won’t have to worry about putting on or taking off a wearable – it will be "on you" for the long-term. The company hopes to eventually use the technology for many more purposes, including tracking your kids in case they get lost at the mall, or even as a digital wallet. The tats are in beta right now, so you have plenty of time to pick out the right spot on your arm (or elsewhere) before they’re released.