They were all the rage this year at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas: wearables! Smart clothes, smart socks and even smart cuffs were all on display at the world-leading tech fair.
Rapper Will.i.am introduced his own Puls wearable device. Describing it as a "fashion first computer on the wrist that pulls inspiration from classic Chanel, Fendi and Gucci bracelets", the entertainer and entrepreneur claims his new gadget boasts all the abilities of a smart phone.
“So, the Puls is a stand-alone non-tethered device that has GPS, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth. It comes with a Sim card. It has the same type of technology that you would carry in your hand on a smartphone,” he said.
There were also Sensoria's smart socks. Sensors on the bottom of each sock detect foot pressure and relay the data to a smart anklet device. The information is then sent to a smart phone app, which allows users to tailor their goals and track their progress, such as select the desired heart rate zone for different training sessions.
“I can let a runner know not just how far and how fast he’s running but also how well he’s running,” said Sensoria CEO Davide Vigano.
And British company Open Bionics showed off its low-cost robotic prosthetic hand that offers advanced functionality for a fraction of the cost of traditional prosthetics thanks to 3D printing.
“It uses signals – these are electromyographical signals – that detect muscle activity. Despite missing a hand, an amputee still has muscles in his forearm that he can flex and extend. So we have two channels (he demonstrates) – if I flex my muscles the hand will close, extend them and it will open,” said Open Bionics founder Joel Gibbard.