Wearable Technology: The Good, The Bad, The (Literally) Ugly
Wearable tech is now here...but are people really that into it?
If you look at almost any sci-fi film, you'll see instances in which people use wearable technology to do incredible things. Cyberpunk novels of the 80s and 90s lined the shelves, telling stories of people using their glasses to identify people and places around them.
But, it wasn't just a cyberpunk aspect by any means of the word. Every single 60s sci-fi spy film involved watchphones, and plenty of space travel novels had it, too. Heck, even Back To The Future II had instances of wearable tech.
And, now, in the 2010s, it's no longer just a matter of science fiction. It's reality, and there's a lot of wearable tech to choose from. Here are some of the best, the worst, and some of the downright bizarre wearables currently floating on the market.
Assuming that you aren't buying a poorly made "generic" smartwatch, having a smartwatch can be very handy. Along with being capable of making phone calls, surfing the net, and texting, smartwatches also can monitor heart rates and work as fitness counters.
These watches are stylish enough to wear without cringing - and they are pretty useful backups for moments where your phone dies. Whether it's from Samsung or Apple doesn't matter. What matters is that it does a lot of stuff and doesn't look terrible.
Considered to be one of the biggest flops of wearable tech history is the nightmare known as Google Glass. These smart glasses have repeatedly come under fire for being just a little bit too intrusive on a person's daily life. Having been called "Orwellian" in nature, these $750 glasses might be too nosy for most peoples' liking.
That being said, they still have a hard time selling because of how privacy-infringing they seem to be.
This is a wearable tech product that is almost exclusively found in off-brand markets, and for good reason. Most people who buy brand name merchandise wouldn't be caught dead in them because they typically look like tacky 90s shades with clunky gadgets glued to them.
To make matters worse, the sound quality is terrible and there's virtually no storage space in them. Oh, and trying to switch from song to song will almost always be a nightmare that involves you looking like your poking your head.
Did we mention how awful they look?
If you have a cherished watch you own, but still want to keep an eye on your activity, sleep, and general day-to-day fitness efforts, having a wearble fitness tracker is a good way to do it.
Brands like FitBit have been producing smart fitness bands that allow you to download your data, get personalized fitness advice, and even compare your results with others via a FitBit app.
So, they can help you lose weight while looking good on your arm. Not too shabby, all things considered.
At face value, the Mimo baby monitor sounds like a great idea. It's a wearable onesie that allows parents to monitor their babies for signs of distress. It sounds great, right?
Well, it would be if it wasn't so anxiety-inducing. There are a lot of moms out there who get terrified of the possibility of having anything happen to their baby - and this device could probably cause panic attacks in some of them. Besides, it's setting a precedent for helicopter parenting, and that's just not cool.
The Ugly: Ripple
Are you devastatingly socially awkward and unable to pick up on when people are hitting on you? Do you have an innate fetish for tentacle plants and have no issue trying to pull off cosplay as part of your daily wear? Well, if that's the case, then you need to check out Ripple!
This weird-as-sin tentacle harness can tell you when people are flirting with you by having the tendrils flail around! Nothing about this could possibly be too freaky to actually make people want to go near you! And, it's not like it basically signals that you're socially and fashionably inept! Nope!
The Good: Ringly
If you're a girl, you've probably had one moment where you have had difficulties matching accessories to your outfit. Ringly changes the game by being a ring that allows you to change it's "gemstone" via apps on your phone.
But, it's more than just a fashion statement. Ringly also can interact with your physique to tell you your regular activities, can send out vibrating alerts, and also can help you be more productive.
Along with these functions, the folks at Ringly are working on making rings that interact with smarthome tech as well as rings that can offer instant payment access.
The Bad: Elf Emmit
This weird device wraps around the back of your head and is supposed to help you "improve focus, relaxation, and productivity" by zapping you with small electromagnetic pulses to your brain. Sounds good...aside from the electroshock components, right?
Well, not quite. Those who tested the device found a slew of problems with it, and worse, there's no evidence that the Elf Emmit actually does what it says it will. Oh, and the app associated with it crashed pretty regularly. Enjoy.
The Ugly: The Sony B-Smart Trainer
In theory, this wearable tech piece is a great idea. It helps you get fitter, reach your goals, plays music, and even has voice coaching. But, the problem with this is that the B-Smart looks pretty stupid...and kind of resembles a hearing aid. (Ouch.)