From tracking vitals to helping you stay fit, physically and mentally, wearables are now a whole new ballgame altogether. While smartwatches and smartbands are still the most preferred, a number of innovative ones are making their presence felt
Apple Watch Series 6
Price: Rs 40,990 Onwards
Apple launched the Watch Series 6 in September last year, right in the middle of the pandemic. Besides tracking workouts and keeping an eye on your heart rate, it also measures your oxygen levels via an all-new sensor and Blood Oxygen app, and checks your heart rhythm with its ECG app. The Blood Oxygen app can take on-demand as well as background SpO2 readings. The four-lead ECG app can measure atrial fibrillation - a serious irregular heart rhythm. There's also the Breathe app that sets breathing sessions (theres an animation on the watch face, you inhale when it grows and exhale when it shrinks), and a new Sleep feature that helps establish a regular sleep routine (monitors sleeping time, night-time disturbances etc). It, however, does not automatically track the sleep cycle.
Price: Rs 2,499
This is a smart fitness band that records essential vitals and helps you stay fit. It measures both SpO2 and heart rate. But unlike Apple, sleep tracking kicks in automatically and the sessions are divided into deep sleep, light sleep and wake time. Among daily activities, tracking step-count is the easiest. In addition, the band tracks 13 other activities, including outdoor run, indoor run, fat burn run, outdoor walk, outdoor cycling and indoor cycling, among others.
Price: Rs 5,359
This is a small wearable designed by Bengaluru-based wellness start-up Dipitr to help you correct your posture. It is attached to the back using supplied magnets (on the shirt) or adhesive tapes (pasted on the back), and gives vibration alerts every time you slouch. It also has a coach mode that helps in improving your sitting posture through small sessions. All the data - straight minutes, number of slouches etc - is accessible within the app. The data is categorised on an hourly and weekly basis. Measuring 47x31x9mm, it has an LED indicator and a multi-purpose button at the front.
A brain-sensing headband, Muse S is designed to help you meditate and monitor pre-sleep activity. It has a few sensors onboard, including EEG (to monitor brain activity), PPG (to monitor the heart rate), Pulse Oximeter (to detect oxygen levels), and Accelerometer and Gyroscope (to detect movement). A combination of these helps the device track your sleep, mind, heart, body and breath. It translates mental activities into guiding sounds to help you stay calm and focused. There are different types of meditation sessions to choose from and different soundscapes for each. Each session is accompanied by guidance and sounds, and at the end there's a report on how calm you were.
Samsung Buds Pro
Price: Rs 15,990
Other than answering calls and listening to music, Samsung Buds Pro has a feature that enhances ambient sound. Besides keeping you aware of when the other person is talking and suppressing the surrounding noise (the intelligent active noise cancellation mode), the Ambient Sound feature can help those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss to hear surrounding sounds more clearly. It uses algorithms to raise the environment volume for better hearing. Nearby sounds are amplified by up to 20 decibels and, with four levels to choose from, users can adjust and customise how they experience sound according to their needs.
Bose Frames Tempo
Price: Rs 21,900
Bose Frames Tempo is a combination of sunglass and headphones. However, these are not traditional earplugs. Instead, they come with integrated speakers to "beam" sound into your ears. The right temple houses the touch interface for volume control. You can slide your finger forward and back to adjust the volume up and down. It supports Bluetooth advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP) and Bluetooth hands-free profile (HFP) for phone calls. The sunglass is water-resistant with 99 per cent UVA/UVB protection.
Price: $249 Onwards
Nadi X from fashion tech company Wearable X is a smart pant that can sense when your yoga pose needs refining. Using a series of sensors, the leggings track your movements and create small vibrations in the body part that needs correct posturing using haptic feedback. Instructions on optimising each pose are available on the connected Nadi X app on both Apple and Android devices.
Eye on the Future
Any computing device which we wear, be it a supplement or a standard one, can be classified under the category of wearables. According to Counterpoint Research, the global wearables market is expected to grow from $55 billion in 2020 to $150 billion in 2050. Dominated by smartbands and smartwatches, the Indian market is set to hit $4 billion per annum by 2025.
"While the market would be dominated by wrist wearables, we will also see emergence of new type of wearables, from affordable tattoo, smart nail paint, smart connected clothing to immersive eyewear based on Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality technologies across enterprises as well as home for content consumption and creation. Eyewear such as smart glasses and smart lenses will drive majority of the wearables growth for the next decade," says Neil Shah, Vice president, Research, Counterpoint Research.
Mojo Lens, for instance, uses microelectronics and a tiny display. It shows data on the display through the use of AR. Applications like Google's Smart Contact Lens project, which aims to assist people with diabetes by measuring the glucose levels in their tears, will be launched more frequently. New smart prosthetics and robotic limbs, currently under research and development, will also hit the market. Going forward, prosthetics will become more intuitive and will respond to nervous systems or brain signals.