The 10 Coolest Wearable Tech Gadgets Of 2018

Wearables Growth To Soar Again In 2019

It wasn't exactly a banner year for wearables in 2018, at least sales growth-wise, but that's expected to change as wearables increase in complexity and support more use cases over time.

In September, IDC projected that 2018 will mark the first year that annual wearables growth will slip to single digits for the first time, only increasing 6.2 percent to 122.6 million from the previous year. However, the research firm said double-digit growth will return next year as the wearable experience improves, with smart clothing and earwear expected to see the largest annual growth rates.

"The wearables of tomorrow will play a more prominent role in communication, digital health care, home IoT, and enterprise productivity that will make last year's wearables look quaint," IDC researcher Ramon T. Llamas said in a statement.

CRN looked at the 10 coolest wearable tech gadgets of 2018, many of which eschew the standard smartwatch mold that dominates the market right now.

Aira Horizon

Aira's Horizon smart glasses are part of a system designed to help people who are blind or visually impaired navigate the world. The Horizon's 120-degree, high-quality video camera feed allows live human agents to provide visual assistance to users, whether it's navigating a mall, looking for an item at home or reading a sign. The system also comes with the Horizon smartphone, which includes the Chloe virtual assistant that can read any text using the phone's camera.

Coros Linx

The Coros Linx is a smart cycling helmet that immediately alerts a rider's emergency contacts if a fall is detected. The helmet comes with open-ear bone conduction audio, which allows riders to listen to music and talk on the phone while also hearing their surroundings. The water-resistant helmet also comes with a smart remote that controls music playback and can answer incoming phone calls.

Focals by North

Focals is a chic brand of smart glasses made by North, an Ontario-based company formerly known as Thalmic Labs. The stylish glasses come with a unique augmented reality display that allows you to message with friends, access navigation assistance, talk to Amazon's Alexa for information and browse calendar and weather information, which can be controlled with a small, ring-like joystick. The company customizes the lenses for each pair of Focals.

Motiv Ring

The Motiv Ring is a smart ring that tracks heart rate, sleep and fitness activity in a waterproof, titanium form factor. Thanks to the ring's three-day battery life and on-board memory, users can ditch their phones for that period before having to sync activity with the ring's app. The ring is designed for maximum comfort, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Skagen Falster 2

Skagen's Falster 2 is a fashionable smart watch powered by Google's Wear OS that comes with heart rate and activity tracking. You can also talk to it and make digital payments, thanks to Google Assistant and Google Pay, respectively. If you forget to take it off for your daily swim, don't sweat it as the watch is "swim-proof."

Snapchat Spectacles

Snapchat Spectacles are back with a second iteration that is less bulky and allows you to take photos in addition to videos. The social media company's Spectacles V2 are also water-resistant and support prescription lenses, unlike the first edition. In addition, the new glasses make it easier to sync photos and videos with Snapchat's app with a battery that lasts over a week.

Solos Smart Glasses

The Solos Smart Glasses are designed for hardcore cyclists who want to take their training to the next level. With a high-resolution heads-up display that displays performance information, the glasses syncs with a smartphone app that tracks rides, provides real-time "ghost" feedback, displays performance statistics and allows for data sharing. The glasses' heads-up display can also provide real-time coaching prompts over audio and display navigation routes.

Sony Xperia Ear Duo

Sony's Xperia Ear Duo is not your ordinary pair of earbuds. The stereo headset allows you to listen to music and make phone calls while also letting you hear your surroundings thanks to its spatial acoustic conductor technology. The wearable also comes with voice recognition, allowing you to communicate with Google Assistant and Apple's Siri. In addition, the Xperia Ear Duo comes with its own personal assistant features, alerting your about upcoming events and incoming messages.

Spire Health Tag

The Spire Health Tag is unlike most wearables in that you need to attach it to your undergarments or pajamas to get the best use out of it. The tiny, discrete wearable comes with a breathing/thoracic excursion sensor, a three-axis accelerometer and a heart rate sensor that tracks fitness activity, calmness, focus, tension and sleep quality. When synced with Spire's companion iOS app, it displays your historical data and provides recommendations on how to improve your well being.

Willow Smart Breast Pump

Willow aims to make breast pumping easier and more discrete with a hands-free wearable that fits underneath the bra and has no cords or dangling bottles. The device syncs with Willow's companion app that tracks milk volume, pumping time and past pumping sessions.