The 10 Coolest Wearable Devices Of 2020 (So Far)
These devices range from stylish air filter masks with the ability to collect air pollution data to enterprise solutions designed to track body temperature and social distancing.
Wearables Market Continues To Grow — For Now
Even in the face of supply chain issues caused by COVID-19, sales for wearable devices were high in the first three months of the year as manufacturers continue to release a diverse array of products.
Research firm IDC reported in May that shipments of wearable devices grew 29.7 percent in the first quarter of 2020 over the same period last year, but the growth was more concentrated around wristbands and hearables while smart and basic watches saw declines.
While the longer-term economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the wearables market remains to be seen, IDC said the forced changes in work behavior actually boosted the hearables category.
“The hearables category was seemingly resilient to the market-suppressing forces caused by COVID-19,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement. ”Consumers were clamoring for these sophisticated earpieces not only for the ability to playback audio but also to help them increase productivity, as many of them were forced to work from home and sought ways to reduce surrounding noise while staying connected to their smartphones and smart assistants.”
With health experts recommending social distancing as one way to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, some manufacturers have even begun to make wearables to help employers enforce this.
What follows are the 10 coolest wearable devices of 2020 so far, ranging from a stylish air filter mask and sleep tracker to enterprise solutions for tracking body temperature and social distancing.
The Atmos Faceware is a stylish air filter mask that device maker Aō Air claims can provide up to 50 times better air quality than leading face masks available on the market. Thanks to the device‘s proprietary PositivAir system and multi-stage D’fend filtration, the Atmos Faceware does not require a seal to work, unlike other face masks. It also comes with the ability to provide users with real-time air pollution data as well as the ability to monitor and analyze the user’s breathing. The device will cost $350 when it becomes available in July.
The Beddr SleepTuner is a small wearable that aims to “treat the root causes of sleep issues“ by monitoring a variety of things, such as poor sleep hygiene, insomnia and sleep apnea. The device – which syncs with a smartphone app and affixes to the forehead – monitors overnight oxygen saturation and heart rate as well as sleep duration and the impact of sleep positions on breathing and oxygen levels. Weighing less than a nickel and measuring smaller than a stamp, the device is made to be worn comfortably on the forehead overnight. The device — which comes with a protective case, a quick start guide, 12 hypoallergenic adhesives and a USB-c charging cable — costs $149. Beddr also offers a four-week sleep coaching program using data from the app for $199.
The Kenzen Patch is wearable designed to monitor the body temperate of workers and prevent heat-related illnesses in high-temperature environments. The device is worn in a black arm band around the bicep, and beyond body temperature, it also tracks heart rate, sweat rate and physical activity. The device connects with the Kenzen Mobile App that provides real-time health reporting and alerts, but it also connects with the Kenzen Team Dashboard that allows supervisors, safety personnel and remote medical staff monitor the health of individuals. The data from the devices also feeds into Kenzen Safety Intelligence, an analytics dashboard that breaks down safety reports based on alerts and actions taken. The data in Kenzen Safety Intelligence is aggregated and anonymized and can be filtered by job site, location and other variables.
Kinexon Safezone is an enterprise wearable solution designed to help employees maintain a safe distance from each other to prevent disease spread in the same facility. The solution consists of a fleet of wristbands worn by employees, and the wristbands send an alert when an employee comes within a pre-defined proximity of a co-worker. If an employee is found to have a virus, the employer‘s HR director can match the worker’s real name with the pseudonym assigned to their wristband to identify any co-workers that may have encountered the infected employee for contact tracing. The wristbands only track proximity to other wristbands and not location, which, in addition to the use of pseudonyms for the wristbands, were designed to protect the privacy of employees.
Device maker Withings is pitching the ScanWatch as the “most advanced health wearable ever designed,” with the ability to detect both arrhythmia and sleep apnea. The device, which Withings says is clinically validated, can detect if the user has arrythmia or an otherwise irregular heartbeat through its embedded PPG sensor and then perform an electrocardiogram test on demand. The results can then be easily shared with a doctor or healthcare professional. The ScanWatch can also detect sleep apnea episodes with its blood oxygen. In addition, the device can monitor sleep and analyze sleep patterns, which can be used to inform the device‘s Smart Wake-Up alarm feature. The ScanWatch is set to launch this year, with the 38mm version expected to retail for $249 and the 42mm version expected to retail for $299 on Withings’ website and Amazon.
Sony Reon Pocket
Sony Reon Pocket is a handheld air conditioner that is meant to fit in the pocket below the back of the neck in a specially designed shirt that is sold with the device. Using the companion smartphone app, the Reon Pocket can lower the temperature by 23 degrees Fahrenheit on hot days and increase it by 14 degrees Fahrenheit on cold days. The device has a battery life of up to 90 minutes, and it can reach a full charge in roughly two hours. The Reon Pocket is currently only available in Japan for 13,000 Yen, which converts to roughly $121 in U.S. dollars.
Spacetalk Life is a smartwatch designed to help seniors stay connected with their loved ones. The smartwatch, made by Australian company MGM Wireless, comes with a built-in phone, SMS messaging, GPS and SOS alert button as well as features like location by request, medical reminders and safety callback so that seniors can remain independent and receive assistance when they need it. The smartwatch also includes a step counter and Bluetooth connectivity, which can be used to pair it with hearing devices. With an IP67 rating, the smartwatch is designed for water and dust resistance. The smartwatch is a 4G device and requires a SIM card as a result. It‘s set to launch in Australia this summer for $499 Australian dollars.
Welt Smart Belt Pro
Welt claims that its new Smart Belt Pro is the first wearable that can detect falls in advance by analyzing irregularities in the user‘s walking pattern. Thanks to a sensor at the center of the belt, it can assess the risk of the user falling in real time and send alerts to an app. The smart belt also comes with the ability to measure the waist and sitting time. In addition, it can monitor for overeating and step counting. The device is expected to start shipping later this year for the starting price of $395, depending on the belt’s leather type and buckle quality.
The Whistle Fit is essentially a Fitbit for your dog. Pitched as a preventative healthcare tool, the Whistle Fit attaches to the collar and monitors the dog‘s key health behaviors, food intake management and activity. Unlike the Whistle Go and Whistle Go Explore, the Whistle Fit doesn’t come with GPS location tracking. Instead, the new device measures things like calories burned, distance traveled and minutes active. With the Whistle Fit’s smartphone companion app, the dog’s owner can set recommended daily activity goals based on the dog’s breed, age and weight — and the app can send alerts, notifications and weekly wellness reports to keep owners apprised of potential health issues. The device will be available is available for $79.95, and it will require a paid yearly subscription that provides personalized health and fitness features as well as nutrition recommendations.
Wyze Band is an affordable fitness band from the maker of the Wyze Cam and other inexpensive smart home devices. At $24.99, the Band comes with an AMOLED color screen, a dual microphone array, 24/7 heart rate tracking and built-in Amazon Alexa voice communication. The Band can also control other Wyze devices, like Wyze Plug or Wyze Bulb, through its touch interface or Alexa voice command. In addition, it can connect with a smartphone to push app notifications and alerts. The layout, background and color of the Band‘s screen can also be customized. Lastly, it is 5ATM water resistant and has a battery that can last 10-14 days on a single charge.