Wearable electronics

Many tech experts think that the next technology wave, beyond the smartphone will be the wearable device.  Fitness trackers have been around for a few years and have a reliable feature set. Smartwatches, running the Android or Apple operating systems have their early adopters, but sales have been less than stellar.  People complain about their bulk and limited feature set. They are often quite ugly. Wearables don’t have to come in an ugly watch form.  There are some interesting products that you can get right now, to participate in the wearable revolution.

Various kinds of products are available now. For instance you can get a smartwatch in the form of a designer watch. You can get nice smartwatches now from Fossil, Kate Spade, Michael Kors  and Skagen.  These come in styles for both men and women and would be highly appropriate with business attire.

If you are the DIY type, you may enjoy making your own wearables. You don’t have to reinvent the transistor to do so. Take a look at the offerings from Raspberry Pi or Arduino, makers of small computer boards for hobbyists and inventors.  Plans, components and software are available on their robust community sites.  Arduino has a specialized small computer board that is meant to be embedded in clothing. It can be gently hand washed in mild detergent. You can use it to light up LED lights or to power sensors. You could do fun projects like embedding LED turn indicators on the back of a biking jersey, to be seen better in traffic. Or you could embed a heartrate monitor into a workout shirt, to use with a fitness app.  You could even add electronics to a one piece swimsuit by Soft Surroundings to track swimming distance with GPS.

What to embed things into is a matter of taste. Let your imagination be your guide.

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