In the past year the wearable tech market has really exploded. From Bluetooth rings to Smart Eyelashes we’ve seen them all, but there’s nowhere it’s been more dominant than in the fitness category. To improve your heath and keep yourself accountable, you just can’t go wrong with a fitness band, and the latest band out of Garmin will track to improve your sleep and monitor your heart during fitness activities too. Garmin has entered the fitness ring with the Garmin vivofit, available now at Best Buy.
I have been using a Misfit Shine for the past three months. It uses a three-axis accelerometer to measure motion, and keep track of your daily physical activity. But key to the Shine is its mobile app. Shine only works with its own app for now, though the company is looking to open up its API. But that’s OK, because there’s a ton of coolness packed into the Shine app.
Smartwatches, augmented reality glasses, fitness trackers –any compact extension to your smartphone or tablet– is firmly in Google’s sights with the announcement of Android Wear. What is Android Wear? It’s a push to extend Android to those smartwatches and wearable devices, using a standard API and developer tools so Android apps for smartphones and tablets can be ported to, or seamlessly integrated with those wearables. Google is working with developers and hardware partners like Samsung, Fossil and LG on the Android Wear Initiative. And you’ll see two Android Wear-powered smartwatches at Best Buy Later this year: the Moto 360 and LG’s G Watch.
What is all the fuss about Spritz? If you were using a Spritz-enabled app, you would already have read to the end of this post and could tell us. But given that Spritz-enabled tech isn’t out there yet (it’s coming soon, though), here’s the scoop. Spritz is new speed reading technology that’s based on the theory that much of our time spent reading is wasted as our eyes move side to side. Display a word in one place, flash one word at a time and suddenly reading becomes much more efficient. Not only that, but by displaying just one word at a time, reading is suddenly possible on compact displays, like a smartphone or smartwatch. Being able to quickly (and painlessly) read e-mail, reports or even books on your Gear2 or Gear Neo suddenly makes the idea of wearable technology even more appealing.
Live from Barcelona, the Samsung #UNPACKED5 press conference was expected to and did reveal the new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Packed with features, the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5 also came with the reveal of a few new creative devices Samsung developed to pair with and expand on the capabilities of the newest smartphone, and all eyes were on the latest fitness tracker to hit the market – the Samsung Gear Fit.
Samsung got a head start on most of its consumer electronics rivals with the launch of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch in 2013. While the Galaxy Gear had many fans, it missed the mark in terms of mainstream acceptance. Samsung was obviously taking notes because when it announced the replacement —only five months after introducing the original— most of the issues noted with the Galaxy Gear had been addressed. A day before the start of the Mobile World Congress, Samsung unveiled a pair of new smartwatches: the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.
Though there are many activity and step counters available on the market, the Polar Loop is one of the few to be compatible with a heart rate monitor. I had the opportunity to test the Polar Loop with the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor and here’s what I thought: