I remember the days in junior high school when I donned a calculator watch. It wasn't the coolest device, but it served a purpose that went well beyond telling time. That nerdy watch was perhaps the first consumer "wearable." Wearables are clothing or accessories that incorporate technology, and they are hot right now. How hot? Smoking hot. Products like Google Glass, Fitbit, Pebble, and the Apple Watch – none of which was on the market five years ago – are now all the rage. One clear area where the intersection of fashion and technology matters: fitness. Nearly all wearables have a fitness focus, and many have primarily health-centric benefits.
One of the most interesting wearables that is in development is a new tech-enabled earring -- yes, the little piece of jewelry that attaches to an ear lobe. Canadian startup BioSensive Technologies is raising money through its Kickstarter crowd-funding efforts to support the Ear-o-Smart, the first smart earring.
According to the company's Kickstarter page, the Ear-o-Smart "allows you to monitor a wide range of fitness data such as heart rate, calories, and activity level." Sounds a bit like the wrist-based fitness trackers, huh? So why all the fuss over an ear monitor? The manufacturer contends that when sensors are on an ear lobe they provide better contact with the skin compared with wrist-based monitors like the Fitbit and smart watches.
Isabelle Olsson, the lead designer for Google Glass, says, "The biggest challenge [is making] something people want to wear, and [creating] something that people can really make their own." To respond to this desire for unique wearables, the Ear-o-Smart creators are enabling customers to make customized earrings that fit their individual styles and needs.
No matter if and when the Ear-o-Smart hits the market, it's clear that wearables are more than a fleeting trend. As the Apple Watch hits stores early next year, there's no doubt that many of us and our friends will turn in our analog watches for ultra-digital ones. And, who knows, if Google can make Google Glass available for less than $1,500, the product may become more than an overpriced novelty.
I hope you enjoyed learning about a fun, new wearable. We'd love to hear from you. What body part do you think is ideal for wearable technology? Comment on our Facebook page at facebook.com/flytefitness or tweet us at @flytefitness.
Be Flyte Fit,
Co-Founder & CEO