Wearable gadgets trend at top technology showcase

A man tries out the Sony B Trainer Headset at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Smart clothing to monitor vital signs, smartwatches to summon the car, and a headset that talks to you as you exercise are just some of the examples of new wearable technology at CES this year.

Visitors to the technology trade show in Las Vegas, were greeted by new levels of intelligent tech to put on your wrists and body.

One of the shows biggest attendees, Sony, unveiled the Smart B Trainer headset, which though still in prototype, has some interesting ideas.

The idea of the device is that while operating as a music player for your runs, as well as a heart rate monitor and stat tracker, the device will coach you using voice directions linked to your exercise plan — telling you to speed up or slow down.

Sony also say that B Trainer will use music to help you with speed changes, offering up music that suits what it wants you to do.

Wearables based on exercise tracking are definitely trending at this year’s CES, with French company Cityzen Sciences already picking up two CES Innovation awards for their D-Shirt and Cycling Shorts smart clothing.

“Our technology for smart fabrics allows seamless integration of multiple sensors and opens new horizons to capture and measure data,” a Cityzen spokesman said.

The clothing they make is smart because it contains a range of sensors that can be used to track speed as well as distance and elevation. Heart rate is also monitored, and in the cycling shorts pedalling frequency and time out of the saddle is also tracked.

This data can then be accessed via an app that works with both Android and iOS devices, so users will be able to track their exercise.

Cityzen said they already have a partnership in place for the shorts to be used at this year’s Tour de France.

“We have the best integrated technology to embed sensors within textiles. Our architecture lets you leverage the power of textiles as a platform: the right sensors at the right locations.”

For consumers the D Shirt and Cycling Shorts catch the eye because they are both machine washable and contain no wires.

BMW are making a greater effort to embrace wearables too, with a demonstration in the CES car park of their experimental automated valet parking service — where your car will drive itself to you with a tap of a Samsung smartwatch and the command “BMW, pick me up”. The technology also means the car can park itself.

This year’s International CES will see more than 20,000 new products introduced over the course of the week.


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