When the average consumer thinks of wearable technology, smartwatches and Google Glass are about the only things that come to mind. Take a walk through the annual Consumer Electronics Show each January or cruise popular tech industry websites, and you'll learn that wearable technology is expanding beyond watches and glasses.
Everything from smartsocks, smart beds, and advanced motorcycle helmets are arriving on the market, making the following companies some of the most exciting, and promising, wearable startups in the industry right now.
Based in Austin, Texas, Atlas Wearables takes fitness tracking to a whole new level. The average smartwatch or FitBit can track your steps, heart rate, and calories burned, but can any of those determine exactly what kind of exercise you're doing, if you're using proper form, and what steps you can take to improve your workout?
Atlas Wearables not only offers all of that functionality, it is also working on a new technology under the Motion Genome Project that will potentially identify every possible workout you could do. As an example, VentureBeat highlights that Atlas Wearables may even be capable of "tracking a police officer's activity down to identifying when they shoot a gun."
Parents in 2016 have tech toys at their disposal that even their parents couldn't possibly imagine, not to mention their grandparents. Wi-Fi cameras are increasingly popular among parents that want to keep an eye on baby without having to barge into the room and turning on the lights. Allb takes it a step further with a new wearable that is considered a "smart babysitter."
To be clear, this doesn't replace physical oversight of a baby. Allb is a clip on the waistband of a diaper or baby trousers that monitors skin temperature, sleep patterns, and respiratory rates for sleeping infants. The Allb clip is capable of sending alarms and alerts to the parent's smartphone if necessary. Allb is currently running a Kickstarter campaign looking to raise money to take its product to the larger market.
Wearable has great insight into the advancement in just a short period of time by Hexoskin. The company wants to change the way that runners, cyclers, and other fitness enthusiasts track their physical fitness and output while working out. Rather than entrusting a smartwatch linked to a heartrate monitor, Hexoskin introduced the Hexoskin Smart Shirt.
The shirt is filled with sensors that track everything from heart rate to movement, and it now features a Bluetooth Smart sensor that allows you to pair the shirt's data-collection ability with your preferred fitness app. It currently works with MapMyRun, RunKeeper, and Strava. Sensors in the shirt itself connect to a module that you keep in your pocket, which collects the data from your workout and allows you to sync with your favorite fitness app later.
Last but not least, how about something for the safety enthusiast? Skully has introduced what it considers the "world's smartest helmet." The first offering, the Skully AR-1 is similar to Google Glass, but is integrated in the visor of a motorcycle helmet. It is capable of displaying key journey data and notifications for riders so they don't have to take their eyes off the road while driving.
These are just four examples of promising wearable technology startups. Advancing technology and outside-the-box thinking are bringing exciting new creations to consumers, whether you are a fitness buff or a concerned parent.