Mobility

Wearable tech: Get the skinny in this two-minute video

Learn more about wearable tech as Senior Editor Teena Hammond talks about Google Glass, Recon Snow and other products in TechRepublic's Two Minute Drill.

Nearly everyone has heard about wearables by now. And for those who haven't, it's not referring to clothing. Although there is a fashion element to wearable tech.

The idea of wearable technology has been floating around for more than 20 years, but it's only now that we're seeing a plethora of these devices on the market. The interest in the devices is why Google has spent a small fortune on Google Glass and Samsung has produced a companion watch for its smartphones.

Low-tech and high-tech

On the low-tech side of wearables is one of the pioneers in wearable tech, Gunnar Advanced Gaming Eyewear. This eyewear came out in 2008 and was designed to reduce eye fatigue for gamers. A new version has come out to target anyone who uses a device with a screen.

Eyewear is a strong category for wearables, as evidenced by the buzz surrounding last April's debut of the Explorer edition of Google Glass.

google glass 1.jpeg
Google Glass

Wearing Google Glass is like having a miniature computer screen in the upper right corner of your vision at all times. It might look a little nerdy, but it's hip nerdy, so that makes it okay. And that's the fashion element. People like the idea of wearable tech, but they don't want to look ridiculous.

Where to wear a wearable

The wrist is a popular place for wearables, with 28 percent of adults in a Forrester survey saying that they wanted to wear a sensor device on their wrist, as opposed to having it elsewhere. Surprisingly, considering the interest in Google Glass, only 12 percent said they'd want to wear a pair of glasses.

One wrist wearable is the Pebble Smartwatch, which debuted last year after a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. It connects to your smartphone through Bluetooth.

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Recon Jet for cyclists
 Photo: Recon

The fitness industry is a strong player in the wearables market, with everything from Recon Instruments' Snow, for skiers and snowboarders, to the upcoming Recon Jet for cyclists. Nike's Fuelband SE has been a strong contender in the fitness market in colors that appeal to men and women.

Multiple applications

Whatever you choose to wear, know that there are both consumer and business applications for wearables. Some are standalone gadgets, and some link to another device such as a smartphone or tablet.

And if you don't see any wearables on the market that appeal at the moment, just wait. Another will surely be debuting soon.

About

Teena Hammond is a Senior Editor at TechRepublic. She has 20 years of journalism experience as an editor and writer covering a range of business and lifestyle topics. More than 2,000 of her published articles have appeared online and in books, newspa...

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