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Wearable technology was out in force this month at a dedicated show in London – here are some of the most interesting items on display.
Open Bionics is a project to create a prosthetic arm with a robotic hand for under u00a31,000 – far less than the tens of thousands of pounds such limbs usually cost.
The crowd-funded project has produced a number of 3D-printed prototypes, which detect electromyographical signals – electrical pulses sent to muscles in the arm – allowing the user to control the hand.
Joel Gibbard, the Bristol-based roboticist behind the project, and his team are working on refining the capabilities and design of the arm and securing approval for its use by medical organisations.
Each arm can be shaped and designed to suit the needs of the user, as seen here with this dazzling prosthetic studded with Swarovksi crystals, made for YouTube star and actress Grace Mandeville.
Tracking at the speed of light
This sports top is designed to measure your movement without the need to strap on multiple gadgets.
The top is made from XelFlex, a fibre optic thread. Light can be pulsed through the fibres so an electronics pack can detect how the light is bent as the wearer moves, and then report back to a smartphone.
Designers Cambridge Consultants say the technology could be used for fitness and sports coaching, as well as to help with physiotherapy following an injury.
Muse is a brain-sensing headband that is billed as helping you improve your concentration and reduce stress.
The band detects electrical signals in the wearer’s brain and works with a smartphone app to give them feedback about how agitated their mind is.
Users can complete exercises to help them relax and focus their thoughts, with the goal of learning techniques to keep their mind settled and free from distractions.
The Basis Peak smartwatch provides sensors to measure heart rate and activity – both daily exercise and sleep patterns.
An Android and iPhone app allows users to chart their stats and progress towards daily and weekly goals, such as their target number of steps.
Since it is designed to be a sleep tracker battery life is important, and its makers claim it can last for four days.
Jawbone makes a series of wearables that track daily movements and sleep.
The UP series of trackers will feed data to a wide range of smartphone apps aimed at letting people monitor their health, as well as an official UP app for Android and iPhone handsets.
These earbuds will supposedly track your fitness without the need to charge an extra gadget.
Able to keep tabs on both your heartrate and activity, the BioSport headphones from SMS Audio sip the power they need from that provided by the audio jack.
Stats gathered by the buds can be tracked using the RunKeeper app.
Designed for the safety-concious cyclist, VisiJax Commuter jackets feature turn indicators on the sleeves and bright LEDs for visibility at night.
A phone on your wrist
Burg Wearables smartwatches can make phone calls without having to be connected to a phone, as they accept SIM cards.
However, the watches can also be tethered to Android handsets and iPhones via Bluetooth.
Models offer varying features, including music and video playback, a voice recorder and a step counter.
Half headphones, half necklace
Samsung’s Gear Circle are wireless Bluetooth headphones that try to offer more than your average buds.
The head gear includes a microphone to make calls, a vibrate function to signal incoming messages and a magnetic clasp that allows them to be worn as a necklace.
Samsung claims a battery life of nine hours.
Samsung Gear S
The Samsung Gear S smartwatch received a mixed review from TechRepublic’s sister site CNET.
The wrist-mounted display was praised for its big and bright display, decent battery life and built-in 3G or wi-fi connectivity.
However, less impressive was the need to pair it with a recent Samsung smartphone to install apps and the limited selection of software compared to Android Wear devices.