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As tech becomes ubiquitous, it will come into our daily lives in some unusual ways. Here are 12 uncommon spots to find emerging tech.
Wearables take a new step, moving from smartwatches to full-blown smart clothes. One option, the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket, is designed for commuters and built with Google. The jacket allows the wearer to send commands to their smartphone through different motions performed on a patch of fabric on their left wrist.
Another trend building off of more traditional wearables is smart jewelry. While offering similar features to exercise trackers and smartwatches, tech companies are beginning to partner with designers to create prettier pieces. Wisewear smart bracelets, which include notifications and activity tracking, come in three metallic shades and range from $295-345.
3. Prescription medicine
Earlier in November, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first digital pill, which can tell doctors if and when a patient is taking their medication. While critics are worried about the increase of “big brother,” the approval could signal an increase in tech on the consumer side of pharmaceuticals.
In the first approval, test patients wore a patch by Proteus Digital Health that connected to a smartphone app to track the time patients took the medicine. The data can be shared with a doctor and up to four other people.
4. Wall art
TVs are common on the walls of consumers and businesses alike, so smart wall art may also become the norm. Some TVs, like the Samsung Frame TV, can be used to display digital art or watch Netflix at the flip of a switch. One hangs on the wall in the home office of CNET’s Smart Apartment in Louisville, allowing a user to change the TV’s function depending on how they’re using the office that day.
5. During your meditation routine
Need some calm? Tech can help with that.
Muse, a wearable equipped with EEG technology, monitors brain activity during your meditation routine, playing sounds depending on how much activity it senses. By hearing different sounds, users learn when they’re properly meditating and not letting their mind wander, the company claims. The headset costs $249.
6. Pain relief
Think of the Oska Pulse as a high-tech Icy Hot patch, designed to treat pain ranging from minor to chronic. The $399 device is small, portable, and ergonomically designed to fit anywhere on your body to combat aches. While users can use it after exercising, business users can help decrease minor pains during the work day to help them focus better.
7. Home security
Instead of using old-school cameras to safeguard your home or business, emerging tech gives new ways to monitor building security. One option, Aura, looks at movement-caused disruption of wireless signals and alerts users about motion. Users can view alerts and recent movements via the Aura smartphone app.
The latest version, starting at $199, includes integrations with digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, along with pet learning technology.
8. Your thermometer
Fever-caused sick days can be better tracked with a new tech-driven thermometer called TempTraq. The Bluetooth patch monitors body temperature for 48 hours, sending real-time data to a smartphone app. The app allows users to track multiple patches at once, as well as send information to a doctor. The patch can be used for all ages.
9. Finding a doctor
Finding a doctor can be tough, so one startup is expanding the number of doctors available to you by using video chat, enabling both sides to work remotely. With Harvey Health, users schedule an hour-long video consultation with a licensed doctor. Based on the chat, the company sends the user a customized lab kit to collect samples relevant to the patient’s concerns. A second video chat gives the user the doctor’s recommendations to treat the problem.
Harvey Health focuses on naturopathic doctors currently, but similar ventures could expand the market to other types of medicine.
10. Your pillow
The ZEEQ Smart Pillow does a little bit of everything: It analyzes your sleep quality using motion tracking, plays sleep sounds, and offers an alarm. The IFTTT smart home compatible pillow also claims it can help you stop snoring.
The Traeger Timberline Grill uses wireless control options to help the grillmaster change the temperature and cook time from their phone. The grill itself features a built-in probe to check the internal temperature of food and custom cook cycles. Using simple dials on the grill or a smartphone app may be able to help anyone become a grillmaster.
12. Fidget spinners
It was only a matter of time before 2017’s biggest toy fad got a tech boost. The $40 FidgetlyCTRL is the first Bluetooth-connected spinner, tracking spin statistics and acting as a gaming controller for multiple mobile games. To play the associated games, users hold a smartphone in one hand and the Fidgetly in the other, spinning it to direct the game.