With Google’s big Android Wear update delayed and few new smartwatches from major manufacturers, this year’s CES was set up to be a boring year for wearables.
But despite the poor showing from the major players, the show floor didn’t disappoint when it came to the wacky, weird and in some cases kind of genius wearables.
From bracelets that tell you how drunk you are to a wearable subwoofer, here’s a look at the most bizarre wearables we saw at CES this year.
The Gemio Band, a customizable bracelet with a variety of bright LED lighting effects, lets you connect with other users and send them secret messages. It also offers a way for brands and entertainers to connect to their fans and customers; for example, Lady Gaga could send fans a unique light pattern that they can activate at her show. The Gemio Band, company CEO Michael Bettua tells us, will be followed up with the Emoji Bracelet, which will allow users to send one another emoji thatll show up on their wrists.
What if you could use your finger to make a phone call? That’s the premise of SGNL, a watchband accessory from Innomdle Lab that allows you to hear phone calls when you press your finger to your ear. The band pairs to your phone with Bluetooth and uses bone conduction (similar to that used in headphones like Aftershokz) to transmit sound from your watch through your hand via vibrations. The catch? You have to pinch your ear closed to hear anything, which is not exactly comfortable. Originally launched on Kickstarter, SGNL is available for pre-order now for $149 on Indiegogo. The company says it expects to begin shipping in March.
It may look like a standard fitness tracker but Proof is actually keeping tabs on an entirely different metric: how drunk you are. More precisely, the band uses a special sensor that the company says is able to track the wearer’s blood alcohol level. The accompanying app tracks your current BAC and also predicts what your levels will be in the future. You can even set custom alerts to let you know when you reach a certain level. Proof will cost between $100 to $150 and is slated to be available for pre-order later this year during the company’s planned crowdfunding campaign.
As its name suggests, the Basslet is meant to help you really feel the music you’re listening too. The bracelet, which has no display of its own, connects to your phone via a special dongle that plugs into the headphone jack (or headphone jack adapter) of your phone. Once connected, it will vibrate in tune with the music you’re listening to sort of like a wearable subwoofer. It’s scheduled to go on sale next month for $199.
The Power Watch aims to solve one of the most annoying parts of most wearables: their poor battery life. Instead of a typical battery you need to recharge each day, the Power Watch generates power from the wearer’s own body heat. It also comes with its own app, which tracks how much heat you’re creating and what your charging status is. The watch also tracks fitness stats like steps and how many calories you’re burning. It’s set to ship to crowdfunding backers this summer.
Athlete Recovery Pajamas
Okay, there are no sensors, Bluetooth, or app for Under Armour’s new line of “Recovery Sleepwear” but the company says its new PJs are high-tech nonetheless. The clothes are made of special material that takes advantage of something called bio-ceramics, which the company says helps improve blood flow and reduce inflammation in athletes so they sleep better and recover faster. The benefits will cost you though, starting at $80 each for the shorts and T-shirts and $100 each for the pants and long-sleeve shirts.
Additional reporting by Stan Schroeder and Brian Koerber.