Top 10 pieces of wearable technology

Companies are taking their gadgets out of pockets and incorporating them into clothing instead

Skateboarder wearing portable speaker

The days of carrying your gadgets and gizmos in your pockets are quickly coming to a close. On the horizon – technology that you can wear. There are already some gadgets, like our Bluetooth portable speakers, which have long been established as wearable tech, but there are other companies like, say, Apple with their expected iWatch, that are just now throwing their hats into the ring for this hot new market.

Here are 10 wearable pieces of technology that are either already on the market or are scheduled to soon hit the shelves that you should definitely know about.

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Finger mouse gives literal meaning to point and click

Future of mobile computing is getting much, much smaller

Mycestro mouse

The web is abuzz right now about the Mycestro, and for good reason. The device is being heralded as a 3D mouse that not only can be used for standard, desktop computing but mobile computing too.

Mycestro is easy to set up — it gets placed on the index finger and is used on a flat surface. From there, it allows the user to control their computer with hand gestures and mouse-click functionality.

Mycestro being hooked up

The device itself is small, lightweight, and conforms well to the finger. It incorporates Bluetooth 4.0 low energy protocol and has a range of about 30 feet (good for, say, PowerPoints). It’s turned on with the user’s thumb touches the side, so when it’s not being touched, the cursor pauses until it’s ready to be used again.

Mycsestro thumb control

Movement of the cursor is controlled by gesturing one’s hand in the direction they want it to go. To make a selection, the user releases the touch panel and then taps it again on the left, middle or right button.

Mycestro being clicked

The whole device is powered by an internal battery that gets charged via USB. Estimated run time—eight hours. It’s raising funds on Kickstarter — check out the campaign video below:

Pillow is part cushion, all alarm clock

Smart piece of sleep technology coming out of Sony

Love me some smart thinking like this — Sony has just received a patent for a high-tech pillow that just might help sleepyheads everywhere wake up feeling like they’ve had the best sleep of their lives . . . every morning.

Deep sleep

The idea is this — the pillow is embedded with a small actigraph that monitors the sleep patterns of the user. For those unfamiliar with the technology, actigraphy is a non-invasive approach to continually monitoring and recording movements. The point of including it in a pillow is to record a person’s sleep patterns to the point that it can tell if the sleeper is in REM sleep or is otherwise awake.

Sony High Tech Pillow Alarm Clock

So what’s the point? To give users the ability to set the alarm and be gently woken up not at an exact time, but rather at the most optimal time. You see, when someone’s woken up from a deep sleep, it can leave the person feeling tired and pretty groggy . . . that is, unless your alarm clock is hooked up through your loud-ass portable speaker. Then you just wet the bed when you wake up.

A bit more specifically, the pillow tracks the users brainwaves to make sure that the person is being woken up only AFTER they leave REM sleep. From the patent:

The present application relates to a sleep aid device and method, program and recording medium, and more particularly, to a sleep aid device and method, program and recording medium for having a short sleep efficiently.

No word yet on how much it’ll cost or when it’s coming out.

Alarm clock will electrocute you awake

Shocking gadget makes sure you never oversleep again

Need to get a gift for a person that you pretend to like but secretly want to see suffer just a little bit? Here’s an idea: an alarm clock. Not just any alarm clock though: the singNshock alarm clock.

singNshock alarm clock

Sure, on the outside it might look like a normal clock. Heck, it even functions as a normal alarm clock. But what makes this the perfect gift for the snooze-happy friendemy in your life is that it possesses the ability to deliver an electrical pulse to shock them awake.

Created by 19-year-old automotive design student Sankalp Sinha, the clock’s electricity is transferred via the device’s snooze button, a large aluminum coated button at the top of the clock. Every time the person rolls over to hit the snooze, they’ll receive a few millivolts through their hand.

singNshock alarm clock delivers shock through snooze button

Sinha came up with the idea after using electric shock to jumpstart his brain in the A.M. after waking up late for class a few days in a row. The feature can, of course, be turned off. Also worth noting about the clock: digital touch panel on front controls battery power, speaker volume, brightness, music selection, and time. There’s a MMC slot for a 32GB SD memory to store favorite music, and while the clarity of the sound is nowhere near that which you’ll find in one of our amazingly loud portable speakers, there are speakers built into the back of the device.

Inflatable earbuds make for a better fit

Simple solution to annoying problem

Asius earbuds

Try this on for size — inflatable earbuds that are guaranteed not to pop out.

Inflatable earbud

Asius Technologies presented this solution at the just-concluded International CES show in Las Vegas (which was also the site of some shenanigans being pulled by the makers of the world’s best portable speaker — but I digress). While they might look like mini airbags, what they lack for in style they make up for in the form of some pretty-damn-cool technology. You see, the strong yet flexible Gore-Tex earpieces are able to inflate time and again in accordance with the sound pressure created by one’s listening device.

This means the buds themselves possess the ability to shift their shape as one’s ear canal changes—this could be during a yawn, while chewing, or naturally, as an individual grows. They’re essentially moldable earbuds that fit more easily and effectively than anything Apple or the Beats by Dre clan has put out in the last few years.

How inflatable earbuds work

The result is not only a better grip in your ears, it also makes for better sound by eliminating outside noise that would otherwise creep in through the crevices created by an unnatural fitting earbud.

Durability’s not an issue either — the prototype the group created has already lasted two years with constant inflating / deflating.

Also, beyond listening to music, the earbuds can be used for hearing aids and for performance artists at concerts or shows, where they’re a bit more physically engaged in moving around the stage.

From one group of audiophiles to another, nice work Asius!