In January you made a resolution to improve yourself. In February you expressed your love. March typically is when all of that positive progress kind of fizzles and I say no. Keep it going. There are several gadgets out there that will help you continue being stronger, faster, and (ahem) harder.
Google “fitness tracker” and you’ll get a plethora of results to suit your fancy. Want a big computer to put on your wrist that tells you your BPM and reminds you to buy milk? It’s out there. How about a tracker that acts like your mom and tells you to sit up straight? That exists too. But what I’ve been looking for is fitness tracker that well….doesn’t look like a fitness tracker. And we might just have that with Withings’ Activite Pop. It looks like a Swatch but with awesome extras. It syncs with your smart phone and tracks activity, sleep, and swimming. Lasts 8 months without charging and it has a silent vibration alarm. Most important of all, it doesn’t scream to the world that you’re obsessively tracking your steps and analyzing if that 30 minute run gives you enough room within your daily diet to squeeze in a donut. (FYI: It doesn’t unless you’re eating one donut hole. Plain.)
This headphone won the CES Best of Innovation Award 2015 and I’m not surprised.
Obviously it’s a wireless headphone that can play music from your smartphone.
It’s also a fitness tracker.
It’s waterproof so you can (in theory) swim with it.
It’s got an ear bone microphone so it picks up vibrations from your voice, not background noise. It isolates noise so you can block out babies crying on the plane.
It can make eggs on toast.
It takes your dog out for a walk.
It helps you decide whether you should eat burritos or sushi for dinner.
Ok, so it doesn’t do the last three things but what it’s promising is alot and the reviews for this headphone has been overwhelmingly positive. Right now this headphone is only available as pre-order but if it truly offers everything it’s listed, Bragi raised the headphone bar to a level that I’m excited for other companies to follow.
YES. Yet another item that tracks your activity! In theory the data will be more accurate because the sensors are tracking data from different points on the shirt. Not just from one point on your arm. These may seem ridiculous and overpriced but I really like the idea of body sensors becoming part of our lives in non-intrusive ways. Yes it appeals to the super OCD fitness freak who wants to know how hard they’re breathing when they hit a certain BPM. But imagine what it could do for tracking the health of loved ones? Imagine your grandma who lives 100 miles away is wearing this shirt and she starts to have a heart attack. You could receive an alert telling you what’s going on inside your grandma’s body within seconds. This isn’t just technology for hard core fitness nuts, it could be a way to monitor the health of our loved ones in real time.
Hexoskin and OM Signal offer some of the cooler looking designs for smart shirts. Ralph Lauren is actually using OM Signal’s technology in their Polo Tech Shirt.
All very pricey especially if you wanna buy more than one shirt. Who’s going to buy just ONE shirt? That would be a very stinky shirt indeed. But give it time. Fitness trackers were once overpriced too, now you can get them for under $70. I’m hoping smart shirts become popular, developers create interesting apps to go with it, and the idea of tracking our loved ones health from afar becomes an economical and easy choice.
Many would agree that the one place where they’re guaranteed love is from their dog or cat. So it makes sense that you want to be connected to your pet as much as possible. But what do you do if your workplace won’t let you bring your pet to work? Sure you can get a Dropcam so you can watch your pet from home. But Petcube not only lets you see your puppy sleeping on your bed. You can also play with your puppy with the built in laser pointer from whatever remote location you’re at. The Petcube includes 2-way audio stream and a 138 degree wide angle lens that streams glorious 720p of your furry friend.
You gotta hand it to the adult toy industry for pushing the bar as far as possible in the realm of pleasure. They find a need and they fill it. Are you and your loved one currently doing the long distance thing but video chatting isn’t enough? Kiroo has created a Fleshlight and a massage tool that are connected through Bluetooth. Proving yet again that if you add Bluetooth to anything, it makes the product ten times better. The idea is you and your partner could have a sexy yum yum time together in real time even if you are miles and miles away from each other. He would have the Onyx (the Fleshlight), the woman would have the Pearl (the massage tool), make sure Bluetooth is turned on, the wifi signal is strong, and boom you two are literally in sync.
There are alot of social networking apps targeting smaller groups, specifically couples. Couple is the most impressive out of all of them. Yes it offers what you typically expect from an app to keep you updated on everything your partner is seeing and thinking. You can post pictures, write love notes to each other in the timeline, create to-do lists, update a shared calendar, and find restaurants where you can actually talk to each other IRL. But the cutest feature by far is “thumbkiss.” You open the thumbkiss feature, wait for your partner to join, match your thumbs, and the phones vibrate when your thumbs kiss. Is this a dorky way to express your love? Sure, but damnit this thumbkiss sure makes me smile.
Elaine Adolfo is a professional amateur of dance and all things tech. When she’s not helping the Stanford Center for Internet and Society improve technology and law as their Associate Director, she’s scouring the web for all things odd, brilliant, and life changing. Follow her site elaine.la.