For all the wannabe “self-facilitating media nodes” out there, here’s a cheeky summary of the some of the best put-it-on-your-body-instead-of-holding-it tech (i.e. wearable tech) that’s been released recently.
Remember how Google tried to make us all wear those frames that were set to offer the bad-ass capabilities of a commuting Terminator, but in reality just made everyone look like they’d borrowed their weird uncle’s reading glasses?
Well, Snapchat — which is now just called Snap, FYI — is attempting another kind of optical accessory. Less sci-fi and more fun-focused, these “Spectacles” look a lot like your standard brightly coloured festival wayfarers, but with the addition of a little disco-cam in the left-hand corner to easily capture that moment when your mate tries to dance like your aforementioned weird uncle. With up to 24-hours of charge, 30-seconds of video recording, a relatively cheap price tag (approx. $130) and a trendy design, expect to be dodging these lenses left, right and centre at parties to come.
The Jim Beam Apple watch may not be able to tell you when someone has liked your lunch Instagram or pay for your soy latte, but it can get you drunk. Making booze as easy to consume as possible is the key USP of this fetching faux-time piece. No microchip, no clock. Just a folding shot glass. There is a knob on the side, but it does nothing. Drinking a perfect measure is literally all this watch enables you to do. And it couldn’t be more desirable. So much so, that it sold out within three hours of being available to buy.
For all the fashion lovers out there, Michael Kors has given the world the Access Smartwatch, which allows impossibly chic gals such as Zendaya and Martha Hunt to tell each other how many calories they’ve burnt boxercising, as well as receive Instagram notifications, all with the lift of a wrist. Coming in a variety of jazzy colours, as well as having the option to bling up the interface with digital diamond screen savers — which are much more affordable than the real thing — this accessory barely looks like tech at all. #chic
Prising kids away from their laptop screens is a tough ask, but Garmin seem to have a pretty solid solution: swapping one bit of tech for another. The Vivofit Jr bands are basically mini-me versions of adult Fitbit-style straps, which monitor movement. However, for the kids, there’s a perk, obvs. For each hour of activity completed, little tykes are rewarded with various treats, such as unlocking fun facts and coins that can be redeemed against pre-approved apps. Now, if only the grown-ups had that kind of motivation…
To many, the prospect of literally seeing their stress levels rising visibly on the wall in front of them would be somewhat traumatising. But not to fashion designer and technical wunderkind Hussein Chalayan, oh no. To him, it’s a great way to assess how you’re feeling, and then do something about it, which although ripping the plaster off somewhat, is also logical. By teaming up with the clever clogs at Intel, Chalayan has created a series of accessories — glasses and belts — which picked up biometric data from the brain, and then projected it onto the nearest surface. While these products are very much in the study stages, once they inevitably do hit the market, avoid wearing on first dates, public transport or family gatherings.
When Jamiroquai (remember them?!) were banging on about “Virtual Insanity” none of us actually thought that Virtual Reality would become a “thing.” But lo and behold, people are strapping their faces into tech masks, and Sony have just nailed yet another way to do it. The Playstation VR is one of the most affordable, actually-pretty-good offers on the rapidly filling market right now. With set-up and plug-in taking a reported 10 minutes at a push, you too can enter the Matrix in your own home with ease.
Techno-fash, a loose term, has been a bit rubbish really, hasn’t it? It’s all well and good to want your clothes to do things other than stop you being naked and stuff, but we all still care primarily what they look like. This is why this invention from Levi’s and Google is so good. In short, it just looks like a denim jacket, which is pretty chill. However, in the sleeve is this nifty bit of genius, a trackpad which allows the wearer — namely cyclists — to scroll through their music, answer calls and access voice directions simply by tapping, swiping and holding their sleeve. The name is the most awkward thing about this bit of kit – everything else is pretty amazing.