The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 was packed with enough gadgets and tchotchkes to power up everything from industrial machinery to our homes and bodies. Wearable devices at CES 2017 show the trend toward tracking personal data, and using it more functionally, isn’t slowing down.
According to the Consumer Technology Association, sales of wearables in 2016 were expected to exceed 48 million units. But what’s practical for an IT professional to use in the office? Here are our picks for best in show for the workplace.
The idea for the Mymanu Clik earbuds came from a common problem: hearing a conference presentation in another language and having to hire a translator to understand it. With the rise of remote work and businesses operating globally, this problem isn’t going away soon.
An audio engineer devised a solution that would seamlessly translate from voice using an app and wireless earbuds. The early version is promising, because it recognizes different accents (such as American versus British English) and can translate 37 languages. It should be available this summer and preorders for approximately CAD$368.
If you work in an open office or find yourself in a crowd at a conference or networking event, the Nuheara IQbuds can help you hold a conversation without missing anything. They work to cancel out ambient noise through the use of multiple special microphones.
And if you’ve become addicted to using a Bluetooth headset to make calls or listen to your productivity playlist, these can take over both duties with a simple toggle. The earbuds are both Apple iOS and Android compatible, and the accompanying app lets you save your personal hearing profiles. They’ll last through 32 hours of hearing processing or 16 hours of streaming audio before they need a charge. You can buy them right now for a cool CAD$397.
If you’ve tried wearable fitness trackers and they left you wanting more (data, functionality, or less bulk) the six motion sensors on the Notch are the ticket for you. We know most desk jockeys aren’t getting nearly enough daily exercise, but you might be surprised at how much you move in a single day.
The Notch’s 3D motion sensors snap to an elastic band that goes on your arm, leg, chest, etc. and uses accelerometers, gyroscopes, and compasses to send the movement data back to a smartphone app. You could also see a map of your motion in any browser. For developers, Notch offers both SDK and a native app that allows for building additional apps and functions, further encouraging mobility. The Notch sensor pack is CAD$514 and started shipping in June.
SAFILOX Brain-sensing Eyewear
A partnership between Safilo, an Italian eyewear brand, and Interaxon, a Canadian company that manufactures a brain-sensing headband called Muse, created: SAFILOX Brain-sensing Eyewear, a pair of sunglasses designed to improve focus and performance. Although the companies tout the eyewear as a wearable for athletes, it’s not limited to them. The shades collect data throughout wearing time to record how focused you are before, during, and after activity. Bonus: Because they feel like regular old sunnies (the electrodes live inside the frames), they’re basically unobtrusive. Availability is expected by the third quarter of 2017.
There isn’t a wearable (yet) that will magically know when you need a beverage or a snack—or when you need a little help with that pesky presentation—but that might come in 2018. Stay tuned!