Wearables, improving lifestyles or hiding the results of bad lifestyles?

I can't remember if 2014 was supposed to be the year of the wearable, I would imagine someone declared it so, but CES 2015 is trying to make sure that this year is.

After a lengthy stroll around the innovation awardees, the cynic in me says that if you want to measure your heart and breathing rate then the possibilities are endless. There seem to be a lot of devices doing the same thing, admittedly in marginally different ways. 

Health app devices embedded in jewellery for the fashion conscious geek/exercise nut, adhesive bluetooth patches, health-oriented smart watches, health devices for your pets...it's all here, plus a lot more.

Actually the patch I saw was quite interesting, especially for those not only elite-fitness conscious, but also folks just wanting to keep an eye on things. Ampstrip is a heart rate monitor that sticks to your body, quite unobtrusively (from the cursory glance I've given it at any rate....geddit?) and can be used in all circumstances, whilst swimming, for example. 

It doesn't need to be in constant communication with a phone, having a limited memory and bluetooth, downloading data after whatever extreme sport you've been engaged in. Or after you've had a bath... 

Whether someone of a nervous disposition would be helped or hindered by a morning browse of night time heart data is another question. Mental wellbeing could be affected I would imagine.

There are things that you can instantly see a use for, even if the innovation level seems low, viz. LED lit cycling visibility jackets. 

As per the title of this post, and following my paranoid mention in my last post on weight ...how about the automatically resizing belt... (thanks CNet).

I'm on the lookout for more health stuff today...and looser fitting 'pants' as our American friends would have it.

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Brian is Head of Content at BCS and blogs about the Institute’s role in making IT good for society, historical developments in computing, the implications of CS research and more.

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