It might be controversial, but the “Quantified Self” is here to stay. In case you weren’t convinced, there was plenty of evidence on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Amid the sheen of 4K TVs, three major trends emerged.
Fitness Trackers and Wearable Technology
From the Sony Core to the next generation Fitbit, strapping a virtual personal trainer to your body is easier than ever. By tracking their steps, heartbeat and even brainwaves, people can now use wearable technology to collect daily data on their activity, sleep and stress levels, and use that information to modify their behavior. These gadgets are getting better looking, too. The stylish June bracelet from Netatmo is a beautiful piece of jewelry that communicates with your iPhone to let you know when you’ve gotten too much sun exposure and can recommend sunscreen or shade.
Your Connected Home
From digital thermostats and smoke detectors that report on home conditions to refrigerators that text you when you’re out of milk, technology is seeping into every sector of the home. These smart appliances and devices can tap into a home’s Wi-Fi and communicate with each other, as well as their homeowner. Staples premiered Staples Connect, which centralizes home automation and communication from many smart tech-enabled brands and creates one dashboard hub app to control lights, energy usage and door locks.
Curate and Share Your Life
It’s no surprise that, with “selfie” named the word of the year, apps and devices meant to help create, curate and share your life were big this year at CES. Wearable cameras that leave the shooter hands-free and able to participate, rather than just observe, were featured by many brands. Narrative launched the Narrative Clip, a tiny clip-on camera that automatically snaps a picture every 30 seconds. The Narrative app curates the very best of the hundreds of photos and creates a photomontage that can be shared across social networks, or privately. Polaroid launched the C3, a 1-inch cube camera with magnets that can attach to most anything, for taking video and stills. Sony showed its new line of Action Cams that can be attached to helmets, goggles, handlebars and surfboards (or even a dog). The cameras can be controlled via any Wi-Fi enabled smartphone or tablet, and the videos shared instantly.
With more and more manufacturers creating products with built-in connectivity and mobile accessibility, it’s clear that we are only at the beginning of this connected living trend.