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OPLIN 4cast #525: Would you wear that?

Posted in 4cast

Last updated on January 30, 2017

For the last several years, the wearables market hasn’t been particularly varied; most tended to be either fitness devices or smartwatches. However, research firm Forrester has predicted that 1 in 3 Americans will use a wearable device by 2021.  While fitness devices will still likely rule, many other kinds of wearables are coming…and not all of them are even for humans.  While there’s going to be more variety, will people actually buy these?

  • Are ‘smart’ high heels brilliant or terrible? [The Verge] “The adjustable high heels, which range from 1.7 inches high to 3.1 inches, are in theory a modern woman’s dream. Rather than schlepping around an extra pair of shoes — so when the high-heeled ones you feel obligated to wear start to hurt, you can slip into flats — you can just tap a virtual button and feel your heels sink closer to the earth. Sweet relief: there’s an app for that.”
  • 6 wonderfully bizarre wearables we saw at CES this year [Mashable] “It may look like a standard fitness tracker but Proof is actually keeping tabs on an entirely different metric: how drunk you are. More precisely, the band uses a special sensor that the company says is able to track the wearer’s blood alcohol level. The accompanying app tracks your current BAC and also predicts what your levels will be in the future. You can even set custom alerts to let you know when you reach a certain level.”
  • Smart dog collars could be the next big thing in wearables [ReadWrite] “The fitness tracker offers analysis on the dog’s activity level and length. It also breaks down the activity by breed, so there will be varied amounts of daily exercise, depending on the needs of your dog. Link AKC also comes with a few features built specifically for dogs, like a temperature tracker that warns you when the dog is too hot or too cold. Owners can also create a ‘virtual fence’, and will notify you when the dog’s collar leaves the zone.”
  • Finally, a wearable for women who don’t want to get murdered [The Verge] “You’re going to have to master Ōnee’s Morse Code-type tapping system to really get any use out of the bracelet. Tapping on it once means you’re fine and not being assaulted. Your sister should tap back on her Ōnee to tell you that she’s cool, too. But two taps means you need help. It’s at this point that your sister would need to look at her app to find you. Honestly, it sounds like the Find My Friends feature on iOS would be a lot easier.”

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