Are you using Wearable technology? I am and here are my thoughts…

20140514_140200The other day I was out and about and I realised that in addition to the phone in my pocket, I was sporting a range of wearable technology. My appreciation of new devices has lead me to pick up a few devices and I thought I’d review why I like or dislike them and how they affect my life.

Jawbone Up Band

Cost: Around $100
Battery: 10 days
Any smart phone

This is an asymmetrical bracelet which captures my movement and sleep patterns. When I plug it in to my phone, the data is synchronised to show me how many steps I’ve taken per day as well as my hours of sleep and any patterns I follow during the night.

I really like this little piece of technology as the data encourages me to keep active for my 10,000 steps per day, even when I’m just in and around the garden at home. In addition, being aware of how much sleep I need to feel refreshed and the consequences of regular late nights and early mornings. The knock on effect is that I believe it helps me stay healthy in my active and resting life.

I give this an overall rating of 8/10 as a health device and it helps reinforce the belief I have that anything we measure improves. In addition, the batteries last for 10 days so I don’t have to keep running to my laptop or a USB cable to keep using it and often forget it’s even there.

Samsung Galaxy Gear

My custom screen

Samsung Gear Watch

Cost: Around $300
Battery: 1-2 days
Samsung phone and software required

The Samsung Gear watch has a range of functions James Bond would be proud of; at the touch of a button you can change the face to blend in with your outfit (digital and analogue or design-your-own). It has an inbuilt speedometer and with a double press of the single off-screen button I can talk to it to phone someone, Google a restaurant or send a text message. It also measures my movement and wirelessly synchronises with my phone. The built-in camera takes pretty good photos and short videos and this can be done at times when either it is difficult to get your phone or if you are being chased by baddies. For those who know Evernote, rest assured it all links up so a photo of an advert or recipe can be instantly sent to my to-do list fo
r follow up. Also, being hands free you can easily chat to someone whilst driving.

The downsides are that the watch battery life if only used as a watch is about 2 days and if I’m taking much video or photos, that life drops significantly. The camera angle for taking photos isn’t ideal either. However when we consider it probably has more processing power than many countries in 1950 it is surprisingly small given the technology contained within.

Overall I’d only give this about 5/10 and for the most part, a phone is quite ample to do what this watch does. Fun but frivolous.

BlueAnt Pump headphonesBlueAnt Pump waterproof wireless headphones

Cost: Around $150
Battery: 6-8 hrs playing time
Any Bluetooth device

This is my latest addition and I’m seriously happy with them given my lifestyle. This great device streams music via Bluetooth directly to my headset (from phone, laptop etc) so I can be walking from room to room without my phone and still listening to music. In addition, I only need have one earpiece in to listen to my favourite radio programmes, TED talks, Youtube videos, spoken word files or even be watching a movie whilst I walk between the kitchen and the bbq as I have been doing recently.

At the touch of a button I can change the volume, skip tracks and even answer calls. I really don’t understand how the microphone is so effective as it is fully sealed however I’ve heard from people I’ve spoken to that it’s quite easy to hear the conversation. Oh, and they’re pretty comfy.

The battery life is supposed to be 8 hours but I think 7 is probably closer to reality however you do get audible warnings when you’re down to about an hour left so you can plan and recharge it which only takes 2 hours for a full charge.

BTW in addition to all of the above, I can swim with these on so am very excited to put on a good programme and swim for hours to see what it’s like when I’m entertained whilst swimming.

9/10 for these headphones. Slightly longer battery would be fantastic, and that would give these a 10/10.

If you want to know more about any of them, simply YouTube them – there are heaps of videos.

 

That was a short review for you if you are considering any of these wearables and to keep you updated with what’s happening.

Do you have any wearables and what are your thoughts about them?

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