We’re quickly becoming accustomed to the omnipresence of high-tech gadgetry helping our everyday lives. Whether it’s an AI home assistant sitting on your bed stand or the smartphone taking up space in your pocket, we’re never more than a few feet away from some logarithmic dictation or data collection.
But the pinnacle of our newfound alliance with everyday tech may be in wearables: the tech that’s just as in-sync with our daily habits as we are.
So, as the year finally comes to a close, here’s four of our favorite pieces of wearable tech that came into the market over the past twelve months.
Breathe Deeper with Spire
In this day and age, we’re all hunched over and, because our diaphragms are sandwiched as such, we’ve all become “shallow breathers.” This has created a domino effect of mental and physical alignments. More specifically, unconscious belated breathing creates carbon sequestration in the body that makes itself known as fatigue, anxiety, and, in severe cases, poor kidney and liver function.
The wearable activity tracker Spire is on a mission to make this labored breathing a thing of the past. Worn on the waistband or bra strap, Spire is designed to analyze breathing rates to determine levels of tension, calm, or focus. When worn and activated, the “calm stone,” as it’s called, takes stock of your baseline heart-rate and lateral alignment and, when it senses those measurement are out of whack, will vibrate to remind you to sit-up and focus on your breathing. If meditation is still an unreachable goal for you because of money or time, Spire might be great way to dip your toes into it.. // Staring at $109, spire.io
Sleep Better with Fitbit Alta 2
Fitbit’s latest wrist-wear offering has impressive updates, such as a slimmer design when compared to the Fitbit Charge 2, for example. However, the Alta HR isn’t just about measuring daily exercise — it’s about holistic, mind-body-and-spirit living.
The newest iteration of the ubiquitous gadget is, foremost, about measuring and improving your sleeping habits and helping you stick to your natural circadian rhythm, working alongside fresh innovations called Sleep Stages and Sleep Insight, which the firm touts as “a new advance in sleep tracking tech.” Simply fasten it to your wrist of choice, and start counting sheep; the AI will do the grunt work for you. // Staring at $129, at fitbit.com or multiple department stores nationwide.
Run Smarter with UA SpeedForm Velociti Record-Equipped Shoes
Under Armour’s newest line of smart shoes is the answer to those among us who still remember Nike’s microchips endeavor. But that was the emerging tech of yesteryear, when we yearned for something better and more cohesive in application. This year, one of their competitors has done it -— integrating a fitness tracker into the soles of the shoes themselves. So you don’t need to adorn a smartwatch to record fitness data or worry about losing an insert-able microchip.
UA SpeedForms are probably the most intelligent trainers you’ll likely to slip on your feet anytime soon. They employ an accelerometer to record running metrics and Bluetooth connectivity that saves it all to an app afterwards. This is the first smartshoe that doesn’t rely on your ability to keep track of a tiny square-inch white chip. // Starting at $84, at underarmour.com or various outdoor and running stores nationwide.
Stay Stylishly In-Sync with Motiv’s Smart Ring
Perhaps the most minimalist piece of activity tracking tech, the Motiv ring — which, in lieu of a big LCD screen, works solely in tandem with your smartphone — may be the most promising glimpse into a future of socially acceptable wearables. Available in Apple iPhone colors, the rose gold and “slate gray” smart rings are available in seven different sizes. Unfortunately, they can only sync with iOS-enabled devices as of this publishing date.
Expect the MyMotive app to go onto the Android market in 2018 so Pixel and S8 users don’t have to fret if they’re interested in this gadget. // Starting at $199, at mymotiv.com