January 25, 2016

While the flagship names in drone and virtual reality technology generated long lines at CES this year, other big-ticket trends like wearable technology also brought innovation to the showroom floor.

Tucked away by smartphone accessories and wireless speaker displays, shoemaker Skechers tried its hand at gamer gear with its Game Kicks, which they dub “the game you wear and the shoe you play,” and which CNBC equates to “wearable Simon Says.”

Wearables got a bit of a facelift this year, with Garmin appealing to activity tracker devotees by announcing its suite of new multisport watches, with models focused on running, golf, stand-up paddling (SUP) and rowing. In addition to its new line of watches, Garmin also announced GarminDrive, a line of portable navigation devices (PNDs) dedicated to encouraging safer, more alert driving.

Beyond the world of fitness, wearables also weaved their way into the world of mental health, with a new wristband called Feel by Sentio Solutions that uses sensors to track emotions based on vital signs. Think a mood ring for the connected consumer. Most wearables of note focus on physical health to unlock happiness and health, whereas Feel boasts that its focus is on emotional awareness. The wristband’s means of tracking and measuring emotions could have big implications on the broader wearable market, shifting the focus from encouraging only physical fitness to balancing activity while managing stress and improving emotional wellbeing.


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