CES tradeshow showcases latest wearable technology

Emiota representative Johann Gobba wears Belty, a smart belt from Paris-based Emiota, at CES Unveiled. Picture: Getty

Emiota representative Johann Gobba wears Belty, a smart belt from Paris-based Emiota, at CES Unveiled. Picture: Getty

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SMART clothing to monitor your vital signs, smartwatches to summon your car and a headset that talks to you as you exercise are just some of the examples of new wearable technology at CES this year.

The technology trade show is into its second day in Las Vegas, and visitors to the convention floor are being greeted by new levels of intelligent tech to put on your wrists and body.

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One of the shows biggest attendees, Sony, has unveiled the Smart B Trainer headset, which though still in prototype has some interesting ideas.

The idea of the device is that while operating as a music player for your runs, as well as a heart rate monitor and stat tracker, the device will coach you through voice directions depending on your exercise plan - telling you to speed up or slow down.

Sony also say that B Trainer will use music to help you with speed changes, offering up music that suits what it wants you to do.

The technology giant has not yet said how it would do this - whether by using beats per minute to spur users on, or basing it on listening preferences.

Wearables based on exercise tracking are definitely trending at this year’s CES, with French company Cityzen Sciences already picking up two CES Innovation awards for their D-Shirt and Cycling Shorts smart clothing.

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“Our technology for smart fabrics allows seamless integration of multiple sensors and opens new horizons to capture and measure data,” a Cityzen spokesman said.

The clothing they make is smart because it contains a range of sensors that can be used to track speed as well as distance and elevation.

Heart rate is also monitored, and in the cycling shorts pedalling frequency and time out of the saddle is also tracked.

This data can then be accessed via an app that works with both Android and iOS devices, so users will be able to track their exercise.

Cityzen said they already have a partnership in place for the shorts to be used at this year’s Tour de France.

“We have the best integrated technology to embed sensors within textiles. Our architecture lets you leverage the power of textiles as a platform: the right sensors at the right locations.”

For consumers the D Shirt and Cycling Shorts catch the eye because they are both machine washable and contain no wires.

BMW are making a greater effort to embrace wearables too, with a demonstration in the CES car park of their experimental automated valet parking service - where your car will drive itself to you with a tap of a Samsung smartwatch and the command “BMW, pick me up”. The technology also means the car can park itself.

CES this year is also proving that all smartwatches have to look you cutting edge technology. Withings has introduced the Activite Pop, a smartwatch that does not need charging because it runs on a traditional watch battery. It is a follow-up to the premium Activite, a Swiss-made watch worth 450 dollars (£298). The pop is a lighter, less expensive version, but still has all the activity tracking features that Withings are known for - including step counting and sleep monitoring.

This year’s International CES will see more than 20,000 new products introduced over the course of the week, and wearables continue to be a huge part of the show, with each of the major players, including Samsung, Sony and LG all showing off either new or existing products from a marketplace that continues to expand.

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