Wearable devices such as activity trackers are a good example of the Internet of Things, since they are part of the network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable objects to exchange data with a manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices, without requiring human intervention.
Wearable technology is related to both ubiquitous computing and the history and development of wearable computers. Wearables make technology pervasive by interweaving it into daily life. Through the history and development of wearable computing, pioneers have attempted to enhance or extend the functionality of clothing, or to create wearables as accessories able to provide users with surveillance—the recording of an activity typically by way of small wearable or portable personal technologies. Tracking information like movement, steps and heart rate are all part of the quantified self-movement.
The Flex 2 is Fitbit’s first fully waterproof fitness tracker, as well as its slimmest. It automatically tracks swimming, along with other activities like biking, running, and walking. There’s no built-in GPS or heart rate monitoring, but that’s no surprise at this price point. Instead of a display, there’s a row of colorful lights that blink to indicate your progress and alert you of phone notifications. The Flex 2 is slim and modular, so you can place the tracker portion in a variety of different bands and bangles.
The Pebble 2 + Heart Rate is the first out of the gate, with a lighter, slimmer design than the original Pebble Classic, along with an accelerometer and an optical heart rate monitor to track your workouts and sleep. It has an excellent battery life, an Always-on display, Solid voice-to-text functionality running Android and iOS compatible with Instant notifications and lots of apps.
Apple Wwatch Series 2
The Apple Watch Series 2 is a smartwatch-fitness tracker hybrid. In addition to a faster processor and a brighter screen than the original model, the Series 2 has a waterproof design for swimmers, and built-in GPS so runners can leave their iPhones at home and has plenty of third-party apps.
The stunning AMOLED display on Huawei’s Android Wear debutant is a 1.4-inch, 400 x 400, one with a 286ppi count – the highest density on an Android Wear smartwatch so far – and there’s no annoying flat tyre either. The screen is made all the more impressive thanks to a 10,000:1 contrast ratio.
Samsung Gear S2
As easy to live with as a Pebble, as slick as an Apple Watch and with a tactile, rotating bezel as its secret weapon, the S2 is the kind of smartwatch you’d kick yourself for leaving at home. You’ll have to pay extra for the cellular version to make the most of the GPS features but even the standard version feels like a leap forward. The battery life is better than most rivals
Sony SmartWatch 3
The Sony SmartWatch 3 has built-in GPS connectivity, which means you can leave your smartphone at home when you go for a run.
The sports styling makes it perfect for a weekend jog, and while the screen is a little dull compared to some of its rivals, the Steel edition adds a touch of class to the smartwatch.
Tag Heuer Connected
This Intel powered Tag smartwatch is the best built and highest quality Android Wear device. From afar it genuinely looks like a regular Tag Heuer watch – it’s only when you get up close that you notice it’s quite a bulky beast.
Available in rose gold, its watch faces are a delightful addition.
With around 30 days from a single charge, the Vector will out-last most business trips and holidays, meaning you don’t have to pack a separate charger for your travels. It’s a competent smartwatch with notifications, fitness tracking and a clever way of visualising your day through rings placed around the watch face.