Rise of the Digital Wearables

Stephen Yagielowicz

Soon, computers and other devices will be something you wear, rather than carry, and it all starts this holiday season as widespread wearable tech comes into its own. Google’s revolutionary Glass technology is a prime example, as is the latest range of smartwatches.

According to SmartWatchNews.org, at this time, the market is still in its infancy, and there is no smartwatch that truly stands above the rest but the situation is about to change.

With names such as the Cookoo Watch, Galaxy Gear, i’m Watch, Pebble and Martian Passport, the current crop of [smartwatch] contenders only foreshadows the great things to come.

“It appears to us that, in their race to get a product to market first, wearable computing manufacturers have besieged consumers with mostly incomplete product offerings,” a SmartWatchNews report states. “However, many of these can and will be improved with firmware and software updates. In addition, there are literally dozens of smartwatches, currently in development, that are posed to be released by the end of the year, including smartwatch offerings from electronics and computing powerhouses such as Apple, Google, and Samsung.”

With names such as the Cookoo Watch, Galaxy Gear, i’m Watch, Pebble and Martian Passport, the current crop of contenders only foreshadows the great things to come.

New banking apps that show your current balance with the flick of a wrist (and make the watch vibrate if your balance is too low), are joined by apps that keep you connected to social media and aware of your location so that you’re never lost. Of course, being able to make and receive calls, shoot photos and videos (and perhaps even levitate), is possible with these amazing watches reinvented for a modern age.

Wearable devices will also monitor your health to help you live a better life, such as the hi-tech Jawbone UP (www.jawbone.com/up), which must be seen to be believed.

Other devices are waiting in the wings, extending the notion of wearable technology.

Take for example Pivothead, a leader in wearable imaging technology that recently launched an Indiegogo campaign, which it hopes will help to bring the next generation Pivothead SMART (Simple Modular Application-Ready Technology) eyewear to market.

Headquartered in Denver, Pivothead was founded in 2010, and the first to engineer and mass-market an eyewear platform offering professional-grade full HD photo and video functionality using high-performance video encoding and low power Systemon-Chip (SoC) technology. The devices provide a true point-of-view, hands - and mount-free format and can be found at electronics, sporting goods and specialty retailers across the United States, and in more than a dozen countries.

According to the company, the new Pivothead SMART provides the full 1080p HD video and 8 megapixel photo capability of Pivothead’s award winning first generation eyewear, but is upgraded with “Smart Mods,” which it calls a revolutionary new design approach to wearable technology that adds power, connectivity and apps.

This new modular SMART lineup packs a multitude of new features, including live wireless streaming in full HD, and is geared towards effortless real-time sharing activities across numerous applications.

Building a product that provides superior imaging quality is the company’s primary objective, says Pivothead founder and President Christopher Cox, noting that its second generation SMART glasses represent the next step forward in the company’s progression.

“When you combine the high powered imaging performance of Pivothead SMART with features like true point-of-view HD Live Streaming and second device software interactivity, you have a product that can transform not only how we capture and share our lives, but also how we do our jobs,” Cox explains, adding that “The professional applications are endless and we’re excited to engage with the developer community to build on this disruptive platform.”

Cox says that the company’s decision to use audio and a LED light-rail to convey heads-up information to the wearer, as opposed to using a heads-up display (HUD), is a reflection on Pivothead’s core values.

“We call Pivothead the Ultimate Life Camera,” Cox notes. “Our camera glasses are designed to encourage social interaction, active sharing and the effortless documentation of your life in ways previously unimagined, in real time and in full HD.”

Regularly priced at $399, Pivothead SMART is available for preorder at the discount price of $299, exclusively from its Indiegogo page (www.igg.me/at/pivotheadsmart), with initial orders expected to begin shipping early in 2014.