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Hiking & GPS Devices Editor choice Review: Garmin Forerunner 230

Review: Garmin Forerunner 230

A lot of us are endurance athletes. We’re more interested in the slow burn of running three hours than the burst of adrenaline you get sprinting a shorter ...

What is Wearable Technology?

Wearable technology has exploded in the past few years as it has become more mainstream, available and affordable. Activity trackers, smart watches, action cameras and other wearable gadgets connect users with aspects of themselves and the environment that they couldn’t easily access before. Wearables are some of the most prevalent innovations since the smartphone. People are now putting modern technology on their wrists, clothing and exercise equipment.

Wearable technology can include fitness wearables, which are sports and fitness accessories that help monitor activity, sleep, speed and other data that’s relevant to your health. It also includes devices that can be worn on the body or attached to equipment like surfboards and skateboards.

Wearable technology has become more mainstream. It’s not just a term used to describe the latest trend in workout headsets or digital watches, though. Wearable technology combines the use of sensors and a web connection to help you reach goals like staying active, losing weight and organizing your life. Some devices use GPS to track your location or that of your children.

Many wearable devices are worn on the wrist. Some designs are made to clip to your clothing or hang around your neck. If you don’t covet the look of technology on your arm, you can find devices that double as unobtrusive jewelry.

Activity Trackers and Health Devices

Often referred to as fitness trackers, these devices can be as simple as gadgets that track the number of steps you take each day. They may also track more complex health information, such as sleep and heart rate.

Devices that track sleep contain an accelerometer. The accelerometer is a sensor that measures your body movement throughout the night. This type of sleep recording is called actigraphy. It uses algorithms to understand sleep patterns based on your movement. Actigraphy is surprisingly accurate when it comes to telling you how well you sleep.

The Fitbit is perhaps the most common fitness tracker. The FitBit Blaze is the brand’s top-of-the-line offering along with the Fitbit Charge HR Wireless. The 1.66-inch touchscreen display gives you plenty of space to view info. FitBit’s heart rate sensor picks up your pulse continuously. Different modes allow you to track a variety of exercise sessions. The software automatically recognizes the type of exercise you’re performing and records it. You can also use the fitness wearable to provide step-by-step instructions for many exercises.

There are wearable medical devices available to predict a woman’s ovulation, manage pain and monitor your heartbeat. The Lumo Lift Posture and Activity Tracker sends you vibrations to remind you to straighten up as it tracks your steps, distance and calories burned. Other wearable medical devices monitor your blood glucose throughout the day or record your blood pressure.

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Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Blue, Silver, Large

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Last update was in: December 6, 2016 10:38 pm GMT

$ 196.00 199.95

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Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large

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$ 128.71

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Lumo Lift Posture Coach and Activity Tracker (requires the free Lumo Lift...

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Activity Trackers and Health Devices for Kids

Digital monitors for kids are helping parents keep their kids safe and healthy. Wearable health devices can be used for infants or school-aged children to monitor their movements or check their breathing.

The Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor clips onto the waistband of the baby’s diaper and senses movement while your child sleeps. It gently stimulates the baby if movement is not detected for 15 seconds. If your baby still doesn’t move after the device vibrates, it sounds an alarm. Incredibly helpful for the stressful times that can occur when you just had your baby.

The Leapfrog LeapBand Activity Tracker encourages children ages 4 to 7 to make healthy choices. Active challenges get kids to incorporate fun ways of moving into their life. As they move, kids get rewards that unlock different features on the wristband.

The Mimo Smart Baby Breathing and Activity Monitor is a onesie that you put on your baby. It contains a sensor that picks up your baby’s breathing activity, body position and temperature. It alerts you of any changes in your child’s movements or breathing patterns. You can access the data from a smartphone whether you’re in the living room or at a restaurant. Though the technology for this kinda of device is not really developed enough yet – hence the mediocre reviews for this product.

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LeapFrog LeapBand, Green

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$ 14.99 39.99

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LeapFrog LeapBand Activity Tracker, Pink

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$ 18.73

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Hiking and GPS Devices

If you spend a lot of time working out outdoors, tracking your activity and location may be important. GPS tracking watches can display maps that help you plan your route and record where you’ve been. Some have notification options that make you aware of emails or texts as you travel. Many will also record your activity and calories burned.

The Garmin 230 or 235 is the best-selling GPS device right now with a highly sensitive GPS tracker. It keeps track of your mapping, your routes, tracks and waypoints. The Garmin Forerunner 920 XT is waterproof and has a long battery life. It has a large display that allows you to see your data all at once instead of switching through various modes. It’s an ideal device for tracking distance and pace during long walks, runs, bike rides or swims.

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Garmin Forerunner 230 - Black/White

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Last update was in: December 6, 2016 10:38 pm GMT

$ 249.99

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Garmin Forerunner 235 - Black/Gray

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$ 328.95 329.99

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Garmin Forerunner 920XT Black/Blue Watch with HRM-Run

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$ 499.99

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Competitive Sport Accessories

 

Athletes need to control how they take care of their bodies. Wearable fitness technology can help them regulate their health, change behavior, influence training and improve performance. It’s especially important for wearable devices to be unobtrusive for competitive athletes. Anything that gets in the way of the game won’t be a benefit.

Catapult has become an international leader in sports analytics. Professional sports teams use the wearable technology to gauge players’ fatigue and prevent injury. Catapult is worn inside a player’s compression shirt and gathers information about the way players are moving. It has an indoor GPS, an accelerometer and a gyroscope that tracks the body’s twisting and bending movements. The coaching staff can view this information in real time.

With the Zepp 3D Baseball Swing Analyzer you can track, analyse and improve your swing. The same goes for the Zepp Golf 3D Swing Analyzer which can improve your game significantly.

Shockbox Football Helmet Sensor transmits notifications to your smartphone over up to 100 meters when the helmet has been hit too hard. The smartphone app that goes along with it keeps track of the history of impacts. This is beneficial for any players, including children.

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Zepp 3D Baseball Swing Analyzer

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Last update was in: December 6, 2016 10:38 pm GMT

$ 129.99 149.95

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Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer

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$ 149.99

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Smart Watches

A smart watch is wearable technology that doesn’t just focus on health. Smart watches run different software that can allow users to do many of the same things that they do using their smartphones. Smart watches are often considered supplementary to a tablet or a smartphone. While they can collect data and show you notifications, they usually transmit more comprehensive information to other devices in order to be fully functional.

Some smart watches can retrieve text messages. Others can be used as a remote control for your television. They can be used to take pictures or to give you driving directions. Most smart watches connect to another mobile device via Bluetooth. They can be used to control certain functions on those mobile devices. They can also record basic health data in the same way that fitness and activity trackers do.

The Apple Watch Sport tracks daily activity. It also integrates with your iPhone and can be used to read and answer texts and make phone calls. You can add music to the device or use apps to access functions that you normally rely on your phone to use.

The Samsung Gear S2 is a super stylish high-tech smartwatch with overall astounding aesthetics. Samsung seems to have paid close attention to the design and overall structure of the watch. A wonderful piece of technology.

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Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch - Dark Gray

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Last update was in: December 6, 2016 10:38 pm GMT

$ 299.00 299.99

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Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch - Classic

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$ 309.00 349.99

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Apple Watch Sport, Silver Aluminum Case/White Band, 42mm

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$ 356.95 399.00

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Smartphone and Kid Tracking Devices

Smart watches for kids can double as activity trackers or location-monitoring systems. Many offer two-way communication that keeps you connected and provides you with peace of mind. An SOS button alerts parents or a pre-set phone number in case of an emergency.

The VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch works with a cell phone plan to monitor your child’s whereabouts. It can alert family members when the child steps outside the safety zone, send text messages, take photos and record steps. Parents can send one-way messages to the child to communicate without having to pick up the phone. You can also listen to the child’s surroundings by calling the watch as a listener. This helps you keep track of not only where your child is but also what he or she is doing.

With the Tile Gen 2, a technology makes it super easy to find your phone and track your devices.

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VTech 80-171650 Kidizoom Smartwatch DX, Vivid Violet (2nd Generation)

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$ 57.97 64.99

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Tile (Gen 2) - Phone Finder. Key Finder. Item Finder - 1...

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$ 24.99 25.00

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Gesture Control Devices

Gesture control devices allow you to take control of your digital devices without touching them. Flick your wrist to surf the web. Shake your hand to pause a video.

The Myo Gesture Control Armband translates your muscles’ electrical impulses into technology controls. It works wirelessly with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. You can use it to control computer games or a remote control plane. It can turn up the volume of the music that you’re listening to from a mobile device. You can use it to add interest to a presentation or play a virtual reality game. You can customize your gestures so that you control the effects of your movements.

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Myo Gesture Control Armband (Black)

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Last update was in: December 6, 2016 10:38 pm GMT

$ 199.00 199.99

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Body and Action Cameras

Wearable cameras have changed the world of internet video. Strap the camera to your head, arm, chest or sports equipment to record your point of view. Action cameras are often used for adventure sports. Some are waterproof and can take viewers to the middle of the ocean to ride the waves with a surfer. More durable cameras can withstand heavy use and are ideal for recording outdoor escapades. Some wearable cameras only take still shots. Others take video or a combination of both. Bloggers who need to capture different aspects of their daily life, seekers of action who like to share their journeys with the world or families who enjoy being able to capture their vacations can take body and action cameras anywhere they go.

The GoPro is one of the most recognized names in action cameras. The GoPro HERO4 Silver shoots professional video and still photography with realistic clarity. Easily share what you capture with integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

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GoPro HERO4 Silver

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Action Cameras for Kids

Kids can practice creative filmmaking with wearable cameras designed for them. These cameras are less expensive but more durable than some of the devices that are made for adults. They can be used to create stop-motion animated videos or still pictures.

The VTech Kidizoom Action Cam can be attached to skateboards and bicycles. The camera can also be used under water. It is rugged enough to withstand falls and drops. It is designed to be used by children ages 4 to 9 years old.

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VTech Kidizoom Action Cam, Yellow/Black

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Last update was in: December 6, 2016 10:38 pm GMT

$ 42.00 59.99

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Virtual Reality and 3D Glasses

One of the latest innovations in wearable technology is the virtual reality headset. The virtual reality headset gives you a private viewing experience for playing games or watching movies. Virtual reality glasses and headsets work with many different gaming systems. Some work with smartphones. Sensors in the headsets register the head’s movements to display lifelike 3D images on the screen. You will feel as though you’re part of the virtual reality environment. This technology is becoming more attainable and affordable.

The Samsung Gear VR – Virtual Reality Headset use a lens that create less distortion and let you play for hours without feeling dizzy. Some nearsighted people can even watch movies and play games without using their vision-correcting glasses.

The Samsung Gear VR headset is lightweight and comfortable for long hours of use. You can wear your glasses with it if you need to.

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Samsung Gear VR - Virtual Reality Headset

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Last update was in: December 6, 2016 10:38 pm GMT

$ 99.99

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Technology is awesome!

Wearable technology trends allow people to connect with their world by linking up to data that they couldn’t collect before. Access to the internet is now at your fingertips. Data about your body and performance can be collected quickly and reliably. Wearables don’t interfere with the way you behave in your environment. Wearable fitness technology helps you keep track of your exercise goals. Wearable health technology and wearable medical devices help you become aware of what’s going on inside of your body. Wearables allow people to gain more knowledge about themselves and the world around them.

Tech.Imperatives - Because Technology = Awesome!
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