8 bits of wearable tech you need to see right now


Google Glass with a bit more style

5. Kopin

Google Glass probably won't become a mass market hit in its current form, and it's not because the tech isn't a cool idea in itself – it's because it looks, well, just a bit odd. Enter Kopin and its tiny high-res screens. Kopin's plan is to make a Google Glass that won't draw unwanted attention when you're heading down to the supermarket.

In fact, one pair of specs we tried on the Kopin stand had the lens on the inside of the frame. It was a too bit pokey-in-the-eye, but another had the lens on the outside of some otherwise-regular glasses, and it didn't look too bad at all.



6. Optinvent

Optinvent, on the other hand, has gone in the opposite direction – make everything bigger and louder. Optivent's Ora smart glasses sat comfortably enough on our head but we wouldn't leave the house in them. We did like the touchpad interface, however, which let us glide around the Android 4.2 OS.

It's still in the prototype stage. The retail version looks a bit more polished but still rather cumbersome. It's also shipping in May for $949 (around £570, AU£1040). That's a lot, even if it does come with inbuilt GPS and an ambient light sensor.


Gotta Glo fast

7. Smart clothing

Smart clothing is a bizarre but potentially brilliant new area for wearable tech. At this week's show we got up close to the Glofaster jacket, which has a set of cool LEDs sewn into the design. The lights will glow to convey messages to the wearer, such as flashing when you hit your target distance. All the while, the jacket communicates with your phone using a small gizmo which will happily slip into one of the pockets.

Without the gizmo, you'll pay £99 (around $165, AU$180) for the jacket - £150 (around $250, AU$272) for them together. We're told it'll start shipping soon.

We also got to have a quick look at AiQ, which is creating a bunch of different smart clothes with superhero-style names - NeonMan, ThermoMan, BioMan, ShieldMan.

ThermoMan, for example, has an inbuilt heating system to keep you warm on those cold weather expeditionsm, while BioMan is focused more on health monitoring.


Hey, it could save your life

8. Sunfriend

Sunfriend isn't the most stylish thing we've seen but it serves a very useful purpose. And as Intel reminded us, that's what more wearable tech needs to be about.

Sunfriend tracks the amount of sun you're getting and alerts you when you've had enough rays. You can set the limits yourself and the device will illustrate your intake with its LED alerts. The colours are a little childish – a couple of less garish options wouldn't do any harm.

This will be on sale end of April/early May for a price of £30 or $49.99 (around AU$50).

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.