Entering 2014, the term "wearable tech" was still a bit hazy for most. Visions of Back To The Future and Star Wars danced in fashionistas' heads even as top designers at world class companies planned smart products to simplify life even further. 2014 was the year when one could monitor their sleep and be virtually called out for skipping spin class, all by wearable devices like the Fitbit and Nike Fuel Band. Here are the best products that wearable technology had to offer this year. And no, the Apple Watch doesn't count until it's finally unveiled in 2015.
Perhaps the most eminent fitness tracking gadgets on the market, the Fitbit has quite a solid reputation for getting the job done in fuss-free style. Plus, options to track nutrition, rouse you from sleep, and recognize calls from your other most important device set the Fitbit above competitors.
Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, $129.95, rei.com
The UP 24 By Jawbone
Often compared in functionality to the Nike Fuel Band and the Fitbit, the UP 24 By Jawbone combines the most covetable features of other devices in one compact shell. Food and fitness are covered as well as well as sleep tracking, and the ability to compare your data to other Fitbit users is a motivational tool if I’ve ever heard one.
The UP 24 By Jawbone, $104.95, amazon.com
The Samsung Gear 2 Smart Watch
Hello, beautiful. In addition to ranking high on the aesthetic allure scale thanks to brushed gold and silver options, the Samsung Gear 2 offers a host of beneficial functions. Monitor your heart rate, measure your mile time, and track the weather amongst a host of other capabilities on this sweet watch.
Samsung Gear 2 Smart Watch with Heart Rate Monitor in Gold/Brown, $299.99, bestbuy.com
The Misfit Shine
Misfit Shine Activity and Sleep Monitor, $75.99, amazon.com
The Tory Burch For Fitbit Fret Necklace
Though the necklace’s corresponding Fitbit Flex is disappointingly sold separately from Tory Burch’s Fret Necklace, the accessory is perfectly designed to fit the sleep and fitness monitoring-Flex — and won’t look like a replica from Star Trek circa 1966.
Tory Burch For Fitbit Fret Necklace, $175, toryburch.com
The Ringly Daydream
Lady Gaga wouldn’t have to worry about her phone blowing up anymore with Ringly’s Daydream — just her jewelry. The innovative and, dare I say, chic design provides a petite and well-packaged alert system for important phone calls, emails, messages, and whatever else might be crowding your phone. Those who didn’t get a crack at the company’s first round of orders are in luck; you can snag one of Ringly’s latest creations in early 2015.
Ringly Daydream Rainbow Moonstone, $195, ringly.com
The Opening Ceremony and Intel MICA
Perhaps the most decadent of the wearable tech options on the market, Opening Ceremony and Intel’s co-designed MICA (My Intelligent Communication Accessory) appears to be a snakeskin-covered band with gold, obsidian, tiger’s eye, and lapis options. However, on the underside of the statement cuff is a 1.6 inch touch screen which offers a myriad of alerts from messages to appointment reminders.
Image: openingceremony.us.com; Opening Ceremony and Intel MICA, $495, openingceremony.us.com
The Nike+ FuelBand SE
Some consumers adored it, and some hated it, but really the Nike+ FuelBand SE was the product to beat in early 2014 in terms of fitness tracking. Step calculation, energy expenditure are only two of the FuelBand’s many uses when connected with the device’s corresponding app, and Bluetooth capabilities further enhanced the package.
Nike+ FuelBand SE, $99, store.nike.com
The Pebble Steel Smart Watch
Sure, the Pebble Steel Smart Watch is a bit sturdier than the average smart band on the market, but if you enjoy an accessory that will cater to your every whim, this year’s answer was the Pebble Steel. Its message alert system and musical capabilities were matched by the Smart Watch’s ability to actually carry out the functions it advertised, a category in which other devices floundered.
Pebble Steel Smart Watch, $149.99, bestbuy.com
The Motorola Moto 360 Smart Watch
From the Motorola Moto 360’s clean lines to its voice control option and fitness tracking faculty, this is one Smart Watch that had its users at “Hello”.
Motorola Moto 360 Smart Watch, $299.99, motorola.com
The Google Glass Explorer
Who am I kidding? The Google Glass was 2014’s most shockingly science fiction-esque hot ticket item, though its price tag keeps it from being the most accessible.
Google Glass Explorer Edition, $1500, play.google.com