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Wearable technology is a massive emerging market with new products from startups and corporate giants alike popping up all the time, all hoping to be the next big thing. Here are 5 that I find particularly interesting, maybe you will too.

1. SolePower – Insole charger

Sole-Power_hero_sThese guys are developing some neat technology that I can see really taking off in the future. It’s an insole that generates electricity through the power of your steps and stores it in a waterproof, external battery pack which can then be used to charge your phone, or other personal devices. How it works in their words: “The mechanism is actuated by every heel strike. During every step, a small generator spins to create electricity.” The team at SolePower says they’re focusing first on the market of outdoor enthusiasts, but they have much bigger plans to help the global energy crisis by bringing their renewable power technology to developing regions around the world who have unreliable or non-existent electrical grids. SolePower started as a student project at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, but soon grew into a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign.

2. Telepathy One – Augmented Reality

telepathyone_sTelepathy One is a yet to be released computer-augmented piece of eyewear, similar in many ways to Google Glass. Rather than fitting like a pair glasses, the Telepathy One goes around the back of your head, apparently balancing with ear plugs in your ear canal, is that comfortable? The tiny micro projector stretches around the front and displays video into the corner of your eye. I particularly like the sleek design, it feels elegantly futuristic. Telepathy One is being developed in Japan and lead by CEO Takahito Iguchi. Their slogan is “wear your love”… I don’t know what that means.

3. Electrozyme – Temporary Tattoo

electrozyme-tattooElectrozyme is one of the San Diego based startups we mentioned in a previous post, who is developing screen printed, flexible bio sensors. They have put their technology into a temporary tattoo that analyzes the chemicals in the wearer’s sweat, to provide real-time data on their physical performance. In their words it will allow you to “Gain insight into the effectiveness of your training routine to maximize performance and endurance while minimizing fatigue, recovery time, and the likelihood of injury“. I wish I could coin the term “smart tattoo”, but Motorola might have beat me to it with this entirely unrelated, somewhat morbid patent application.

4. Necomimi – Brainwave Cat Ears

Necomimi_sIf you haven’t heard of these emotion sensing wiggly cat ears, then you’re in for a treat. Perhaps the strangest in the bunch, Necomimi uses the NeuroSky EEG headset to transform your brain waves into the physical movement of fuzzy ears sitting on top of your head. When you’re highly focused, the ears will perk up. If you’re in a very relaxed state, the ears will droop down. If you suddenly become very interested in something, the ears will perk up and wiggle around a bit. So, you can finally stop worrying about what to get your significant other for their birthday. Necomimi first launched in Japan in 2012 and has received some viral popularity and multiple awards.

5. Moto 360 – Smartwatch

moto-360-app-2_sProbably the most known in the list is the much anticipated Moto 360, Motorola’s gorgeous new flagship smartwatch, scheduled to be released this summer. Powered by Google’s new Android Wear operating system, the Moto 360 will feature a round face design, setting it apart from other smartwatches on the market that all seem to sport a clunky square design. The watch is rumored to have an OLED display and Sapphire glass on the face. No official specs have been released yet but hopefully in a few months it will all become clear.

What about you, can you see yourself owning any of these devices within the next couple of years?

Travis Walter

I'm a software developer, musician, and founder of twoclaw.com.