London’s Business Design Centre in Islington hosted the 2020 Wearable technology Show March 10-11.
It features cutting-edge wearable technology from smart home, healthcare, fashion, fitness, performance sports, enterprise, and augmented reality.
Digital wearables are big sellers these days, from tiny giants such as Apple’s AirPod Pro to the best smartwatches and best Fitbits. And there’s a bunch of new wearable form factors coming our way, from glasses, VR, shoes and belts to patches and even tattoos.
Tech Advisor was on the show floor – with suitable hand cleanser – checking out the latest wearable products for consumers, and below we present some of our favourite new wearables out there – from hearable glasses to contactless-payment rings and meditation and wellness devices.
Best wearable payment device
K Ring contactless payments
We wear our most valuable jewellery on our fingers, so why not go the whole hog and use a device on your digit for your contactless payments?
We’ve seen smart wallets, now you can wear your wallet on a finger.
The K Ring from K Wearables is a Mastercard contactless payment device, which can be used to make a payment (up to £30) anywhere that accepts standard contactless credit, debit and prepaid card payments – that’s over 40m locations worldwide, including Transport for London and many UK bus routes.
It uses similar technology as used in contactless payment cards, so requires no charging or pairing with your phone. Like a card, it draws its power from the card reader during a contactless payment via electromagnetic induction.
To make a payment with your K Ring, just make a “knocking” gesture over the contactless card reader. You can make a payment only if it’s within 4cm of a contactless payment terminal, when your hand in is the Transmission Ready Position.
For security, you can suspend or cancel the ring’s payment ability via the mobile app.
It can be loaded via Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards, as well as by bank transfer to your K Ring account. Multiple K Rings can be linked to the same account.
K Ring’s ceramic outer shell comes in black or white, and you can choose from 7 inner band colours: Ocean blue, Sun orange, Fire red, Leaf green, Candy pink, Jet black and Moon white.
Best smart audio eyewear
Fauna Audio Eyewear
Most of us think about sight when we put on a pair of glasses, but Fauna eyeglasses play play audio too.
These frames from Fauna feature USound MEMS technology and woofer integrated into the temples.
Costing €249 (jncluding charging case) these smart Bluetooth audio glasses play music, audiobooks and podcasts, plus allow hands-free and ears-free phone calls.
Touch control lets you conveniently take and place your phone with just one touch of the touchpad on one arm.
Fauna works voice assistants such such as Google Assistant via the microphones integrated into the audio glasses.
There are four frame designs (female and unisex) in Black, Brown and Clear, with UVA/UVBsunglasses an option. Each pair weighs 60g.
The 100mAh battery can be ready for 20 hours, and provide four hours of audio. Volume can reach 80dB.
Fauna is expected to be available later this spring.
Best wearable wellness device
Dhyana smart meditation ring
At the moment available only in India and the US, dhyana is a ring and an app that guide you through a “scientific meditation experience”.
Curated, guided sessions help you achieve mindfulness, depending on the mood you are in or would like to achieve – split into breathing, relaxation and focus
The dhyana ring features a heart-rate variability sensor to “monitor the user’s subconscious” or the Autonomous Nervous System (ANS), and captures the number of mindful minutes presenting a quantifiable measure of success.
During meditation biological changes occur in the nervous system, which can be read through tiny variations in our heart beat.
The variations go up as we inhale, and go down as we exhale. When we’re relaxed, variations in heart beat begin to look steady, and when we’re focused they begin to move more erratically.
Dhyana means a profound meditation that is the penultimate stage of yoga.