Wearable tech was the big story of 2014, but what has 2015 got in store? We’ve been wondering the same thing, and have put our heads together for the first Wareable Watchlist – the definitive list of the best wearable tech has to offer.
The Watchlist is comprised not only of the top wearable devices, but the people, companies, technologies and stories that are set to define wearable tech in 2015 and beyond.
So without further ado, here’s our list of the 50 things you need to watch in wearables for the year ahead.
50. Sony FES watch
The smartwatch that’s not a smartwatch, the Sony device we didn’t know was a Sony device. This crowdfunded e-paper watch has 24 different combinations of screen and strap designs with looks that will ensure you’ll leave it strapped to your wrist. It might be lacking in connected tech, but it’s a guiding light to the design expectations we have of wearable tech in 2015.
The smallest, most convenient pet device around and it’s bang on for any owner looking for that peace of mind when they have to be away from their pooch. A glance at the smartphone app will let you know exactly what your four-legged friend is up to, and with NewDealDesign on the stylings, it looks slick too.
With it’s mechanical smartwatch hybrids, Kairos is about to add some serious class to the blend of tradition and tech. Its MSW and SSW timepieces are made of an analogue face topped with an OLED touchscreen, and set for our wrists in 2015.
Viper is the system of choice for just about all of the Premier League football clubs, and is set to change sport in 2015. The training bras worn by Gerrard & co track acceleration, speed, movement, turns and all the biomechanics to tell everything from Andy Carroll’s fitness levels to Wilshire’s best position. Impressive stuff.
46. Andy Murray
As unlikely as it may seem, Andy Murray is mad for wearables. Not only is he an ambassador for the Wearable Technology UX developer conference in London but he’s also scheming on his own 3D swing analysis product.
An Indiegogo crowdfunding over-achiever, Skully makes motorcycle helmets with head-up-displays just like a fighter pilot. Available in 2015, these Android-powered pieces of the future-present give riders detailed road layouts, GPS mapping, rear camera view and speed and distance metrics to boot.
A wearable that’s so good that you don’t have to wear it gets a big thumbs up from us. The Beddit sleep monitor measures your heart rate and breathing patterns from beneath your sheets to tell how deep you’re sleeping and even when you initiated your shuteye in the first place. Clever tech working at very high accuracies.
43. Michael Bastion
Two-time winner of Menswear Designer of the Year in the fashion realm, Michael Bastion has turned his stylish hand to wearables. In conjunction with HP (or possibly Meta), he’s come up with the modern classic-look MB Chronowing smartwatch, which will be unleashed in 2015.
Founded by bods from both Microsoft and Apple, Moov is a virtual coach that tells you how to up your game. The AI software is of the super-smart kind and can help correct your posture, amend your training programme and give you some encouragement when it senses you most need it.
41. Marc Newson
Apple Watch made its debut complete with nods to Newson’s past work on mechanical watches. He’ll be working alongside his friend and collaborator Jony Ive as well as ex-Yves Saint-Laurent boss Paul Deneve to make sure the Apple Watch matches the iPhone and iPad with untouchable industrial design.
The next year is going to be huge for smart headphones, that track your fitness metrics straight from your lugholes. The SMS Audio BioSport buds – a collaboration between Intel and 50 Cent – will join the Jabra Sport Pulse headphones for the next generation of sport tracking.
38. Withings Activité
The watch that’s going to wipe that derisory look off your dad’s face the next time you talk about wearables, the Swiss-made Withings Activitémeans he’ll be begging you for one in 2015.
The best features of a smartwatch in a stylish 18K ring with a semi-precious stone. That’s Ringly. It syncs with your mobile to buzz you with all the usual notifications plus Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and even Tinder.
An Intel Make It Wearable winner, Nixie is a wrist-mounted drone with a camera that leaps into the air to grab your action selfie before landing back where it started boomerang style. Drones, selfies, wearables; just how much more 2015 can you get?
35. OriginGPS Nano Spider
This tiny GPS module, that’s smaller than a pencil lead, will be a secret weapon for wearables in 2015. Merging accurate running watches and do-it-all smartwatches, expect healthy competition for Garmin and Polar next year.
34. Project Morpheus
Sony’s answer to the Oculus Rift ain’t half bad. Designed specifically for the PS4 and Vita consoles should make for a decent user experience, and Morpheus actually looks pretty good for cybernetic face mask to boot.
It’s about time there was sex tracking somewhere in the quantified self movement and it’s Bondara that’s planning to be the Fitbit of love. Wear the vibrating ring-shaped device in the obvious place and it’ll measure your calories burned and thrusts per minute as well as suggest the correct tempo to work at.
28. LG G Watch R
The best looking Android Wear smartwatch so far, the LG G Watch Rlooks set to dominate the first half of 2015. It’s big, it’s manly, it’s waterproof; it’s one you’ll want on your arm.
Most golf wearables tell you how badly you’re playing but Zepp is one of the few that’s actually making you better. Stick it on your glove and it’ll offer video analysis of your swing on a smartphone screen next to side-by-side comparisons with the pros.
26. Wearable Technology Show
Showcasing the great and the good of the wearable tech world, it’s the one of the biggest events in our calendar. With talks from Google, LG, McLaren and Misfit, Wareable as a media partner and a hall full of stands with hardware to try, it’s fast become unmissable.
GoPro is so good that it’s fast becoming a name for action cameras in its own right. The Hero 4 is the latest member with 32fps 4K shooting, which seems lightyears ahead of the tech in our telly.
The experts behind your training schedules are well worth investigating and, if you’re lucky enough for them to be Exos, then you’ve the power of 60 London 2012 Olympic medallists and a World Cup-winning German football team on your side. Powering miCoach, they’re at the forefront of sports tech analysis.
22. Liz Bacelar
The fashion and tech industries are not natural bedfellows, so it’s lucky that Liz Bacelar found a way to get the two to talk. Her brainchild, Decoded Fashion, is about connecting the designers and the geeks working together for better looking wearables.
21. Virtual Reality Everywhere
The second coming is nigh and, if it sticks, and it looks like it will, virtual reality is going to change the world for the so much better. It’s not just Oculus Rift gaming, it’s navigating Mozilla’s MozVR web browser, it’s virtual tourism, immersive movies, even sex. This is the wearable tech to define humanity’s future.
Basis has the vision to know that bands that guess your steps and sleep on arm movements aren’t enough. The Peak throws in heart rate measuring, perspiration sensing and skin temperature recording, so when the big apps arrive in 2015, Basis will be ready.
Led by the Master of Design, Gadi Amit, NDD has a portfolio full of consumer electronics companies covering the last 15 years, but is really changing the game in wearables. NDD’s work with the award-winning Fitbit range and smart baby tech Sproutling is amongst its finest.
18. Wearables in fashion
Fashion designers are set to have more of an influence on wearables in 2015 than engineers. The tech is in place, now the likes of Diane von Furstenburg, Ralph Lauren, Diesel and Guess are working to make it truly wearable and desirable. Smaller names include CuteCircuit, the East London fashion house that’s leading the way in interactive clothing design, smart textiles and wearable microelectronics.
17. Samsung Gear S
The techiest wrist-based tech-fest around, the Gear S is big, bold and brilliant. The huge tantalizingly colourful Super AMOLED, colossal app catalogue and built in GPS for sports tracking makes the Samsung Gear S the wrist equivalent of a Ferrari, and just as ostentatious.
16. Yves Béhar
Swiss designer and Chief Creative Officer at Jawbone, Yves Behar is the man making wearables wearable. He’s the reason the Jawbone UP3and UP24 look so great, and he’s also the head of the design group Fuseproject – one of the world’s top 10 most innovative companies according to FastCompany. Basically, he’s a bit of a dude.
15. Liz Dickinson
Liz is the founder of Mio Global and the genius behind the optical heart rate monitor. It was Liz who figured out that you can measure pulse by using LEDs that highlight the speed of blood flowing through your capillaries. Her brains mean that you can train smarter without having to wear a chest strap. Thanks Liz.
14. Fitbit’s New Duo
Fitness tracking on steroids is Fitbit’s approach with its superb duo of devices for 2015 that make it into our Top 50. With the Fitbit Surgeblending smartwatch tech with top end fitness tracking and the Charge HR bringing 24/7 heart rate trackingto the fitness tracker party, these two devices will be top sellers in 2015.
Kickstarter made crowdfunding popular and crowdfunding is what greases the wheels of wearable invention. 2014 was a huge year for wearable projects, but it’s 2015 is going to be the year where they come to fruition. Expect smart tech from Elemoon, RunScribe, Pavlok and Darma to join Pebble next year.
Garmin has been killing it in the sports wearable space for years, but the company has a job on its hands to ward off the influx of smart tech from Fitbit and co. The Garmin Vivosmartwas a great start, but expect even bigger things in 2015.
11. Sonny Vu
Sonny Vu is the brains behind Misfit, which looks set for a storming 2015. Investment from Xiaomi and new ties to China mean that the Silicon Valley startup could hit the big time next year.
When TAG Heuer confirms it’s working on a smartwatch to launch in 2015 and the rumour mill points to an Intel partnership, it’s time for fans of traditional timepieces to get excited. Time-honoured meets tech and we can’t wait to see the results.
Blocks is a modular smartwatch that enables you to add customisable third party modules (that make up the strap) via the Blocks Store. What can you add? Barclaycard bPay band, Orange SIMs, heart rate monitors and a choice of round and rectangular screens. When the tech upgrades, so can you.
With a million $13 Mi Bands already shipped in Asia, Xiaomi would be downright foolish to sit back and relax in 2015. A budget smartwatch looks likely and the Chinese tech giant has also just invested a serious amount of cash in Misfit. Smartwatches are still too expensive but if Xiaomi wearables make it out of Asia, that could change very quickly.
5. Android Wear, the next wave
A second-gen Moto 360 2 is due in 2015 and the rumour mill is already churning for an update to the LG G Watch R with 4G skills; it seems manufacturers are already looking to the next generation. Better fitness features, smaller designs and extra battery life are the major improvements, no doubt backed up by a revision of the OS from Google.
4. Oculus Rift Consumer Edition
Backed by thousands on Kickstarter and later bought by Facebook for $2 billon, Oculus true product of the people. Try it for yourself and you’ll understand exactly what all the fuss is about, and you’ll get to bag your own in 2015.
3. Jawbone UP3
We’ve bigged up its designer, now we’re going for the product itself. This latest Jawbone fitness tracker s even sexier than before. It promises to recognise what kind of sport you’re playing, thanks to precision motion sensing, and even has the tech for picking up on perspiration, hydration and other biometrics. It’ll know you better than you know yourself.
Intel’s commitment to the wearable space is what wins it a slot right here. It’s been the driving force behind MICA, the SMS Audio BioSport and Basis, but its rumoured deal with Google to power Glass 2.0 and its own deal with Luxottica means Intel is making serious waves in 2015.
1. Apple Watch
Such is the power of Apple, its smartwatch is already defining the wearable market. Its announcement put smartwatches on the map and its launch in “early 2015” will shape the industry for 2015. Will the Apple Watch be the best specced? No. Will it be the best looking? Probably not. Could it define the uses for smartwatches in the future? Undoubtedly – and that’s what we’ve all been waiting for.