The Best Wearables of CES 2019
Yes, there were plenty of smartwatches. But this year’s CES brought a more diverse selection of wear.
CES is a place for new and innovative technology, and perhaps no category embodies this better than the wearable device market. Yes, we saw countless smartwatches and fitness trackers this year, but we also saw products designed to help everyone from the elderly to those who aren’t even born yet.
The wearables at CES 2019 spanned a wide a variety of industries. From healthcare and fitness, to beauty and fashion, the show floor was filled with devices for every possible use case imaginable. It wasn’t easy to come up with this list, but these are the 15 wearables that made the biggest impression on us this year.
Withings Move ECG
Move over, Apple Watch Series 4. The attractive Withings Move ECG is the first analog smartwatch with an electrocardiogram built in, and it will only set you back $129. You also don’t have to worry about charging it, since it comes with a replaceable battery that lasts up to one year. We like it so much, it even made the cut for our overall list of the top products at the show.
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music
The Garmin Vivoactive Music 3 is the company’s first smartwatch to include LTE connectivity. You don’t have to be an existing Verizon customer to use it, you just need to choose a data plan that fits your needs. While this version of the watch is almost identical to the original, non-cellular model, it has new safety features. Not only can it detect certain incidents, it can also send alerts to your emergency contacts.
Matrix PowerWatch 2
The Matrix PowerWatch 2 brings along some necessary changes from the original PowerWatch. Even though it’s thicker, the 42mm case is much a better size for smaller wrists than the 52mm case size on the first-generation model. There’s also a 1.2-inch color LCD display, built-in GPS, a heart rate sensor, and the ability to receive smartphone notifications. While the PowerWatch was notable for ability to charge right on your wrist by using body heat to produce electricity, the PowerWatch 2 uses solar cell technology as well. As long as the watch has some type of exposure to light—whether through the window or while you’re outside—it will automatically charge.
Mobvoi TicWatch E2 and S2
Both the Mobvoi TicWatch E2 and the S2 (pictured) come with much-needed improvements. For starters, they look sleeker and more attractive than the originals. The company has also swapped out MediaTek processors for Qualcomm’s 2100 chipset, allowing you to take advantage of Google’s redesigned Wear OS platform. They’re able to last longer, as well, with 415mAh batteries.
Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2
On the outside, the Kate Spade Scallop Smartwatch 2 looks identical to its predecessor, down to the signature scalloped top ring. But it packs far more power. Under the hood, there’s built-in GPS, a heart rate monitor, and an NFC chip for contactless payment, all packed into a chic and stylish case.
Michael Kors Access Sofie 2
Almost two years later, Michael Kors is back with a new version of the Access Sofie, this time with far more capabilities. It has built-in GPS, a heart rate monitor, and an NFC chip for Google Pay. It stays true to the styling of the original, with signature pavé setting stones on the top ring.
The Omron HeartGuide looks like your typical smartwatch on the outside, but but has an inflatable blood pressure cuff and EKG capability built in. This allows you to measure your blood pressure whenever you’d like, and the data will then sync to the Omron Connect app, where a history of your blood pressure and EKG readings are stored. Based on the activity you enter in the app (like lifestyle habits and diet), you’ll also receive recommendations and insights specifically tailored to help improve your health.
Designed to help prevent violence against women, the App-Elles bracelet lets the wearer subtly call for help. By pressing down on it, the device will alert one of the three emergency contacts that have been added on the connected app (they too need the app in order to receive a notification that you’re in need of help). They’ll then be able to track your location in real time using the GPS built into the bracelet, and can also listen to live audio of what’s going on around you. And even if you don’t have the bracelet on, you can still use the app to notify your contacts.
L’Oreal My Skin Track pH by La Roche-Posay
Fresh out of its Technology Incubator, L’Oréal unveiled a prototype of its new skincare wearable, My Skin Track pH, to help improve conditions like eczema, dryness, and more. What essentially looks like a tiny bandage or sticker is capable of reading your pH level through a combination of micro-channels and trace amounts of sweat. The connected app then makes an assessment based on your results and provides product recommendations from the La Roche-Posay line.
Music: Not Impossible
Created specifically to enhance musical experiences for the deaf, Music: Not Impossible consists of two wristbands, a harness, and two ankle bands. When worn all at once, the system sends vibrations of the music across your body in real time with the music. The creators behind the product hope to have it available for people to rent at music venues to use during shows.
Let’s face it, more often than not we forget the names of the people we meet for the first time. OrCam’s MyMe is here to help. Clip it to your shirt, and its 13-megapixel sensor will take quick thumbnail shots of the people you meet, which you can then tag and organize into groups on the companion app. It can also automatically scan a name tag or business card, which is then synced to the app. In terms of privacy, all the data is stored on the device itself and never sent to the cloud.
Whenever you experience pain, wrapping the Quell 2.0 band around your leg (no matter where the pain is) will then prompt it to send neural pulses to the brain, which then trigger a pain relief response in the central nervous system. This second-generation model includes an Intensive Therapy option that acts even faster than its predecessor. It’s also been cleared by the FDA for use during the day and night. The Quell Relief app has been updated with a Therapy Coach feature you can use to customize your therapy and track the progress of your sessions.
Willow’s new wearable breast pump has the same look and comfort of its original model, but comes with a few improvements. While the Willow 2.0 is still discreet to others, there’s now more visibility for those actually pumping. There’s a clear flange to help align the nipple with the device, and a peek-through window to check on milk flow while pumping. Rather than an interlocking clasp like on the first Willow, the Willow 2.0 has a quick-snap closure that’s easy to take apart and put back together. And in addition to tracking milk volume in real time, Willow’s connected app now provides women with personalised notifications and tips.
With the Owlet Band, expecting mothers (from 24 weeks to full-term) can check on their baby’s well-being without having to wait until their next doctor’s appointment. Meant to be worn overnight, the band has thin fabric sensors that track metrics like the baby’s heartbeat, the number of kicks, contractions, and more. In the morning, all of the information is sent to the app for you to keep track of. Once you’ve given birth, Owlet also makes a smart sock for newborns.
The DFree is the first wearable on the market to monitor your bladder. The non-invasive ultrasound (that you attach to your lower abdomen using medical tape or simply clip to your pants) detects change in your bladder size as you accumulate urine. Notifications are then sent to the DFree app to notify caregivers when their patients’ bladder is full and it’s time to go to the bathroom. The app can be customized to send notifications when the bladder is filled to a specific capacity.