Wearable technologies are everywhere this holiday season, but are these fancy new gadgets worth the price tag?
The wearable technologies market faces a hurdle: many of the products on the saturated market offer truly innovative solutions to justify their increased expense. As new “cool” tech becomes available to manufactures, the race to find a use-case for each new gadget begins, however, a lack of use-case rarely stops companies from creating many of the products we see today. With this dilemma in mind, LYFSTYL has decided to explore the crazy world of wearable technologies to appraise just how far the industry has come, and sort the new hotness from the unnecessarily expensive duds.
Interesting and Affordable
In a perfect world, all of the wearable products on the market today would offer something innovative at an affordable price. We don’t live in a perfect world, but the Fitbit Alta HR comes as close as any other wearable product to offering a tangible benefit for a reasonable price. The Alta HR acts as both a fitness tracker and a sleep tracker, allowing those intending to follow through on their New Year’s Resolutions to take full control of their exercise regimen. At a Black Friday price of $129.99 CAD the FitBit Alta HR appears to be one of the most reasonably priced pieces of wearable technology on the market today.
As is the case with wearing a traditional watch in 2017, the Apple Watch arguably functions as a status symbol more than it does a functional product. If you’re comfortable dropping the cash necessary for the ultimate wearables status symbol, the Apple Watch is likely for you, but at $349 USD for the base model I can’t see either iteration of the watch as anything more than a niche luxury product. There’s a certain benefit to maintaining partial iPhone functionality without having to carry the device with you at all times, but I’m just not sure if I’ve seen the technological benefits of the Apple Watch can justify its heavy price tag.
The Naughty List
Not all technological innovations achieve their desired (or marketed) effect, and there are a number of wearable products on the market this holiday season that seem about as real as Santa clause. From thousand-dollar fitness-tracking pants to hundred-dollar “pain relieving” electrodes, it’s clear the wearables market isn’t impervious to a cheap Christmas scam. Santa might be offering “smart” snow pants next season, but for now, make sure to get a gift receipt for any wearables that sound a little too good to be true. Without one, you’re destined to end up on the naughty list.
Words by Kevin Vanstone.