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June 12, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 1:25pm

5 of the best wearable techs for summer 2014

From rings to weightlifting bands, we look at five of the best wearables this summer.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

1. Apple’s weightlifting band


There have been rumours mounting that Apple is preparing to bring its own fitness band to the market, designed to wrap around the cold hard steel of a barbell.

The iPhone maker has been awarded a patent by the US patent and Trademark Office, which details a weightlifting tracker that would pair with a watch-like device to provide live progress-tracking for users.

The patent outlines how a transmitter could attach itself to a weightlifting bar to count repetitions in real-time during a workout.

The device would also include a screen for displaying the results, ensuring that repetitions are carried out in a smooth and controlled manner.

2 Smart dress


Researchers from the New York University have created a smart dress that claims to become more transparent the more a wearer is active online.

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The x.pose dress is made from a 3D mesh that uses location data from the wearer’s phone. The mesh is then controlled by a small computer at the back of the dress where it wirelessly monitors the user’s online activity on Twitter, Instram and other media sites on your smartphone.

The dress gradually becomes more see-through depending on the volume of posts and other activity by its wearer.

"By participating in this hyper-connected society while having little to no control of my digital data production, how much of myself do I unknowingly reveal? To what degree does the aggregated metadata collected from me paint an accurate portrait of who I am as a person? What aspects of my individuality are reflected in this portrait? " the researchers explained.

3. Ring


Photo: Ringly

It’s an 18K-gold plated ring that connects with your smartphone to let you know when someone is ringing, emailing or texting you.

Creators Ringly offers a selection of black onyx, rainbow moonstone, pink sapphire, and emerald stones, which are controlled by an iOS or Android app using Bluetooth Low Energy.

Users can also customise notifications for certain people by being set to blinking lights and vibration patterns when the user is contacted.

Ringly says the app can also push alerts from apps such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Uber and sites.

The rings are available for pre-order today at $145 and will go up to $195 when it ships in the fall.

4. Barclays’ wristband


Photo: Barclays

The UK bank this week said it was planning to introduce a contactless payments wristband for consumer in 2015.

Called bPAy, the waterproof rubber wristbands, which will use the same technology currently found in the bank’s contactless credit and debit cards, will be open for most UK card holders, not just Barclays customers.

Barclays expects the band to serve other uses, such as allowing entry into festivals, starting with the British Summer Time music festival in Hyde Park this July, where they will be also used to buy food and drink.


5. Nex Band


Photo source: Mighty Cast

Designed by Montreal-based firm Mighty Cast, the bracelet allows wearers to add charms or smart module, which can be changed round and customised as required.

One module could be set to activate a special feature in a game on your smartphone, while another might be set up to provide light-up notifications from social networks.

The bracelet, which connects to iOS and Android devices via Bluetooth, can also track users’ fitness or send coded messages to other Nex users.

Mighty Cast said it is releasing a software development kit and API so that third-party developers can create their own modules.

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