The notion of being fashionably smart is getting a makeover as internet-linked computers get woven into formerly brainless attire such as glasses, bracelets and shoes. A wearable computing trend is at the heart of the "quantified self" movement in which people track anything from how many calories they burn to how well they sleep or their moods at any given moment.
"We are heading for the wearable computing era," Gartner analyst Van Baker told AFP. "People are going to be walking around with personal area networks on their bodies and have multiple devices that talk to each other and the Web."
Understandably, the trend has found traction in fitness with devices such as the Jawbone UP, Nike's FuelBand, and Fitbit keeping tabs on whether people are leading active, healthy lifestyles. The devices use sensors to detect micro movements and then feed information to smartphones or tablets, where applications tap into processing power to analyze data and provide feedback to users.
San Francisco-based Jawbone jumped into wearable computing years ago, building electronic brains into stylish wireless earpieces and speakers for smartphones. Jawbone recently added muscle to its lineup of fitness lifestyle devices with a deal to buy BodyMedia.