Intel, Sony and LG outline wearable technology future

Some of the world’s biggest technology companies, including Intel, Sony and LG have used the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to outline their bids to become the leaders in the wearable technology segment.

The LG Lifeband Touch
The LG Lifeband Touch, announced at CES 2014

Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich used his keynote at the event yesterday (6 January) to outline how the chipmaker plans to create “reference design devices” and platforms ready for use to accelerate the creation of wearable products by technology companies.

These prototype reference devices included fitness tracking earbuds, a bowl that allows devices placed inside to be charged and a smart hands-free headset.

Krzanich said many connected devices currently available are “not solving real problems” and are not yet “integrated with our lifestyles”, but the launch of a new chip called Edison and a competition with a $1.3m prize for the best new wearable technology ideas have been designed to counter this issue.

Intel is also looking to improve the aesthetics of wearable devices and announced partnerships with fashion organisations including the Council of Fashion Designers of America, fashion boutique Opening Ceremony and luxury retailer Barneys New York.

Elsewhere during the show yesterday Sony “underlined its commitment” to the fast-paced wearable technology market with a strategy it is calling “SmartWear”. This includes a “Lifelog” app that allows users to track their everyday movements via a physical “SmartBand” they place on their wrist.

These new products join the SmartWatch 2, which launched last year and now has more than 300 compatible applications.

LG, meanwhile, used CES to take the cover off its first leap into wearable technology designed for fitness tracking: the Lifeband Touch activity tracker that fits like a bracelet and LG Heart Rate Earphones. Both devices can wirelessly link to each other or to Android and iOS smartphones so users can track their activity on an LG Fitness app or other third party apps such as MyFitnessPal or Runkeeper.

Analysts at CCS Insight predict sales of smartphone companion devices such as smart watches will reach 100 million and sales of “quantified self” products like fitness bands will reach 36 million by 2017.

Marketing Week outlines the top trends for marketers to look out for in 2014 – including the move from wearable technology to immersive experiences.

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