10 Wearables Every Executive Should Have
Executives are always busy, always travelling, never sleeping always working kind of people—most of the time. But the wearable trend is helping busy people like execs take a step back and listen to their body. We’ve included some of the coolest technology that will help all different aspects of your life.
An executive’s work is never done, which often leads to many long nights and early mornings. Vigo is just the thing you need if you want to be a bit healthier about your sleep and break patterns. The device is worn in your ear like an ear bud from head phones and looks like an elongated Bluetooth headset.
But Vigo is actually designed this way to be able to monitor the speed, duration and the quality of the way you blink with an infrared sensor, accelerometer and an algorithm that determines your level of alertness. An accompanying app will let you know if you’re fatigued or in the zone, and will “nudge” you if you need to take a break. Available for pre-order now.
Eight hours a night of sleep don’t always fit your schedule, especially if you’re doing international business. And for some, the solution is polyphasic sleep—alternate sleep patterns that allow you to break up sleep patterns into smaller increments throughout the day.
NeuroOn is a wearable sleep mask that helps you meet your sleep goals. It measures brain waves, muscle tension and eye movements and records which phase of sleep you are in when. The mask also wakes you up with light that increases in brightness like a sunrise when you’ve reached your peak amount of sleep. NeuroOn is also available for pre-order.
Although all the recent news has been about the Apple Watch, Pebble is credited with the one that started the smart watch craze. In its next generation contribution to the market, Pebble has exceeded its Kickstarter goal by $18,102,644 (that’s right, exceeded) to fund Time.
The device works for iOS or Android, has a seven day battery life and works with several fitness, activity and productivity apps to simplify your everyday life. The main goal of the watch is to make your life easier, not replace your phone. It’s easy, three-button controls interact with a colour interface that is always on. It’s not yet clear when it will be available, but it should be coming soon after their Kickstarter officially closes 27 March.
Most smartwatch enthusiasts will tell you that the Moto 360 is the best looking smartwatch available for Android devices, and we’d have to agree. It’s one of the only watches that offers a circular face that makes sense. Users say it’s comfortable to wear and the material used are high-quality.
It’s Motorola’s first entry in the smartwatch market, and it’s definitely a good first edition. It features Google Now, access to email and chats and the ability to control it with your voice. It’s been on the market for about half a year now and is one of the more stylish options available.
Apple Watch Edition
The highly-anticipated Apple Watch Edition became slightly less highly anticipated when it’ price was announced: the gold timepiece is going to set Australian customers back $14,000 to start. But, if you love Apple and have thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket, this would be the choice for you.
The Watch Edition is only compatible for iPhone users, and you need to have your smartphone on your person for it to work. It will come in two sizes and with a multitude of options for face colour (gold or rose gold) as well as band material and colour. It will be able to potentially replace your fitness trackers, and there are several apps that will already be compatible with the new interface when it launches.
How nice would it be for someone—or in this case something—to tell you just how much you could really accomplish in a day? Reign does this by measuring the variability in time between each heart beat to detect patterns of fatigue or recovery. In doing so Reign can tell you how much exercise you could handle that day, or that maybe it was time to take a break.
For executives who’s schedule is packed every day, this gives you the opportunity to plan out exactly how you plan on exercising, or using that precious down time. Fitness trackers are a dime a dozen now, so Reign’s sleek design and helpful predictive activities set it apart from the rest.
It’s hard to find a fitness tracker wearable, or any wearable really, with a good battery life. The minimalistic and easy to use Misfit Flash’s battery lasts six months. On top of this its waterproof, comes with both a wristband and clip on accessory and works with both major OS’s.
It’s versatile and simplistic without seeming cheap or too niche. The LED readout on its cool interface shares daily progress and can be used as a watch, although that’s not its sole purpose. It contects with an app—all you have to do is put the flash on the screen to update with your progress. It’s the perfect companion for running, walking, swimming, tennis, cycling and many other activities.
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The Jawbone Up24 is another sleek option for fitness trackers—one that looks good on both men and women. It’s thin design is unobtrusive to your daily activities, and its no-clasp design helps it stay on your wrist at night (it’s also a sleep tracker).
It tracks activity like steps, calories and calories burned throughout the day, but it also provides a Smart Coach. Based on the night of sleep you got, the coaching application will send you reminders for healthier food options throughout the day, or remind you when you need to get up and go. This was one of my favourite options, as there are very few options on the market that look like a potential fashion accessory but pack a big punch.
Gear VR Innovator Edition
What’s a wearables list if you don’t include some virtual reality tech? We’ve covered the Oculus Rift before, so it’s time to talk about the Gear VR Innovator Edition. Yes, it’s powered by Oculus, but it is built off of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Why? To give people truly mobile VR experiences. The phone snaps into the headset and you can be in a different reality in no time.
It’s relatively affordable, and many were surprised by its immersion ability based off of a phone. It’s a very promising piece of technology, one that people who are interested in virtual reality and the future of the market should look into.
Now this product isn’t just for fun, it’s for safety as well. The developers of Skully were hoping there was a market for motorcycle helmets that utilise augmented reality so as to provide a better, immersive and safer experience for motorcyclists.
The helmet comes with a rear and side view camera, so people have the ability to look behind them without turning. It also includes a GPS navigation system, and can pair with a smartphone so that riders can take calls and play music while being hands free.
Chinese Firm Taigusys Launches Emotion-Recognition System
In a detailed investigative report, the Guardian reported that Chinese tech company Taigusys can now monitor facial expressions. The company claims that it can track fake smiles, chart genuine emotions, and help police curtail security threats. ‘Ordinary people here in China aren’t happy about this technology, but they have no choice. If the police say there have to be cameras in a community, people will just have to live with it’, said Chen Wei, company founder and chairman. ‘There’s always that demand, and we’re here to fulfil it’.
Who Will Use the Data?
As of right now, the emotion-recognition market is supposed to be worth US$36bn by 2023—which hints at rapid global adoption. Taigusys counts Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom, and PetroChina among its 36 clients, but none of them has yet revealed if they’ve purchased the new AI. In addition, Taigusys will likely implement the technology in Chinese prisons, schools, and nursing homes.
It’s not likely that emotion-recognition AI will stay within the realm of private enterprise. President Xi Jinping has promoted ‘positive energy’ among citizens and intimated that negative expressions are no good for a healthy society. If the Chinese central government continues to gain control over private companies’ tech data, national officials could use emotional data for ideological purposes—and target ‘unhappy’ or ‘suspicious’ citizens.
How Does It Work?
Taigusys’s AI will track facial muscle movements, body motions, and other biometric data to infer how a person is feeling, collecting massive amounts of personal data for machine learning purposes. If an individual displays too much negative emotion, the platform can recommend him or her for what’s termed ‘emotional support’—and what may end up being much worse.
Can We Really Detect Human Emotions?
This is still up for debate, but many critics say no. Psychologists still debate whether human emotions can be separated into basic emotions such as fear, joy, and surprise across cultures or whether something more complex is at stake. Many claim that AI emotion-reading technology is not only unethical but inaccurate since facial expressions don’t necessarily indicate someone’s true emotional state.
In addition, Taigusys’s facial tracking system could promote racial bias. One of the company’s systems classes faces as ‘yellow, white, or black’; another distinguishes between Uyghur and Han Chinese; and sometimes, the technology picks up certain ethnic features better than others.
Is China the Only One?
Not a chance. Other countries have also tried to decode and use emotions. In 2007, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched a heavily contested training programme (SPOT) that taught airport personnel to monitor passengers for signs of stress, deception, and fear. But China as a nation rarely discusses bias, and as a result, its AI-based discrimination could be more dangerous.
‘That Chinese conceptions of race are going to be built into technology and exported to other parts of the world is troubling, particularly since there isn’t the kind of critical discourse [about racism and ethnicity in China] that we’re having in the United States’, said Shazeda Ahmed, an AI researcher at New York University (NYU).
Taigusys’s founder points out, on the other hand, that its system can help prevent tragic violence, citing a 2020 stabbing of 41 people in Guangxi Province. Yet top academics remain unconvinced. As Sandra Wachter, associate professor and senior research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, said: ‘[If this continues], we will see a clash with fundamental human rights, such as free expression and the right to privacy’.