10 Best Wearable Tech Devices for Back to School

Wearable technology is the next big thing, and tech-savvy college students will want to be in-the-know about these new and just launching consumer devices.  From sleep monitors to fitness trackers to GPS-enabled shoes, there are some truly incredible wearables now available for consumers to purchase.  Here are my top ten picks for back to school:

1) Vigo Energy Gauge

This Bluetooth headset is the perfect companion for all-night study sessions.  Vigo uses an infrared sensor and accelerometer to track patterns in your blinks and movements to learn when you’re the most alert and when you need a break.  The device can even give you gentle nudges to keep you alert when you need to be in the form of a soft pulsing vibration, a discrete LED light, or even your favorite pump-up song!  The Vigo app will also log and track your alertness data and provide you with visualizations and reports.  It’s $79 and ships out this October.

2) Nike Lunar TR1+

These amazing fitness trainers have pressure and motion sensors built in along with Bluetooth accelerometers.  The sensors work with the Nike+ Training app that offers Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced daily or weekly drills and workouts and the Nike+ Running app that tracks your jogging.  You can share your progress and get ranked on the Nike+ website.  What I love most about these trainers is that the sensors detect your weight distribution when you’re doing the exercises and will correct you if you’re doing a position or exercise the wrong way, so they are in essence just like having a robotic personal trainer!  They are $110 and are available in a variety of colors.

3) The Pebble Steel Smart Watch

This great-looking, 5 ATM water resistant watch can hold up to 8 apps at a time, displays texts and notifications from your phone, and will even pay for your latte at Starbucks!  The new and improved version of the Pebble smartwatch can control the music on your phone, track your fitness workout, and display your grocery lists.  You can change the watchface by downloading other designs and choose from thousands of apps in the official Pebble app store.  The Steel watch is $249 and is shipping now.

4) Smarty Ring

This fashionable stainless steel smart ring sports an LED display on the front that delivers notifications from your phone.  Similar to a smart watch, this wearabe enables you to make phone calls, screen your calls, receive text notifications, and control the music and the camera on your phone like a remote.  It’s waterproof, has a 24 hour battery life and is currently available for $175.

5) Lechal GPS Shoes

The Ducere Tech startup has created GPS-enabled “smart shoes” that literally mean “take me there” in Hindi.  These amazing shoes work via Bluetooth that connects to your phone. You just tell the app (for Android or iOS devices) your detisnation and they will vibrate the directions for you.  The best part is that if you like your current sneakers/shoes, you can just buy the insoles!  They range from $100-$150 and are available in red and black.  Perfect for those students who have trouble finding their way back to their dorm!! They won’t ship until the spring semester, but still made this list due to their uniqueness and affordability.

6) Tzukuri Sunglasses

Are you always forgetting your sunglasses?  These ingenious solar-powered Japanese sunglasses come with an embedded chip that interacts with your cellphone to let you know if you’ve left them behind.  If you walk more than 16 feet from your shades the app will send you an alert and you will continue to receive them at 32ft and 50ft.  It will also display a map location of where you left them.  The sunglasses are $249 and are shipping this fall.

7) neuro:on Sleep Mask

For all those college students that have crazy sleep schedules, here’s a device that is designed to help you reach polyphasic sleep by sleeping for shorter time periods throughout the day.  Leonardo Da Vinci, Nikola Tesla and many others are known to have been polyphasic sleepers.  The neuro:on is a personal sleep and rest manager.  The device monitors brain and sleep waves, eye movement, muscle tension, heart rate, body temperature, and blood saturation to detect which phase of sleep you’re in so that it can wake you up at the optimal time.  It wakes you up by creating a setting of artificial dawn.  Neuro:ons go for $299 and are shipping in January 2015.

8) JayBird Reign Activity Tracker

It’s easy to get bogged down with schoolwork and forget about fitness, but the Reign personal fitness tracker that you wear on your wrist is here to help.  Reign automatically identifies the activities you do throughout the day such as running, walking, etc. and will make recommendations for how much more you should do to stay fit or whether you need to take a day off.  It also automatically recognizes sleep and will make recommendations about how much more sleep you need to get each night.  The companion Reign app is available for
iPhone, Android and the Web.  They are available this Fall and sell for $199.

9) Google Glass

Google Glass is in essence a wearable computer in the form of a pair of eyeglasses that are voice activated. According to the New York Times, “Glass wearers can take pictures or record video without using their hands, send the images to friends or post them online, see walking directions, search the Web by voice command and view language translations. The glasses reach the Internet through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which connects to the wireless service on a user’s cellphone. The glasses respond when a user speaks, touches the frame or moves the head.”.

10) Hero3+ Wearable Camera

The Hero3 mountable camera can be worn to capture all of your favorite activities in a hands-free fashion.  Great for sporting activities of all kinds, the Hero3 can be taken anywhere, including underwater.  Perfect for winter break snowboarding or spring break snorkeling!! It has built-in wifi that enables remote control on smartphones and tablets.