Only a year ago, everyone had this funny idea that ‘wearable tech’ would be all about dresses with LEDs in them, weird and wacky clothes that would look very futuristic (but wouldn’t actually do much) and jackets that could, well… switch your oven on.
What they didn’t get is that to appeal to women in particular, wearable tech actually needed to be more about stuff like making your thighs look slimmer or flattening your stomach.
A year later, some of the more ambitious idea around wearables have faded and what it’s actually become is mainly a health and fitness aid – and it’s certainly not integrated itself invisibly into our clothes yet either.
But we’re getting there, and at CES this week, Samsung went straight in for the kill, not with fitness bands or smartwatches but a belt – and one that actually looks like a normal belt too.
Called the Welt for ‘wellness belt’ (not a great name, guys but better than Emiota’s hideously ugly and badly-named Belty from last year’s show), it uses smart sensor tech to send data to an app. That data includes waist size measurement, number of steps taken in a day, how much you’re eating based on how much tighter the belt starts to feel, and time spent sitting down. The data is analysed and produces a range of personalised healthcare and weight management plans. Oh, and it charges via a discreet micro USB port.
It won’t necessarily get into stores as it’s part of Samsung’s Creative Lab programme where employees can develop ideas and see them developed into prototypes but reaction to it has been positive enough that maybe it will become a reality.
It’s the first piece of wearable tech I’ve seen that actually combines tech with clothing or accessories and feels normal. Do you think it’s a good idea? Watch this video from The Verge for more.