Wearable technology will make a great Christmas gift
Warning: Contains spoilers (especially if you’re my Mum)
Stuck for gift ideas this Christmas? Think about giving wearable technology, it’s something that will last throughout the year.
The wearable technology market has matured to the point where a high-tech wristband like the Jawbone UP24, the Nike+ Fuelband SE or the Fitbit Force will make a welcome gift for anyone with a smartphone. Or you could consider a smartwatch – but tread carefully and read the reviews, they don’t seem to appeal to everyone.
Stuck for ideas? Here’s a few pointers …
Nike+ Fuelband SE – it’s the wristband that’s got the looks, and now also tracks sleep as well as steps, although you’ll need an iPhone or recent Android phone for syncing.
Pebble smartwatch – link your smartphone to your watch and get email notifications, review your appointments, play your music, etc. Alternatives: Samsung Galaxy Gear or Sony Smartwatch.
Jawbone UP24 – stylish wristband now with Bluetooth syncing, the Jawbone not only looks great but has the most-advanced ecosystem of the current slew of devices. Connection to the Internet of Things (IoT) is a big advantage for those who want to liberate their data and map and track their stats. Not yet available outside the USA (mid-December 2013).
Fitbit Force – more ordinary-looking wristband than the UP and the Fuelband but probably the easiest to wear, and as well as doing everything the others do, it tracks climb through the addition of an altimeter. So if you’re looking for a device that will track your fitness in the most dimensions, go for a Force.
Fitbit Zip or Fitbug Orb – if you’re on a tighter budget, get the belt-worn Zip or the wrist-worn Orb activity tracker. Both offer the same basics, a pedometer and accelerometer, so you can track your steps and movement. The Zip has a battery that lasts “4-6 months” according to Fitbit, which is far better than the usual few days you can expect with other devices.
And if you’re looking for a gift for someone who is already counting their steps with a Fitbit, a Fuelband or an UP, then consider something that will augment their quest for the quantifiable self, for example smart scales (Withings or Fitbit Aria) or a smart watch like the Pebble or Samsung Galaxy Watch. Or, you could consider buying your loved one a subscription to Fitbit’s premium stats service.