As more and more companies begin to tackle the wearable tech market with smartwatches and fitness trackers, we thought that is time to look at some of the weirdest wearables you might not have seen before (and for good reason).
1. Acer Selfie Hat
A shameless marketing stunt timed to coincide with London fashion week, the Acer Selfie Hat has to be the worst wearable of all time. A massive pink sombrero which can seemingly bend the laws of physics to hold an Iconia A-1 tablet in front of your face, the Selfie Hat wouldn’t know subtle if it photo-bombed its entire Instagram feed.
Thankfully you’re unlikely to ever see the hat in public, because sales from Acer are by appointment only, and we can only hope it stays that way.
2. The QR Tie
Simply telling someone your Twitter handle or website address is, like, so 2012. That’s why a group of bros got together to create the QR Tie, a neck accessory that has a QR code built into its back. That way, you can ask strangers to awkwardly scan your tie with their phones to pull up your profile or personal site. That’s networking!
The QR Tie crew raised only five per cent of the funding it needed to launch on Kickstarter, so I guess we’ll have to live with the archaic practice of speaking, emailing, tweeting, beaming, or doing any number of other things preferable to QR scanning for now.
3. Drum Pants
Another baffling invention from KickStarter, DrumPants are two lines of pressure sensors which fit inside any jeans or trousers. The sensors can be customised to make the sounds of almost any instrument, or be used to answer your phone with a tap of your leg, and control games over Bluetooth; sound can be sent through headphones or an external speaker clipped to your belt.
The developers of DrumPants have raised more than $74,000 on KickStarter, double their original $35,000 target, and plan to use the sensors to control Google Glass or any other smart glasses – because patting your thigh while peering into Glass on the bus is a great look.
4. The SmartWig
If only I were making this up: Sony actually once filed a patent for something it calls the SmartWig – a wig that puts all sorts of embedded sensors right atop your noggin. Yeah, I’m scratching my head about it, too.
So what’s this fuzzy cranium cap all about? Well, first you should know that the SmartWig could be made from human hair, horse hair, buffalo hair, or yak hair, according to Sony’s patent.Tucked deep within its curls is a high-tech circuit board that connects to your phone along with a series of actuators.
The actuators let the wig stimulate your brain cave whenever you get a new LinkedIn invite from your cousin or half-legible text message from your mother. Beyond that, the wig’s sensors could let you control PowerPoint presentations and even deploy a hidden hair-based laser pointer (yes, really) – presumably for all those times you need to point out just how ridiculous you look with this thing on your head.
This is a wearable which automatically records everything you’re interested in. Using an EEG sensor, the Neurocam monitors brain activity and constantly scores you on a scale of one to 100. When you reach 60 or more, the Neurocam tells an iPhone attached to the side of your head to start recording video through a prism which beams everything you see through 45 degrees and into the iPhone’s rear camera.
It’s certainly weird, but marketers could learn an awful lot from the data the Neurocam collects, such as how effective new advertisements are, or if a new shop layout is more interesting and engaging than it was previously.
6. The Smart Bra
Pop quiz: What’s the best way to get your wife or girlfriend to slap you immediately? If you answered “by suggesting she wear a bra covered in electrical wires that alert her whenever she might be engaging in emotional overeating,” DING DING DING! You’re correct!
Believe it or not, the concept is real: Researchers from Microsoft and a couple of universities teamed up to create a female support garment laced with “psychological sensors.” The sensors supposedly detect the wearer’s emotions and then assess if she eats more when she’s stressed. At least, that’s what the boobs behind the project told their bosses in order to get the study approved.
7. The Headflat Phone Holder
Headflat’s creators say the device could solve the oh-so-pressing problem of having your smartphone in your hand and getting fingerprint smudges on your screen. Instead, you can just strut around with this giant thing strapped to your head. Awesome!
Not surprisingly, Headflat didn’t reach its funding goal on Kickstarter. However, the project managed to raise a whopping $78,000 from a total of 172 backers. Keep dreaming, you crazy kids. One day, you’ll find a way to attach your phones to your heads and show your friends and family just how awesome you are.
8. InCync Bluetooth Speaker
Meet InCync, a portable Bluetooth speaker that attaches to places like your hat, backpack, or shirt pocket so you can annoy everyone around you in style. Sadly, InCync reached its funding goal on Kickstarter and might actually show up in the world at some point in the foreseeable future.
Just think: One day we’ll look back fondly on the days of the Bluetooth headset guy and chuckle at how obnoxious he once seemed.
9. Necomimi Cat Ears
Strap on a pair of Necomimi’s brainwave cat ears and when you are focused, the ears perk up; when you’re in the zone (Your guess about how they differentiate between focused and “in the zone” is as good as ours) they wiggle up and down. When you’re relaxed, the ears droop down. The ears come in all different colours and patterns to channel your unique inner cattiness. Just be careful walking around with your cat ears on, you wouldn’t want to be mistaken for a feral cat!
Wearables with a naughty side are not new to the scene, but this one comes with an extra side of activity tracking. Strip away the PR talk and it’s essentially a pedometer for your man-bits to measure calories burnt and erm, pace. And just like why every activity tracker was invented, you can also share your sessions via the accompanying app on social media.