The wackiest wearables of CES 2015

The first rule of Wearable Club is there are no rules
The wackiest wearables of CES 2015

Once a year the tech industry meets in Vegas to show off its most useful and innovative devices, apps and systems. And wearable tech is no different with everything from fashion smartwatches to open source VR to Intel's button sized Curie module on show. That's what our best wearables of CES list is for.

This is not that list.

Because once a year the tech industry also shows off its freakiest creations, its high school science projects gone wrong. These are the devices that make you frown and turn your head sideways as you try to figure out what these wearables do and WHY? Some will be refined into tech we can actually use, some will grab headlines and some will gather dust in garages and labs around the world.

All of them prove that there is nothing as wonderfully weird as the human mind.

Smart Spider Dress

The Synapse Dress, powered by Intel Edison, caught our eye in our best smart clothing round-up but this year experimental fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht has really stepped up her game.

Not only does the Smart Spider Dress - also running on Intel's Edison board - sense the wearer's mood, its robotic spider legs react to biometric signals from stress levels and how much personal space is being 'attacked'. Proximity sensors measure up to 23 feet around the body and has nine degrees of movement.

In a bonkers meeting of animal kingdom rules and high fashion, the 'collar' of the dress can go into territorial 'attack' mode is the wearer feels threatened or dance in an inviting manner if approached in a careful manner.

For extra bonus points, the robotic dress is of course 3D printed from pearly white nylon.

iGrow

More medical claims than ever are flying around the halls of CES 2015 - the most controversial of which is the HealBe GoBe's claims to automatically measure the calories we consume.

Here's another medical marvel bit of gadgetry that we're taking with a pinch of salt for now - the iGrow. This, er, helmet uses low-level laser treatment to stimulate hair growth when worn for just 20 minutes a day. The headphones are there to keep it in place and so that the wearer can listen to music at the same time.

It's not cheap at $695 and we're not really qualified to know whether the iGrow would have any real effect on hair growth. But we're just glad crazy devices like this find a home at CES.

Skechers Game Kicks

We are not a bunch of ten year olds. And yet. And yet. There's something weirdly appealing about Skechers putting the memory game Simon onto the side of its kids' trainers at CES 2015. To play, kids can sit down on the floor, cross their legs and hit the 'on' button to make the lights start flashing.

The Game Kicks - available in two variations for boys and girls - also represent the absolute worst definition of wearable tech - making something wearable for no real reason. And yet. They're kind of cool.

Emiota Belty

It's mad, it got a lot of attention on the opening day of CES, it's Belty. This smart, motorised belt buckle can loosen or tighten its fit to keep you comfortable even after an eating session to rival Man Vs Food. In fact, Belty is so on it, the belt will even adjust as you sit down or stand up.

It's only a prototype for now but there's also step tracking and a vibration alert that can be set to buzz you when you've been sat down for too long - we imagine it would be similar to how Lumo's posture tracker nags you into standing straight. Emotia plans to release a refined Belty buckle by the end of 2015.

Read more: Top fitness tech of CES 2015

ONvocal Mix360

The Mix360 could have potential but probably not as a standalone headset. Its creators say they want to transform how we listen to music with technology that allows you to bring in ambient noise as and when you want to.

Ambient noise includes your own voice so if you want to use the Mix360 as a Bluetooth headset, it's a neat way to avoid shouting in the street, for instance. ONvocal also want to improve street safety as people tend to never let earbuds leave their ears.

It's all controlled via a slick looking smartphone app but that doesn't stop it being mighty niche. A nice extra feature on existing headphones and headsets, maybe, but we wouldn't splash out $300-$350 on this.

OhMiBod

We couldn't miss this off the list. OhMiBod's swanky blueMotion 'massagers' (the sexy kind) have taken things to the next level with biometric feedback. That means that once they're hooked up to a smartwatch over the OhMiBod Remote app (and Bluetooth), the intensity of the vibrations can depend on your partner/frenemy/bit on the side's heart rate read by the watch, wherever they are in the world. The logic being the more excited they get, the more excited you get. Phew, enough of that now.

In depth: Sex and wearable tech laid bare

Melomind

This connected headset wants to get rid of stress. By using hi-tech biofeedback since it's actually an EEG device. That just means the Melomind reads your brain activity and transmits it to a smartphone app where it's translated into music. Of course. The odd bit is that instead of just playing relaxing music, there's a second type of distracting sounds, like annoying interference, so the goal is to train your brain to relax in order to get rid of it. Sounds stressful.

It might make you look like you're auditioning to be an Elf Queen in Lord of the Rings but Melomind has actually been approved by the FDA in the US for helping people with ADHD. Due to go on sale in September 2015 for $285.

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