People are hungry for more from their wearable devices, and there's an increasing trend of devices that promise to keep you safe.
And that's no accident. According to the wearable technology and the internet of things report, top on the next-gen wearables list was a panic/SOS button beating smartwatches and location trackers to top spot.
It seems as if Apple might be reading some of the same research. It's decided to add a new SOS mode for the Apple Watch in its watchOS 3 update as we continue to see the emergence of wearable tech to keep us safe. Even when your little ones are out swimming.
With safety wearables set to be a new trend, here are two that are worth checking out and one that still needs some work.
WEAR - Safer by Leaf Wearables
We spoke to Leaf Wearables last year about its smart necklace and its ambition to make 1 million families safer. Safer is now available (in three colours) and promises to send SOS alerts to contacts with a double press on the piece of smart jewellery. It can also share live location details with friend and can navigate you to the nearest hospital and police station. For less than $30, it's a small price to pay for staying safe.
NEARLY THERE - Apple Watch
Apple watchOS 3 is not going to be ready until later this year, but for those who already own an Apple smartwatch and want those panic alarm/safety button features, all that'll will take to get is to download a software update.
If you don't own an Apple Watch, then it's obviously an entirely different story, but the idea of adding the functionality to existing hardware without having to open the wallet is definitely a strategy we can buy into and could make Apple Watch 2 a more appealing purchase.
SQUARE - Smart rings
We've written about two smart rings recently that are putting safety first. The Nimb and Mangos work in a similar way turning the ring face into a button that can send alerts to emergency services and contacts along with location data.
As a wearable form-factor, smart rings face huge challenges. Size, battery life and wearability are all big problems to overcome, and very few smart ring start-ups have actually achieved their goals.
While it's hard to miss that these two smart rings are pretty big and bulky from their campaigns demo videos, the onus is on Nimb and Mangos to succeed where others have failed. The challenge is on.