#Trending: Wearables take over CES 2016

This was the year the Vegas tech show truly embraced wearable technology
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In previous years, it's been hybrid tablet / laptops and room-sized ultra high resolution TVs that have dominated CES proceedings, but traditional tech certainly took a back seat in 2016.

If anyone was in any doubt whether wearable tech is here for the long run, you only have to take a look at not only the number of announcements, but the companies that were making those announcements.

From L'Oréal's UV detecting patch to the Recon smart paintball mask, this year's wearable showing has not just been about more smartwatches and fitness trackers.

Big companies and startups from all walks of life have been having their say on the evolution of wearable technology and not just simply jumping on the bandwagon. Although, there's always a few of those as well.

So who will benefit most from the biggest CES announcements? We break down the industries set to gain the most from the latest wearable launches, plus one that still has some way to go.

WEAR - Sport

#Trending: Wearables take over CES 2016

The world of sport and fitness has driven the adoption of wearable technology right from the start. Whether that's been fitness trackers, running watches or more recently smart clothing, there's been plenty available to aid performance.

At CES this year, it's all been about catering for niche audiences. Take the updated Vert for instance, a device that's capable of analysing an athlete's jumping prowess. It sounds like a great fit for basketball players and has already been integrated into the regimes of the US womens' national volleyball team. Now you can't get more niche than volleyball can you?


#Trending: Wearables take over CES 2016

Yes, wearables are finally starting to look less like ugly pieces of tech and that can only be a good thing. Fossil revealed this year that it's planning to launch 100 wearables this year, with brands like Armani, Michael Kors and DKNY under its umbrella.

Mira also revealed new styles for its jewellery range and even companies like Samsung and Huawei are wising up to what it takes to make a good-looking wearable. Unfortunately, we're still having to contend with the odd dress packed with lights being passed off as fashionable wearable tech, but the relationship between the two industries is certainly heading in the right direction.

SQUARE - Transport

#Trending: Wearables take over CES 2016

Now we're not talking transport of the two-wheeled variety. Cycling and wearables have enjoyed a good relationship so far with kit like Garmin's Varia Vision grabbing the headlines at this year's show. We're actually talking about cars here. Aside from partnerships like Ford's with the Apple Watch to control or find your car, there's not been a great deal to talk about recently. Volvo announced this week it was letting Microsoft Band 2 users talk to their car to set up the navigation, turn on the heater or lock the doors.

Audi meanwhile revealed its looking at a system where it'll pack the kind of sensors you find inside a fitness tracker into its cars. When paired with an smartwatch or tracker the car will be able to monitor heart rate and skin temperature to detect the driver's driving style and breathing. There's potential there for a great marriage between wearables and the automotive industry, but it's not quite there yet. We're sure it will be soon enough though.

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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