SXSW's weird and wonderful wearables

SXSW: The wackiest devices we found at this year's Austin show
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This has been one hoppin' week for wearables and VR at SXSW. We've been to several fantastic panels like Under Amour with CEO Kevin Plank and learned about the ways VR is being used in conservation efforts.

There was far too much to see and we were overwhelmed by the massive list of talks on wearables and VR.

But things outside the session rooms got pretty wacky, keeping in line with the slogan, "Keep Austin Weird."

From Chaotic Moon's design studio, to our time roaming around the SXSW Trade Show, here are the weirdest wearables we've found attempting to break the mold and create daring statements with their innovations.


SXSW's weird and wonderful wearables

Probably showing the cutest demo videos at SXSW, Inupathy is a pet wearable that promises to tell you what your pooch is feeling.

The color and light pattern of the device is supposed to show you whether the dog is happy, excited, anxious, etc., through a heart monitor with specialized algorithms for canines.

CEO Joji Yamaguchi first started testing the Inupathy monitor on his corgi and then slowly branched out to other dogs in order to refine the algorithm. He told us, "A dog's tail can you tell you how he is feeling but Inupathy is more precise." Yamaguchi also noted that he wants the device to be used in determining the dog's health and wellbeing.

The Inupathy pet wearable is available through Indiegogo starting at $199.

Telepathy Walker

SXSW's weird and wonderful wearables

Telepathy Walker is kind of like Google Glass if Glass was primarily a gadget to help you navigate while walking.

However the AR smartglasses are more along the lines of less functional Epson Moverio BT-300's. The company says the Walkers can also be used for outdoor applications and location based AR games.

You can find the glasses on Kickstarter for $349 which is a low price point considering the post-funding cost is $699.

Sony N conceptSXSW's weird and wonderful wearables

The Sony N neckband and earbuds from the newly unveiled Future Lab Program, like the Xperia Ear which we saw at MWC, focuses on audio interfaces and voice commands.

The command is "Listen up, Arc" and there's no tapping buttons or swiping on the device itself, it's all voice and hands-free. Then simply say something like "Take a picture" to open the lens of the camera built into the right hand edge of the neckband.

Just like most of the weird tech we've seen, the N neckband is very much a concept and was brought to SXSW to gauge the interest of early adopters. We may never see it on store shelves, or if we do, they might look completely different.

Remidi smart glove

SXSW's weird and wonderful wearables

The Remidi glove is essentially a digital interface controller in a glove that can interact with laptops, iPads and whatever else is running compatible MIDI software to make music.

Essentially, wearing the Remidi will make DJ'ing and composing the easiest thing ever.

Watching the demo of the glove is absolutely nuts. The slightest twitch of a finger or turn of the wrist produced a different sound and effect. It seems easy to do but might take some time and practice to figure out the wearable's tricks.

Entrim 4D

SXSW's weird and wonderful wearables

The Entrim 4D headset was created by one of Samsung's nine Creative Labs to help you really feel VR experiences.

Electrodes are placed in the headphone's ear cups and through a combination of algorithms and Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS), sends electric messages to your inner ear nerve. This signals your brain to feel movement when you're watching stuff in VR.

Just like the Sony N, the Entrims are only a concept and the team has no plans beyond showing it off at SXSW. Though Insung Lee, assistant manager of the Creativity and Innovation Center, did tell us any future plans are confidential which to us sounds like something might happen down the line.

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Lily is a writer and editor specializing in tech, video games, marketing, education, travel writing, and creative fiction. 

She has over 10 years of experience covering the technology beat.

Lily has a passion for VR and AR technologies and was associate wearables editor at TechRadar US, before joining Wareable as US editor in 2016.

Lily will graduate in 2023 with an MFA in Creative Writing.

In her spare time, Lily can be found knee-deep in zine collaborations, novel writing, playing Dungeons & Dragons or hiking and foraging for mushrooms.

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