Holiday Wearables Need the Gift of Super Fast Broadband

• • Broadband, industry trends, Media Distribution Hubs, News, Smart Home, Uncategorized

With the holidays approaching, your customers—and maybe you—are going to be shopping for the latest in wearable technology. There are so many exciting new gadgets available – and all of them need a high-speed broadband network to function. Let’s take look at what your customers might be buying.

If the number of devices on the market is any indication, smartwatches and fitness trackers are here to stay, although makers of both devices have yet to settle on a suite of features. A trend in wearables this fall is smartwatches with fitness and health features, and fitness trackers with smartwatch features.

Apple’s recently release of the Series 2 Smartwatch now includes GPS for improved run tracking, and it’s waterproof to enable swim tracking. This could be an attempt to compete with Moov, a tracker that has received a lot of attention for swim tracking. Android Wear watches now all come equipped with Google Fit, and most of the 2016 smartwatch updates include enhanced fitness features.

And the biggest players in fitness tracking, Fitbit and Garmin, both have devices coming out with smartwatch features this fall. Fitbit Blaze and Garmin Vivioactive HR both include features like email, phone and text alerts.

If you think only your sporty customers will be getting smartwatches this holiday season, think again. Luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer and fashion companies like Fossil and Tommy Hilfiger have smartwatches on the market as well.

Smart clothing is hitting the market in a big way this holiday season as well. Your customers can choose from shirts, shorts, socks or sports bras to track their fitness progress and health. They can use a belt that tracks waistline, steps, and, yes, overeating habits.

Families with babies and small children may also be investing in wearables this year. Wearable baby monitors track vital statistics like heart rate, and smartwatches for kids provide tracking and communication with parents.

VR Headsets and Drum Pants

It’s not all seriousness and sport this year, though. Many households are going to add virtual reality (VR) wearables to their gaming systems over the holidays. These headsets track head movements to provide images that create an immersive 3D world. There are VR options available to your customers on any budget, from the $20 Google cardboard to headsets worth several hundred dollars.

One VR wearable that promises to be popular this year is the Oculus Rift. The exciting feature from Oculus is the Touch, a movement-tracking controller that extends the VR experience by allowing users to “touch” objects in the virtual world. Another thing that makes this device appealing is the number of games and operating systems that are compatible with Oculus.

Some other fun wearables that are perfect for gift-giving are Drum Pants, a wearable drum machine and Blincam, a camera that attaches to any pair of glasses and takes photos when you blink. The big thing for the kids is going to be Disney’s Playmation wearables.

Many of these wearables began as crowdfunding campaigns. In fact, you can learn what’s next on the horizon by checking out what is happening on crowdfunding sites.

The LVL hydration tracker is a big crowdfunding story. The Kickstarter campaign had a goal of only $50,000, and it has earned over $1 million in funding. People want this device.

Another popular campaign has been the N2 Personal Air Conditioning with Personal Sound Space. It’s a neckpiece air conditioner and heater that also connects to a smartphone for hands-free phoning and music.

Whether your customers are into fashion, fun or fitness or simply the next big thing, there’s a wearable that will appeal to each of them.

Make sure their home networks can support all of this increased connectivity. That means bringing fiber or fast copper to the building and making sure it is terminated at the exterior in weatherproof and durable housings. Distribution within the premises will require high-bandwidth cables and Wi-Fi which will benefit from Wi-Fi transparent media distribution enclosures.