There was rarely a dull day at the CES 2024 tech show, which concluded on Friday. An abundance of gadgets unveiled at the trade show will be available for purchase within the next few months. Many others are prototypes that may never be unleashed into the wild.
Let's take a look at the wearables that stood out at CES 2024: from smartwatches to virtual reality (VR) headsets and smart glasses to headphones.
Smartwatches are elegant timepieces combined with fitness tracking and more features. At CES 2024, Garmin stood out of the crowd with the Lily 2 and Lily 2 Classic. It’s a truly lightweight series – starting from just 20.6g - and has a “petite” and “fashionable design. The USP though is the hidden display, that until tapped, shows a patterned background. There’s no built-in GPS, but Garmin is promising five days of battery life, menstrual cycle tracking, sleep tracking, pulse oximeter and more.
There’s also the HRM-Fit heart rate monitor for those who wear medium and high-support sports bras. It’ll offer all the usual real-time workout information you’re used to. The HRM-Fit promises to be much more comfortable for sports bra wearers than any of the other traditional heart rate monitors from Garmin.
The Xreal Air 2 Ultra AR glasses stole everyone’s attention at CES 2024. Priced at $699, and competing directly with Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3, the Xreal Air 2 Ultra is blurring the lines between AR (augmented reality) specs and VR headsets. The Xreal Air 2 Ultra AR glasses come with dual 3D cameras up front, which enable all the tracking capabilities you’d see in other AR glasses. There’s even hand-tracking to control apps. These AR glasses have an expanded field of view (1080p OLED displays) of 52 degrees. Alongside the two 1080p OLED displays, you get a 120Hz refresh rate and 500 nits of peak brightness. The XReal Air 2 Ultra AR glasses are, however, slightly heavier, weighing in at 80g.
Oura may be leading the pack when it comes to smart rings but Amazfit and Evie are not far behind.
The 4G Amazfit Helio Ring promises detailed sleep tracking, reading scoring and more. Amazfit is the first of the companies to integrate smart ring data into their ecosystem. With the Amazfit Helio Ring, you needn’t wear your watch while you sleep. The ring is enough to track your sleep details. The Amazfit Helio Ring can last for weeks between charges. The ring weighs in at less than 4g. It has a titanium alloy composition.
On the other end of the spectrum is the women-first Evie smart ring. The smart ring has everything you’d expect and then some. There are trackers for sleep, blood oxygen, heart health and more. But the kicker is the artificial intelligence (AI) that looks at all the information as well as logs concerning activity levels, menstrual cycles and moods, and provides insight into what exactly has positive impacts on your health.
The Evie smart ring has an open ring design. It accounts for all the changes in women’s finger sizes during their menstrual cycle.
EssilorLuxottica, a leading brand in eyewear and lenses, unveiled glasses that help those with hearing loss. Nuance Audio weighs in at just over 40g and comes in two styles. There’s an invisible advanced hearing technology built into the frames. The volume can be controlled via the glasses, an app or even a small remote. They take just 2.5 hours to fully charge after placing them on the wireless charging pad.
A Romanian start-up by the name of Lumen showed off its glasses for blind users. Using various sensors, the headset guides a user via trackers (which sense if something is blocking the path ahead). A vibration, on either side of the headset, will guide you to change direction and avoid the obstacle. The headset uses technology found in cars and comes with six cameras and uses AI to determine if the path ahead is safe for walking or not.
Dutch start-up Breggz was also present on the CES 2024 show floor. They brought their luxury hearable (a wireless in-ear computer) that has four speakers per ear to create a concert-like audio experience. Furthermore, these also have a voice-activated personal assistant that lets you have your emails read out or even use ChatGPT.
Thanks to the GyroGlove, those with Parkinson’s can do basic tasks without any worries. Donning the GyroGlove, an FDA Class-1 approved glove, consumers can draw, make a cup of tea, button their shirts and much more without the need for any external help.
The device has a large gyroscopic motor on the back of the glove, resting on the back of the hand. It’s attached to a battery pack. The GyroGlove is not cheap though, coming in at $5,899, and is available for purchase.
Master & Dynamic MW75-Neuro headphones: The CES Innovation Award this year was given to Master & Dynamic MW75-Neuro headphones. They are one of the first electroencephalogram-enabled (EEG) wearables for the consumer market. They are made in partnership with with the Neurable AI platform and were announced back in December 2023. These headphones integrate neurotechnology into the popular MW75 noise-cancelling headphones. The sensors are integrated into the fabric of the frame.
The headphones track the wearer’s brainwaves to help identify stress and focus periods, and discover the optimal mental well-being conditions via the Neurable AI app analysis.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4: Sennheiser showcased the next-gen Momentum True Wireless 4 earbuds. They come with aptX Lossless Audio and Auracast (enabling wireless streaming to an unlimited number of nearby audio devices) support. The truly wireless stereos (TWS) earbuds are built on Qualcomm’s new S5 Sound Gen 2 platform and Snapdragon Sound Technology. Essentially, higher-quality music with ultra-low latency and lossless audio can be streamed with Bluetooth 5.4 connectivity.
Sennheiser also has the MOMENTUM Sport, which has an integrated photoplethysmography (PPG) heart rate sensor and a body temperature sensor. The earbuds output biometric data to already existing fitness devices and apps. These buds have a semi-open design and are created for runners.
JBL Live TWS 3: JBL’s Live TWS 3 builds upon the game-changing charging case and how we interact with them. The series includes Buds, Beam and Flex wearing styles. The charging case brings the much-loved 1.45-inch LED touchscreen to all three styles. The charging case becomes the main control device, allowing full control of most features and functions, without having to open the JBL Headphones app. The buds themselves also get an upgrade with Bluetooth 5.3 and IP55-rating.
Victrola Stream Sapphire: Victrola announced a high-end turntable, Stream Sapphire, at CES 2024. It’s got even more wireless streaming capabilities along with super premium components. It works with Sonos, Roon and Universal Plug and Play protocol (UPnP), which allows it to be connected to smart TVs or AV receivers.
Audio-Technica ATH-TWX7: The Audio-Technica ATH-TWX7 is the company's newest pair of noise-cancelling wireless earbuds. They come with the same drivers (5.8mm) as the flagship ATH-TWX9s. The ATH-TWX7s are considerably cheaper and get support for LDAC streaming.
Mojawa HaptiFit Terra: The Mojawa HaptiFit Terra brings bone-conduction headphones to the sports tech landscape. It’s a first-of-its-kind and blends haptic feedback with AI-driven training. All this is housed inside a sleek headset that is meant to assist athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The device keeps you up to date with real-time workout metrics and vital signs. There’s IP68 waterproof rating, pressure-sensitive haptic controls, 32GB of music storage and eight hours of battery life.
Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist. He posts at @IMSahilBhalla.