Samsung's Gear Blink could have a projected keyboard that allows you to type in the air
Ralph Lauren's Polo Tech Shirt uses bio-sensing fabrics to monitor physical activity
Hush earplugs filter out unwelcome sounds while allowing phone calls and alarms to intrude
From musical hats to shirts that not only fit, but help you keep fit, what once was science fiction has become cyber fact.
The good news is that refined designs mean it’s now possible to look chic – rather than geek – in the latest inventions.
Take the Ralph Lauren Polo Tech Shirt.
First worn by ball boys at this year’s U.S. Open, it’d look good in any hotel gym.
What’s so smart about it?
A conductive band with bio-sensing fibers beneath your chest picks up heart rate and breathing data, while additional built-in wizardry logs every step taken and every calorie burned.
Available in 2015, the Polo Tech Shirt streams real time data to your smart phone and tablet app.
The Apple Watch will be among the most hotly anticipated gadgets of 2015, bringing the computer to your carpus.
It can pull up your boarding pass and flight itinerary, store photos and check the weather while controlling thermostats, door locks and lights back home.
And, naturally, you’ll be able to access email and your favorite travel apps.
Top travel apps
Apps are going to become even more integrated with the travel experience next year.
The year ahead will be about the speed at which you can hop on a plane with minimal planning, without using a computer or travel agent.
Imagine booking last-minute travel right from your wrist.
It takes only 10 seconds to book a same-day hotel with the Hotel Tonight app. (Of course, you still have to spend time deciding which hotel you want to stay in.)
New to 2014, Flight Tonight monitors available round-trip flights leaving from your preferred airport.
If a flight is delayed, apps like TripIt Pro can secure you an alternate flight. It’s also one of many apps that feature alerts when your ideal window or aisle seat opens up.
The power to book is now at the tip of your fingers, and is pitting passenger-against-passenger in the battle for the best deals.
Exploring exploration apps
Apps are also changing the way we explore.
For many, paper maps are already relics, made obsolete by the popularity of Google maps.
But there’s an even newer and sexier tech in the game.
Augmented reality apps like Yelp Monocle and Wikitude overlay real world images through your mobile device’s camera with digital worlds, with labeled restaurants, shops, bars, landmarks and attractions.
Wikitude has a multitude of worlds, such as Starbucks World, World Heritage List, Wildlife Parks in Asia and Irish Pubs Worldwide, showing only those landmarks around you.
The Google Glass high-tech headset may have a challenger next year in Samsung’s Gear Blink. Potential features include an augmented reality app that projects a keyboard onto your hand allowing you to type into thin air. No tray table required.
How about a warm and wireless way to experience music this winter? 1voice has developed a beanie with built-in Bluetooth headphones that stream music from your portable devices.
It’s the perfect way to listen to your favorite tunes without getting all tangled up.
Of course, there comes a time when you simply want to block out all the digital noise.
For such occasions, we’ll soon be able to use Hush, being developed as the world’s first smart earplug.
It claims to filter out unwelcome sounds while allowing important phone calls or alarms to intrude.
Looking smart and traveling smart will become even easier in 2015.