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ICAST 2014 Coverage

CES 2015 : New High Tech Kit for Outdoor Enthusiasts (continued)


Wearable Technology or “Wearables” are clothing and accessories incorporating computer and advanced electronic technologies into our daily lives. These wearable devices dominated the show floor and included well-known companies like Fitbit and many new startups eager to make their mark in this hot market.


Fitbit: A lot of anglers already own Fitbit trackers, heck a lot of people in general own Fitbits. This San Francisco based company help put wearables on the map, and this CES they hard launched two new products, the Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge.


Fitbit showcased new more feature rich trackers at their booth


Both of these new devices go further than the original Fitbit products by connecting with your smartphone so they can receive texts and call alerts. The new units include caller ID, call and text alerts and also continue to include sleep monitoring. The Charge HR supports all the usual Fitbit goodness including counting steps, distance, calories and floors climbed but it also has a new metric called "PurePlus" which tracks continuous heart rate and also can monitor workout intensity and calories burned. The Fitbit Charge HR is available now for $149.99.  


The Charge HR now monitors heart rate and can report call alerts and texts


The new Fitbit Surge is a flagship product that integrates the features of all the other Fitbit products into a much larger watch-like device that also includes a GPS tracking feature that can measure distances and help outdoor enthusiasts plan their routes. The Surge does not have a built in mapping system and requires the smartphone to run the app but it can control music and display smart notifications. The Fitbit Surge is also now available for the price of $249.99. Anglers typically do not have time to look at their smartphones while fishing so devices like the new Charge HR and Surge can help fishermen stay connected without having to even put down their rods.


Looking much like a smartwatch the new Surge integrates smartphone reporting features and GPS functionality

Mota SmartRing: If a watch-like wearable is too big how about a smart-ring? A new company called Mota is preparing to introduce exactly that. The Mota SmartRing is designed to integrate seamlessly into your life and still enable you to interact with your social media, calls, or text messages.


Prototypes of the SmartRing at display at CES


The SmartRing connects to your smartphone via bluetooth and when it receives one of these messages it subtly vibrates to notify you. You can use your thumb to scroll through the messages and customization options allow wearers to have complete control over what types of updates they want to see.


The Mota SmartRing intends to bring updates to your fingertips


The SmartRing is still at a preorder stage at a price of $99.99 and is targeting availability this coming June. This product may be interesting to anglers and outdoor enthusiasts because it is so easy to access without ever having to look further than your hands. The company also explained that the SmartRing will also be water resistant so even if dunked in the water for short periods there will be no issue.


The upcoming "Dash" from Bragi is designed to be the world's first smart in-ear headphone

The Dash from Bragi: The Dash won an Innovation Award at this year's show and is designed to be the world's first smart in-ear headphone. The Dash is designed to be seamless, allowing users to achieve a better understanding of their skills, abilities and health while doing everything that they love. It has a built in music player and with 4GB of storage is able to play music without a smartphone. Use two of the Dash's together and you get stereo.


The Dash helps outdoor enthusiasts listen, track and communicate without distracting them from their run, swim or cast


The Dash is so much more than just a music player however and measures your body's vitals, tracking your performance from anything from running to swimming (that's right it is waterproof), tracking how fast you are moving, heart rate readings, oxygen saturation and recording everything to help you keep track of your goals. The Dash also is designed to help you communicate and works as a bluetooth headset, allowing you to take calls without having to ever take out your phone. It also provides audio transparency so that while operating your truck or boat you can still hear everything surrounding you. But when you want quiet, like during a flight it also offers passive noise isolation, helping you relax and get some rest.

The Dash has a built in music player as well as the ability to receive calls all while tracking your vital statistics


The Dash was funded by kickstarter and is available for early adopters to preorder for $299 dollars. It comes with a charging case and 3 sizes of silicone sleeves for a proper fit. It is estimated to begin shipping from April 2015 and onwards.


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