Inside CES: LG Lifeband Touch and Epson Pulsense

As I mentioned in my predictions for this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, wearable technology is a huge trend this year. I’ve already covered some of the other wearables, such as the Epson Moverio and the Pebble Steel, in my earlier posts this week. Now it’s time to cover a different category of wearable technology—the health oriented wearable tech. We’ve already seen a few different wearables geared toward achieving better health and fitness, like the Nike FuelBand, Fitbit, and Runtastic, and now we have a few more to consider! Two of the brand new products in this category are the LG Lifeband Touch and the Epson Pulsense.

LG Lifeband Touch

The first thing that struck me about the Lifeband Touch was its design. The Lifeband has a flexible band that doesn’t wrap all the way around your wrist. Instead, it has an opening at one end so you can easily slip it on and off. It has an OLED touch screen that displays information crisply and cleanly. Beside the touchscreen, there is a button that you can use to activate the screen.

The Lifeband Touch features a full range of time features, such as the time, a stopwatch, and an alarm. It also measures the number of calories its wearer burns as well as the speed at which he or she is traveling. In addition, it tells you how far you’ve traveled as well GPS data about your fitness route. The great thing about the Lifeband is that it not only provides fitness data but also pushes notifications from your phone, such as those alerting you of incoming phone calls. This feature is actually fairly ingenious beceause it basically combines some of the functions of a fitness band with some of the functions of a smartwatch.

The app that accompanies the Lifeband Touch is also pretty cool. Instead of creating a closed ecosystem that forces you to use only Epson branded technology, the app that corresponds with the Lifeband will allow you to incorporate data from other fitness apps such as RunKeeper. The device also works with both Android and iOS devices.

Epson Pulsense

As part of its Pulsense line, Epson showcase two products at CES—the Pulsense Watch and the Pulsense Band. The band is simply an LED bracelet that collects data while the watch allows you to read some of your fitness right from its LCD display. These devices feature more traditional designs in that they have flexible bands with a more traditional latch keeping them closed.

The Pulsense products measure and track activity, calories, and sleep activity. Using this information, the user can map their activity and compare it with his or her fitness goals. The feature this device has that the LG Lifeband Touch lacks is heart rate monitoring. Using biosensors that reflect light from red blood cells in your veins, the device can measure and track your heart rate.

This was definitely the year of wearable devices at the Consumer Electronics Show. The LG Lifeband touch and the Epson Pulsense offer wearable technology that is geared toward fitness and healthy living. Both devices offer promising features and will definitely be worthy contenders in 2014. That being said, consumers will have to wait a little while to check them out. The LG Lifeband Touch will be released in the second quarter of this year, while the Epson Pulsense will hit the market in the summer.

By Mike Agerbo

January 11, 2014