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CES: Wearables steal the show

At CES 2020 in Las Vegas this week, wearable makers have gone all out to maximise the benefits of health tracking while keeping the devices small. BRYAN TURNER surveys the best of the best

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We’ve chosen the best of wearables have been selected from the CES Innovation Awards, which select the most innovative devices showcased at CES, held in Las Vegas this week. Wearables have gone far beyond smartwatches and VR headsets, now moving into skin patches and even smart sensors that sit within the strap of smartwatches.

Garmin has produced something incredible: a smartwatch that doesn’t need to be charged by electric or battery power. The Fēnix 6X Pro Solar edition is Garmin’s answer for outdoor users who find themselves frustrated with having to charge their smartwatches: it charges via solar power. Of course, this watch is ideal for those who find themselves outside often, but is also aimed at indoor users, so it can also be charged via a wall socket. That said, it’s great to know the watch will stay topped up during a long run while using GPS.

The watch is designed with what Garmin calls Power Glass, a transparent solar charging lens that uses the sun’s energy to extend battery life. Because it’s a performance watch, it features a rugged design with a large 1.4” sunlight-readable display, which is 36% bigger than previous fēnix 5X models. Users can check the latest solar input while they wear it, so they know in real-time how much solar energy the Power Glass has received. The battery performance on the fēnix 6X Pro Solar in smartwatch mode is 21 days, plus an additional 3 days when using the solar charging capabilities.

“We are thrilled to introduce solar charging into the new fēnix 6X Pro Solar edition, giving users all of the features they’ve come to expect from the fēnix lineup with increased battery life and larger displays,” says Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “In addition to our brand-new solar technology, we’ve built the fēnix 6 to redefine expectations, with enhanced features and design elements to appeal to adventurers of every kind.”

Other features include underwater heart rate for swimming and Pulse Ox blood oxygen saturation to support advanced sleep monitoring and altitude acclimation. A new Body Battery energy monitoring feature lets users see their body’s energy levels at different points of the day, which can help with scheduling workouts, rest times and sleep.

Visit the next page to read about a watch that can help with sleep apnea, a watch strap that measures hydration, and a chip that can give lab results just by sitting on one’s skin.

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