Wearable Technology Generates Buzz Before CES Opens

fromKQED

The largest show of gadgets, gear and anything electronic kicks off Tuesday in Las Vegas. The Consumer Electronics Show is a glitzy, high profile opportunity for thousands of entrepreneurs and established companies to show off their newest stuff.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now let's turn to the big show in Las Vegas. We're talking about the Consume Electronics Show that's kicking off this week. Companies from around the world are flying in with enough new gadgets to fill acres and acres of showrooms. And this year, there is an entire section dedicated to new technology that the industry hopes you love so much, you're willing to wear it.

Aarti Shahani from member station KQED reports.

AARTI SHAHANI, BYLINE: There is a lot going on at the Consumer Electronics Show. The major car companies are out in full force with smart driverless cars and a solar powered car. There's 3-D printers that can print body parts and edible food. And, of course, more jumbo TVs with even higher definition.

But the buzz word, according to spokeswoman Karen Chupka, is wearables - devices that connect directly to the human body.

KAREN CHUPKA: There's a Reebok skullcap for football players that can help them know how strong the blow is to their head and help them make a decision about whether or not they want to continue playing in the game. Or there's a dress that can be changed to different colors based on your mood, and or in some instances can even help you power your other devices.

SHAHANI: The big question with wearables is: do people actually want to wear them? Chupka says last year they got some traction with smartwatches, Google Glass eyewear, and wristband activity trackers, but they didn't blow up.

Personally speaking, I plan to check out the collar you can put on your dog - to help interpret her barks.

For NPR News, I'm Aarti Shahani.

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