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The future of wearables

WRIST-WORN activity trackers were everywhere in 2016, but the new year will bring an increasing number of gadgets you can wear from head to toe, and they'll be a lot less visible. There are sunglasses that deliver real-time coaching for bikers or runners, undergarments with sensors that measure everything from basic heart rate to the load on a pitcher's arm to the biomechanics of a runner's stride. And there are sneakers that track and upload details about your workout to your phone. So don't be so quick to turn up your nose if you get socks for Christmas. They could turn out to be a pretty smart gift.


A joint effort between Oakley and Intel, the glasses have earbuds attached to the temples that connect the athlete with a coach who gives advice in real time about stride length and pace (for runners) or cadence and power output (for cyclists).


This sports bra from OMsignal measures breathing rhythm and calculates an athlete's anaerobic threshold, thanks to sensors built into the fabric and an accelerometer in a device that clips to the side.


By measuring the movement of the hips with a device clipped to the back of a runner's shorts, Lumo Run monitors five characteristics of an athlete's form. It also creates a personalized exercise plan.


The sensor for these sneakers from Under Armour is sealed inside the shoe at midsole, making it completely waterproof. Even better—the battery is designed to last longer than the shoe, so it never needs charging.