21 weird and wacky wearables you'll actually want

These 21 unique wearable devices are all worth a look — and some could genuinely enhance your life

wearable tech
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When most people hear the term "wearable tech," they think fitness trackers, smartwatches, and smartglasses. The world of wearables encompasses so much more than these three categories. But let's face it: Some of the latest wearables are just plain weird. Just because they're weird, though, doesn't mean they're not also valuable. And quirky. And fun. And unique. The following collection of weird wearables fit all of these descriptions. Chances are you'll want at least a few of them.

Skully Helmet
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Skully Helmet

Take a motorcycle helmet, pack in all of the features and functionality of a high-end in-car electronics system, and you have the Skully Helmet. This impressive "smart motorcycle helmet" hit its Indiegogo funding goal of $250,000 in just eight minutes, "seemingly breaking the crowdfunding site's record for the fastest-funded project ever," according to WearableWorldNews.com. You get a heads-up display that shows navigation routes and rear-view camera footage, and you can hear spoken directions and other audio cues. It also looks pretty damn gnarly. You can secure yours via preorder for $1,399; other, more featured-packed models are a bit more expensive. Vroom, vroom.

Ping
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Ping

Ping is a "social networking garment" that connects to your Facebook account and lets you send status updates with gestures. You get alerts via vibrations and "pings," or taps, on the shoulder. The garment is just a concept at this point, and it's unclear whether or not it will ever become publicly available, but the woman in the product shots sure does seem to really like Ping -- and gaudy eye shadow.

Temporary Tattoo Fitness Sensors
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Temporary Tattoo Fitness Sensors

If your current wearable fitness tracker isn't "wearable" enough for you, you may be interested in Electrozyme's temporary fitness "tattoos," which stick to your skin and collect fitness data on muscular exertion, fatigue, hydration level, electrolyte balance, and muscular degradation. The tattoos relay data to an associated armband that you also wear, and it sends the information to your smart device for analysis and tracking. The company envisions making the tattoos customizable, so companies could provide, say, logo tattoos for employees. They're not for sale yet, but Electrozyme has "demonstrated working prototypes and has priority access to a state-of-the-art printing facility."

Motorola Digital Tattoo
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Motorola Digital Tattoo

Speaking of tattoos, VivaLnk and Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group created a digital tattoo that can be used to unlock your Moto X smartphone. The tattoo is roughly the size of a nickel, and it sticks to your skin with water-resistant adhesive for as long as five days. To unlock your phone, you just tap it against the tattoo. Packs of 10 tattoos cost $9.99, which breaks down to $10 for 50 days of continuous use, or about $75 a year to unlock your phone with tattoo. Unfortunately, it's only available for the Moto X, but the company says it wants to expand to other phones in the near future.

CarePredict Tempo for Seniors
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CarePredict Tempo for Seniors

Tempo, from CarePredict, is a wristband designed to provide freedom to senior citizens while ensuring the peace of mind of their caregivers. The device measures seniors' daily routines and "quality of life metrics," then alerts loved ones when it detects a notable deviation. The device communicates with "beacons" you plug in around the user's home, and it sends data to the cloud for storage and analysis. It can send a reminder if a senior forgets to wear it. Caregivers can view activity data and follow up on alerts via a mobile app or the desktop interface. Tempo isn't available yet, but you can contribute funding and secure your own system for $169 on Fundable.com.

Tweeting Bra
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Tweeting Bra

The name tells you everything you need to know. It's exactly what you'd expect: A brassiere that sends Twitter messages. Well, only one Twitter message, and you can't customize the tweets it posts. But, still -- it's a bra that tweets! The Tweeting Bra is really just a concept -- or maybe a marketing gimmick -- designed to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention. Whenever the wearer unhooks the bra, it connects to a smartphone and sends a tweet that says something like, "Maria has just unhooked her bra! When you do the same, don't forget about your self exam."

Rufus Cuff Wrist Communicator
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Rufus Cuff 'Wrist Communicator'

The Rufus Cuff is to smartwatches what the "phablet" is to smartphones. In other words, it's a smartwatch with a really big screen. Like other smartwatches, it connects to your smartphone for calling and messaging. Its software integrates with iOS and Android voice commands. Thanks to the larger display, the Rufus Cuff has a touch keyboard that's large enough to compose messages. The gadget notifies you if you forget your smartphone somewhere. It has sensors for fitness tracking. A front-facing camera lets you place video calls. The company says it gets better battery life than smaller smartwatches. The base version of the Rufus Cuff is available for preorder for $279; a more stylish option in additional colors costs $389.

Blacksocks Smarter Socks Plus+
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Blacksocks Smarter Socks Plus+

There's no shortage of wearable devices designed to measure your health and wellness, but what about your socks' well-being? Blacksocks recognized this urgent need and created the Smarter Socks Plus+, which work along with a "sock sorter" and your iPhone to help you ensure that each sock remains with its appropriate partner. Each individual Plus+ sock has an RFID chip for identification. The Blacksocks app lets you know when you need to buy new socks. They are "probably the smartest socks in the world," according to the company. Really, why would you even consider less intelligent socks? Ten pairs of sock, with the sorter, cost $189.

Sensoria Fitness Socks
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Sensoria Fitness Socks

Blacksocks help you monitor the health of your socks. Sensoria's Fitness Socks help your socks measure and track your personal health stats. The device is a fitness tracker in the shape of cuff that magnetically connects to Sensoria's "smart socks," which are made of "high-tech running friendly fabric." The gadget communicates with an iPhone app, logs your activities, and guides you with audio cues while you run. Sensoria calls its tracker unique because of its notable accuracy in measuring steps, speed, calories burned, altitude, and distance. It also monitors foot landing technique and weight distribution on the foot as you walk and run. The sock set is currently on sale for $149.

Owlet Smart Sock
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Owlet Smart Sock

On the subject of intelligent socks, the Owlet Smart Sock is a small baby bootie that monitors a newborn's heart rate and oxygen levels. This wearable also measures temperature and lets parents know if their baby rolls into a face-down position by sending alerts to their mobile devices. The associated iPhone app tracks stats and shows a graph of the child's health data so you can spot trends. The sock is hypoallergenic, waterproof, and doesn't use any adhesives. It comes in blue and pink. It's available for pre-order for $250 and is expected to ship later this year.

Lumo Lift
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Lumo Lift

Lumo BodyTech brands its Lumo Lift device as a "revolutionary posture and activity tracker." Really, it's very similar to countless other fitness trackers today. What's unique is the posture part -- and how you wear it. Lumo Lift clips onto your clothing, not unlike a magnetic lapel pin; in addition to tracking steps, calories, and distance, it aims to boost your posture while you sit and when walk around. If you slouch, it buzzes to remind you to sit up or stand tall. Lumo's iOS app tracks progress. It's available today in three colors for $99, though you'll have to shell out another $20 if you want a colored clasp.

Aurora Dream Inducing Headband
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Aurora Dream Inducing Headband

"A lucid dream is any dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming," according to Wikipedia. The Aurora dream-inducing headband tracks brainwaves and body movements while you sleep to detect when you are dreaming. It plays subtle audio and visual cues to help you recognize that you're in a dream so you can attempt to control and enjoy it. It connects to a smartphone app to track dream-related metrics. It can also serve as an alarm clock that wakes you up when you've had enough sleep and will be most refreshed, according to the manufacturer. The Aurora headband is available for preorder for $199, and it's expected to ship this fall.

JUNE Bracelet
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JUNE Bracelet

Netatmo's JUNE bracelet measures your sun exposure and notifies you when you've had enough. The fancy-looking bracelet is "crafted by a designer who creates pieces for leading French jewelry names," and "it's cut to resemble a diamond." Oh lÀ lÀ. It also suggests the most appropriate SPF cream for your skin, based on the current UV levels. You get real-time sun-related alerts via the iOS app. JUNE is available in three colors, and it costs $99.

Nod Ring
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Nod Ring

Nod is a ring that works as a remote control for a variety of different display devices, including iOS or Android gadgets, computers running Mac OS X or Windows, and Nest thermostats. You can use Nod to surf the Web; play games; click through slides in a presentation; type commands; look through digital photo albums; adjust smart thermostats, lighting, and other connected home features; and much more -- all without ever touching another device. Nod says its ring "works with an ever-expanding number of smart devices and objects," so its functionality should only increase. Nod is available for preorder for $149, and it's expected to ship this fall.

Nimble
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Nimble

Intugine's Nimble is very similar to the Nod ring in that it lets you control a variety of electronic devices with hand-based gestures. Its design, however, is different: It's barely noticeable, and you wear one tiny ring on your index finger and one on your thumb. Intugine says it product is unique because "up to eight players at a time can use Nimble, compared to the one-user option" of competitors like Nod. It's also $50 cheaper, though it's not yet available for preorder unless you're based in India. The company expects to start shipping the Nimble rings later this year.

Peekiboo
Peekiboo

Have you ever felt the need to see the world through your baby's eyes? If so, Peekiboo is for you. It's a baby cap with a stylishly hidden camera and EEG (electroencephalography) sensors that monitor the baby's brain waves. When the baby gets particularly excited, it captures images, or a series of them, and then beams them to your smartphone. You get notifications whenever Peekiboo captures new images, so you can fawn over your munchkin with immediacy. Peekiboo is just a concept at this point, and it's unclear if it will ever become publicly available. But it sure is cute. I mean, wook at that wittle baby wif a wearabwul!

Smart PJs
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Smart PJs

The idea behind the Smart PJs is simple: Your kid puts on his intelligent pajamas when he's ready for bed, you download the associated mobile app, you scan one of the codes on the Smart PJs with your mobile device, and voila, a story or audio book opens up so you can read a bedtime story. Gone are the days when you had to put forth a little effort to find something good to read before your child's bedtime. The PJs costs $29.99, and they're available in blue and pink colors.

Sproutling Baby Monitor
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Sproutling Baby Monitor

Aaaand here's one more for the babies -- and their parents. The Sproutling Baby Monitor is a wearable band for your infant. It works with a mobile app to learn and predict your baby's sleep habits and optimal sleep conditions. The band's sensor tracks heart rate, skin temperature, motion, and position. The associated app lets you know if your baby is sleeping soundly or if something is wrong. Its wireless charger can measure room temperature and humidity, as well as sound and light levels. The Sproutling monitor is available for preorder for $259.99, including shipping, and it's expected to be delivered in March 2015.

PetPace Collar
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PetPace Collar

The PetPace collar is a fitness tracker and wellness monitor for dogs and cats. It connects to a data-tracking service that can integrate with veterinary systems, so a vet can access all of your pet's data, including health alerts and medical history. PetPace tracks a pet's pulse, temperature, respiration, activity levels, calories burned, and more. It works with apps for iOS and Android, so you can monitors your pet's stats on the go. The collar and service aren't cheap, though. The device and a year of service will run you about $330, though the company is currently running a promotion for $30 off.

Zepp Golf Gloves
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Zepp Golf Gloves

The Zepp Sensor and Zepp Gloves aim to make you a better golfer by providing detailed analysis of your swing, along with other metrics. The sensor captures, measures, and analyzes your swing in three dimensions and records 1,000 data points per second. The companion iOS and Android mobile apps let you see visualizations of your swing, and it collects and plots data on swing speed, swing plane, tempo, backswing position, and hip rotation. The set costs $149.99, and it comes with a 30-day guarantee: You'll improve your golf game or your money will be refunded.

Necomimi
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Necomimi

Brace yourself, this one is a doozy. We freely admit you may not actually "want" this gadget, despite the name of this slideshow. Necomimi is a set of feline-like ears that strap on to your head, supposedly measure brainwaves, and then move and flick based on how you're feeling at a given moment. There's not much more to say, other than you can purchase your set for $69.99 on Amazon and then customize your cat ears with a bunch of different colors for $14.99 a pair. Oh, and if you're so inclined, you can swap out a single ear so that your pair doesn't match and you look even crazier. Yeah.