BARCELONA -- Smartphones, smartwatches, smart shirts, smart shoes, smart glasses, smart hats. Sure, why not.
The LifeBeam Smart Hat doesn't look all that exciting at first or even second glance: it kind of looks like a beach hat you'd wear around on a lazy Aruba vacation. And yet, under the brim, a heart rate sensor sits, ready to rest against your forehead and collect heart rate data. We tried one on here at Mobile World Congress 2015.
The heart rate sensor lurks just inside the brim. (Sarah Tew/ CNET)
This ANT+- and Bluetooth LE-ready heart rate hat doesn't use optical LED sensors as heart rate wristbands do: it's meant to offer "aerospace-grade" heart rate and calorie-counting data while running, biking or doing any exercise, powered by an ARM Cortex processor. And like a chest-worn heart rate monitor, it can pair with any app or accessory that works with these types of external sensors.
Yep, it's a hat. (Sarah Tew/ CNET)
A removable battery pack hides under Velcro near the back of the hat. The model I tried wasn't working, so I couldn't test it. So, real first impressions will have to wait till then.
I was told at my demo this was "coming soon," but it looks like LifeBeam has been selling these since late 2014. I never tried one on before. It's not my style. But the idea of a smart hat, if it's accurate, wouldn't be such a horrible idea.
Sport: Fitness and wellness
Proficiency level: Expert/Intermediate