Wearable tech gift ideas for the traveler on your list

Wearable tech — mounted cameras, smart watches, activity trackers — can make fun gifts for travelers. Here are some ideas.

A strap-on camera and a pin that vibrates until you stand up straight. A watch that makes phone calls or a cube that takes pictures. It's wearable tech, and it's all the rage. Here are 12 such gadgets for travelers.


Whether you snowboard, bike, hike or stroll, a wearable camera helps you capture the action. These five cameras have wide-angle lenses, are lightweight and easy to operate — and, of course, are ready to wear with a mounting device. Accessories allow mounting on a chest, a helmet, handlebars, a pet, etc. Their rechargeable batteries usually last more than two hours.

The GoPro, iON and JVC models listed here can shoot in low light and offer image stabilization, time lapse and burst modes. They shoot 1080p or 720p high-definition video. Stills range from 12-16 mega pixels. Each weighs about 5 ounces, has Wi-Fi and a free Android or iOS app.

Carter Dow Photography

GoPro's Hero4 Silver

Includes a built-in touch screen for easier operation and a higher-fidelity microphone. Its housing is waterproof to 131 feet.

Info: $400,


ION Air Pro 3 Wi-Fi

This 4.2-inch-long mountable cylinder also fits in a hand like a flashlight and is ideal for travelers who would rather hold a camera than wear it. It is waterproof to 49 feet with no extra housing. Instead of an audible cue, Air Pro 3 vibrates to confirm it is starting or stopping.

Info: $350,


JVC Adixxion GC-XA2

A pocket-size camera that is dustproof, freeze-proof, waterproof to 16 feet and shockproof to 6 1/2 feet without additional housing. It has a built-in 1 1/2 -inch LCD monitor and shoots 8MP or 16MP stills.

Info: $300,


Polaroid Cube

Polaroid packs a lot into this 1-inch, splash-resistant cube. It shoots 1080p or 720p video and 6MP stills, has a 124-degree viewing angle and attaches with a magnet. It's cute, inexpensive and a child or tech-phobic adult can operate it, but it's probably too simplistic for gadget freaks.

Info: $99,



With a 136-degree view, Autographer is ideal for travelers who want their camera to be in charge. Five sensors detect light, color, movement, temperature and speed to help Autographer decide when to snap action. It has built-in GPS, desktop software and a free iOS and Android app.

Info: $399,


Smart watches are for travelers who crave connection 24/7 because they are attached to you just like a regular watch.


The Burg 12

The Burg 12 has SIM card and microSD slots, a microphone and a speaker. It works as a phone, a texting device and a 1.3MP camera. It pairs with an iPhone or Android device. Call quality still isn't perfect. One caller said I sounded good, but she sounded as though she had fallen into a well, similar to how speakerphones used to sound.

Info: $199,


Pebble Steel

This watch displays text messages, a couple of lines of email and does almost everything but make a phone call. It is water-resistant to 164 feet, pairs with iPhone and Android and will vibrate with alerts. Battery life is about five days. Custom apps help Pebble work as a fitness coach and more.

Info: $199 ($99 for the sporty Pebble),


Samsung Gear Live

Samsung Gear Live pairs with most Android phones but doesn't pair with iPhones. Although it has no speaker and can't make a phone call, Gear Live shows you who is calling or what song your phone is playing. You can tap Gear Live and say: "OK, Google" to get directions, check weather, etc. You can read entire emails and Android apps make it a step tracker or a sleep monitor that tracks how much you toss and turn to let you know how many hours you had of deep sleep, which may explain why you feel groggy when traveling.

Info: $200,


BEM Speaker Band

A wireless Bluetooth speaker with a built-in microphone. It pairs with a smartphone to work as a speakerphone, keeping your hands free if you're dealing with, say luggage, and its buttons help you accept calls or play and pause music and switch tracks. Its square shape makes it a bit large for the wrist of most women.

Info: $50,

Activity trackers

These devices work with smartphone apps to help you track steps, watch what you eat, monitor sleep, posture, etc., to help you stay healthy and fit on the road.


UP24 by Jawbone

This rechargeable, water-resistant bracelet can be set to vibrate to wake or alert you when you have been inactive too long. It has free iOS and Android apps.

Info: $100 at Jawbone site until Dec. 25, $130 elsewhere,



A quarter-sized, battery-operated monitor that's waterproof and never needs recharging. It also has free iOS and Android apps. Shine can be worn as a bracelet or on a shirt or a shoe. It comes with a wristband and a magnetic clip. Its watch battery lasts about four months.

Info: $100,

Lumo Body Tech

Lumo Lift

Created to correct posture and reduce fatigue, also measures steps and calories burned. Worn as a lapel pin, it vibrates when shoulders slump. It has a desktop app and an iOS app. An Android app is in development.

Info: $100,