Most wearable devices are about augmenting already existing smartphone functions like notifications and call taking, or tracking performance through accelerometers and gyroscopes. Some however, purport that they can actually improve performance just by being worn, like the Active Edge.
The Active Edge wrist band is, according to the developers, “the first technology capable of infusing and embedding a recipe of electromagnetic frequencies into fabrics and other materials.” Those electromagnetics are said to work when in close proximity with a person’s body and can offer up a number of improvements in a person’s physiology. Simply putting the band on is said to give people as much as a 17 per cent increase in flexibility, eight per cent increase in strength, better balance and endurance and even improvements in medical conditions like less pain and improvements in sleep and headache recovery.
The bands are made of a breathable fabric, are waterproof and quick drying so can be worn anywhere and have a break-away pin to make them easy to detach in an emergency. They are also available in a number of different colours, from blue, to black to pink and everything in between, and come in various sizes for different wrists and have a clasp for adjustment too.
At the time of writing, the Active Edge performance bands are retailing for $60 USD for the base version, with a slightly more expensive strap option taking the price up to $75.
The major problem with these sorts of wearables is that the technology is pretty untested. While there are some studies that suggest a positive benefit from electromagnetic wearables, others point to the fact that a placebo often works just as well and that it may be the wearer making the changes to their own physiology rather than the band having any direct effect. The worst part about that, is that it may lead people to avoid more traditional – and more effective – treatment, believing that the band will do a good enough job on its own, which could lead to medical problems down the line.
Considering how unproven the technology is, this isn’t a wearable we can recommend. However, since its price isn’t too hefty, it’s something that people could try out if they wished, but should be prepared for it to potentially be a dud.