In today’s clips we learn another smartwatch (from an Apple provider!), a new wearables technology contest, and a workshop for educators using e-textiles.
Apple Supplier Foxconn Cooks Up Its Own Smartwatch
One of Apple’s key suppliers has beaten the company to the punch with its own smartwatch. At its shareholders meeting on Wednesday, Foxconn, aka Hon Hai, demoed a smartwatch that can wirelessly connect to an iPhone to display incoming phone calls and Facebook posts, Want China Times has reported. The watch can also keep track of your heartbeat, respiration, and other vital signs. And if your vitals aren’t tip-top, the device can even offer advice on how to get them up to snuff. More features are on the horizon. Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou said his company’s wireless and medical research divisions plan to add fingerprint recognition in order to monitor your personal health, Watch China Times added.
element14 Gets Into The Fabric Of Technology With Its Latest Challenge
Wall Street Journal
…As one of the hottest topics in global technology and with the first products starting to appear on the market, element14 is challenging engineers and developers to design and develop their own piece of wearable technology. The global competition will focus entirely on technology integrated within clothing and wearable accessories, and aims to encourage a deeper level of integration than those demonstrated by first-generation wearables such as the Pebble watch and Google Glass. element14 have selected Adafruit’s FLORA kit to provide the computing platform for the challenge. The FLORA allows designers to create products that are far more integrated and less expensive and opens up wearable technology to a wider group of users where potential designs could include a tracking device for the elderly or vulnerable, a cycling jacket with built-in visibility sensing lights or gloves that operate as hand-worn data terminals.
Hacking Education: Free STEM Workshop For All Educators
Tech Valley Center Of Gravity
Jeff Branson, Education Outreach Coordinator for SparkFun Electronics in Boulder, Colorado, will show teachers, librarians, and other educators how to introduce STEM topics using easy and inexpensive art-based electronics projects like e-origami and e-textiles. This technology is being used in classrooms around the country and is accessible to a number of populations. Educators can receive up to four hours of professional development credit for this workshop. The Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy is a new makerspace serving offering classes to the public and access to tools and equipment for members. While you’re here, find out what TVCOG can offer educators, and let us know what you would like to see! SparkFun (sparkfun.com) is a popular online electronics retailer with an active and growing Department of Education (learn.sparkfun.com), offering online and real-life tutorials and classes.
In today’s news clips we learn about a wearables project that knits your brainwaves, a wearables inspired product for your car, and that wearables retailers, SparkFun and Adafruit plan to discuss initiatives that help kids to learn electronics at an early age.
This Is Your Brain On Bach: Knitic’s Brainwaves Wearables
…Knitic is the collaborative project of artistic duo Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet, a pair who have existed in the fine line between art and tech since 2009. Their Arduino-hacked knitting machine records brain states via an EEG headset to be converted into a knitting pattern for a scarf. The wearer’s activity measurements of level of relaxation, excitement and cognitive load while listening to Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” The resulting data yields a stiching pattern, which—in addition to being a great garment for chillier climates—also captures visually the unique act of listening. The team chose to bypass the electronic control of the Brother brand 930 knitting machine models opting for real-time control and modification of patterns by putting in their own arduino control system.
Dash Is Like A “Fitbit” For Your Car
Dash Labs … is developing an on-board diagnostic reader that plugs into a car’s port (usually under the steering wheel); it can then track the car’s performance in real-time. The device, which connects to a smartphone app, can detect how many times you are too hard on the brakes, and when you’re speeding. It can even tell if the airbag has been deployed, after which it automatically notifies a pre-programmed emergency contact…Dash is still in beta, and has been tested on 300 different car models in the U.S., Canada, France and elsewhere, collecting some 15 million data points from drivers… The product showed its potential by already detecting problems with some drivers’ engines before the engine light went on.
The Engadget Show 44: Education with Google, OPLC, Code.org, LeapFrong, SparkFun, Adafruit And More
It’s time to rethink the way our children learn. It’s all a bit overwhelming, attempting to restructure the age-old classroom model, particularly in a system as bogged down in bureaucratic red tape as education. This month, however, we packed up our things and toured the country to find out how educational institutions are adopting new models to help reinvent the learning process — rather than sitting idly by, waiting for the system to change around them. Naturally, technology is playing a huge role in that shift, moving from models of teaching to models of learning, where students can explore, express themselves and learn at their own speed.
In today’s news clips we learn about a pill that monitors your health, a solar powered dress, and a new report forecasting the wearable market through 2018.
Disruptions: Medicine That Monitors You
New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — They look like normal pills, oblong and a little smaller than a daily vitamin. But if your doctor writes a prescription for these pills in the not-too-distant future, you might hear a new twist on an old cliché: “Take two of these ingestible computers, and they will e-mail me in the morning.” As society struggles with the privacy implications of wearable computers like Google Glass, scientists, researchers and some start-ups are already preparing the next, even more intrusive wave of computing: ingestible computers and minuscule sensors stuffed inside pills.
Wearable Solar Dress Turns You Into A Walking Power Plant
When it comes to wearable technology these days, you cannot deny the fact that Google Glass looks set to be the next big thing among the tech savvy (with plenty of spare change to drop, of course), while the other potentially explosive wearable technology that might appeal to the masses has something associated with fashion – case in point, this wearable solar dress by a designer from the Netherlands. Known as the Wearable Solar project, it is helmed by Christiaan Holland and Pauline van Dongen, who worked in tandem with a team of researchers in order to come up with solar cells that are flexible enough, they can be easily embedded within clothing, turning you into a breathing, walking power plant along the way.
Research And Markets: Wearable Technology Market Report – Forecast to 2018
Wall Street Journal
Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/5jfbs7/wearable) has announced the addition of the “Wearable Technology Market – Global Scenario, Trends, Industry Analysis, Size, Share And Forecast, 2012 – 2018″ report to their offering. This report covers the global wearable technology market size and forecast to 2018 along with their application in different end-use segments such as wellness and fitness, healthcare and medical, infotainment, industrial and military. The performance of wearable technology applications across different geographical regions namely, North America, Europe, Asia and RoW (Rest of the World) has also been covered in this report.
In today’s news clips we learn about Mary Meeker’s wearables predictions, the glove phone, Sony and Arduino’s workshop, Adafruit’s DIY Citi Smart Bike Helmet, more light up shoes, and a wearables dog collar.
Mary Meeker Peers Into The Future Of Mobile, Wearables, and Facebook
New York Times
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. — Mary Meeker, the Internet analyst, has become something of a legend in the tech world for her annual Internet Trends report…Here are some major takeaways from her report: …
Wearables, Sharables, Drivables, Flyables
The last few decades were about the rise of the personal computer and the smartphone. The next few decades will be about wearable computing, like Google glass and fitness tracking bracelets, as well as new gadget categories like drones and smarter cars. That, in turn, will drive the personal data revolution.
Talk To The Hand: No, Really, It’s A Glove Phone
…Sean Miles of Designworks in the U.K. decided that the true joy of wearable tech was a driving glove that you can talk into…He listens to his thumb. He talks into his little finger…Sadly, this is not a commercial project. The Brits have often found commerce a touch beneath them…He used a Bluetooth device, and the principles are as simple as the glove itself: the earpiece is in the thumb, the speaker is in the little finger.
Open SmartWatch Project: Arduino Publishes Tool Chain (Alpha)
Last week we told you about the Open SmartWatch Project, and during the weekend Arduino and Sony arranged a workshop with the aim to come up with a proof of concept for how SmartWatch could be setup to work in an Arduino environment. The Arduino folks have since then continued to work hard, and they have now published a GitHub project that includes an alpha version of a complete tool chain, including the Arduino IDE (Integrated Development Environment). This will allow developers to innovate with SmartWatch on top of Arduino’s toolchain.
Adafruit Smart Helmet Guides Bike Riders With Arduino-Based Light Shows (Video)
Bike sharing systems like New York’s Citi Bike may be taking off, but it’s doubtful that many participants can find every station without checking a map. Thankfully, Adafruit has unveiled a smart helmet project that could help at least a few of those riders get to their destinations while keeping their eyes on the road.
Viral Style: Light Up Trainers And Invisibility Cloaks
the creators project
The end of the academic year…mark[s]end of year and graduate shows for arts and fashion faculties. We’ve cast our eyes over this year’s selection and frankly we’ve been mesmerised by these light-up trainers from Central Saint Martins graduate Samuel Yang ever since…If you’re someone who’s super into organising and documenting your life via tech…then why not get your pet in on the act too? Ridogulous Labs have developed a collar that combines with a smartphone app to keep track of your dog’s diet, activities, location, and obedience training—right down to its, er, social calendar. There’s even a voice command option, as well as interactive games to work on its cognitive ability…!
In today’s clips we learn about a watch that can tell you if you’re drunk, Intel’s smartwatch teaser, yet another smartwatch unveiling (but with a smart ring combo!!), how Jawbone will help fight childhood obesity, and a Google Glass competitor.
Breathalyzer Watch Puts Date, Time, Drunkenness On Your Wrist
…The Kisai Intoxicated Watch has just made its debut on Tokyoflash, where it’s selling for a limited time at a $99 launch price…You open the sensor cap, push a button, and blow into it for 5 seconds. A display on the watch gives your blood alcohol content level. If you blow a 0.61 percent or above, the display registers as red to indicate you’ve had too much. A green display means your BAC is low. A yellow display indicates a BAC between 0.41 and 0.60 percent…The Intoxicated Watch is rechargeable and can last up to a month before needing to be powered up again… Of particular note is the fine print that comes with the watch: “This watch is designed for entertainment only. The retailer does not warrant that the results obtained from this breathalyzer will be completely accurate or reliable and accepts no liability for consequences arising from its use.
Intel CTO Hints At Watch-Like Smart Device For Texting
Intel is testing a number of “experimental devices in the lab,” one of which is a smartwatch-like device, according to chief technology officer Justin Rattner… Late last year, rumors came out that Intel was working with Apple on a smartwatch. Whether Apple is involved in these tests are unknown.
Geak Wearable Finger Ring Sports Android OS; To Roll Out In China
China-based mobilephone maker Geak recently pushed out of its labs a Geak Watch and Geak Ring…The handsets are named the Geak Mars and Geak Eye…The Geak finger ring, is reportedly compatible with the smartphones…[and]keeps awake your handset when you are holding it…Available information suggests that the ring is an Android based device and is said to have a stand-by battery life of 99 years!…The Geak Ring supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This accessory also helps your smartphone to show information like weather updates, and acts as a fitness tracker to tell you your pulse and heartbeat rate…Unfortunately, all these devices are intended only for the Chinese market…The Geak Watch is priced at £200, whereas the Geak Ring comes with a price tag of £20.
Jawbone Special Orange Edition UP Fights Childhood Obesity
The Jawbone UP is indeed a personal fitness device, but purchasing a new wristband may improve more than just your own health habits. The company recently announced a new Special Orange Edition in support of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which is a charity dedicated to helping kids make fitness-conscious decisions. As part of the fundraiser, Jawbone will donate $20 for every Special Edition Orange wristband sold…Jawbone’s $129 UP armband has certainly come a long way since it launched in 2012. The company has improved the wristband’s design and added features such as body tracking, sleep monitoring and smart vibration alarms to the Android platform.
Asus May Develop Its Own Wearable Device
Taiwan-based firm Asustek Computer Inc., or Asus as it is better known, is reportedly toying with the idea of developing a wearable device like Google Glass. Focus Taiwan reports that the company’s Chairman Jonney Shih said that it held meetings recently “to review the development of wearable devices”. Shih reportedly even acknowledged that wearable devices are a “critical sector” in the realm of innovation.
In today’s clips we learn about a new process for making conductive fabrics, a list of time saving wearables, energy storage in textiles, wearable tactile displays, and Sketchers light up shoes.
New Process For Rendering Paper And Textile Fibers Conductive with Aluminum
Korean researchers have now developed a new process for rendering paper and textile fibers conductive with aluminum … Current techniques like printing or vapor deposition are not applicable to fibrous materials because it is not possible to produce a continuous pattern. In addition, these methods are very expensive … Researchers have now developed a simple, affordable approach for making conductive textile and paper fibers with aluminum. The paper or textile fibers are first pre-treated with a titanium-based catalyst and then dipped into a solution of an aluminum hydride composite solution. The catalyst is needed to allow the subsequent conversion of the aluminum compound to metallic aluminum to occur at room temperature. The materials are not simply coated; in fact their fibers absorb the solution. This means that they do not have just a surface layer of aluminum, but are fully saturated. This produces papers and textile fibers with excellent electrical conductivity that can be bent and folded as desired. They can also be cut to any desired shape and size and simply glued or sewn onto an equally flexible support.
Time Saving Must Haves: Wearable Electronics For Busy People
… As we have all become more and more dependent on smartphones, developers have caught on to the idea that time saving electronics for busy people really might be the wave of the future, with a a whole heap of new devices hitting the market. Check out these wearable electronics and let me know which ones make your must-have list!
Textile Energy Storage
This research focuses on electrical energy storage solutions for textiles and wearable electronics, a fundamental challenge for designers of smart textiles and wearable technology. As a solution to this problem, we are focusing on supercapacitors, made with activated carbon material. When combined with low power energy harvesting devices as power supply, they can eliminate the need for batteries in application such as wireless sensor networks.
That Buzz You Feel May Soon Be Your Clothes Talking To You
Next Power Up
A senior research scientist at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and a designer of wearable tactile displays, Lynette Jones, has created an array that accurately tracks vibrations through skin in three dimensions. The array contains miniature accelerometers and pancake motors – a type of vibrating motor which is currently used in cellphones … Jones stated there are many potential applications for these types of tactile displays, such as aiding drivers or joggers, directing firefighters through building or helping emergency workers navigate through a disaster site.
Light-Up Shoes Booming, Brightens Sketchers’ Bottom Line
Footwear Distributors And Retailers of America
If you were in elementary school during the ’90s, chances are you owned a pair of L.A. Lights, or coveted those magical sneakers with lights in the heels, flashing red with every step and telling your peers that you were hip. As it turns out, a more advanced form of the classic light-up shoes are hot again with kids today and racking up millions in sales for Skechers.
In today’s clips we learn about Acer’s move to wearable technology, the problems with batteries and wearables, the LiveMap heads up display helmet, and why Apple will dominate wearable technology.
Acer To Embrace Wearable Technology in 2014
Acer is set to enter the wearable technology market next year, joining other top technology firms like Google, Apple and Samsung who have already committed to the field. The Taiwanese computer and electronics firm is working on how to make wearable tech appealing to consumers, which it said is a bigger challenge than the logistics of the technology.“We are looking at wearable, I think every consumer company should be looking at wearable. Wearable isn’t new … it just hasn’t exploded in the way that it should. But the opportunity’s for billions of dollars’ worth of industry,” ST Liew, president of the smartphone business group at Acer, told Pocket-lint.
Batteries Are The Only Thing Stopping The Wearable Device Revolution
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Longer-lasting batteries are crucial for a new crop of wearable computers whose rise may upend Apple and Google’s dominance of mobile devices, two of the field’s pioneers say … “All this wearable stuff is constrained by battery technology. It’s not a computing problem,” Hosain Rahman, CEO of Jawbone, told the Reuters Global Technology Summit on Monday.
Wearable Technology: This Time It’s A $2,000 Helmet
A helmet-mounted display may be available to motorcyclists as early as 2014 … Russian startup LiveMap is working on a state-of-art motorcycle helmet with a built-in navigation system that accepts voice commands …It will come fitted with a microphone for voice control, a set of earphones, a light sensor for adjusting image brightness, and batteries along with a G-sensor, gyroscope, and digital compass for head movement tracking.
Why Apple Will Enter (And Dominate) The Wearable Technology Market
When Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at length to kick off the D11 conference, he ignited a new firestorm of speculation regarding Apple’s stake in the wearable computing market…Clearly, wrist-worn wearables are on Apple’s radar. It’s a booming new technology category, and a sector that’s ripe for Apple’s taking. All Cook and company need to do is harness the same expertise and design savvy that propelled existing Apple product lines to greatness.
In today’s clips we learn about Disney going wearable, the now open-sourced Sony SmartWatch, mind control projects using wearable technology, and a fellowship by Eyebeam for wearable fashion designers.
Disney Gets Into Wearable Tech With The ’MagicBand’
The Next Web
Disney is introducing a new MagicBand device that ties into a new service that allows theme park visitors to make purchases and reserve experiences … The bands are a colorful wrist device made of rubberized plastic that will allow visitors to the park to tap on check in points to enable various experiences. The bands are adult and child-sized units with both Bluetooth and RF technology inside for long-range and short-range reading. The bands can be ordered online and come free with purchases of tickets or packages.
Sony SmartWatch Now “Open-Sourced”
Although the small device didn’t get too much attention from the tech fans when it launched … it may get a little more … with Sony’s recent announcement that its SmartWatch has now become open-sourced.
The Power of the Mind: Five Amazing Projects Controlled With Your Brain
Mind-controlled projects still seem like a novelty, especially since they often require one to wear clunky head-gear. If we look back at the earliest formal expressions of wearable technology, they too went through their awkward adolescent stage in development. With this mind, let’s take a look at five fascinating projects controlled by one’s brain waves. Because ultimately wearables like Glass will only work seamlessly if we actually don’t have to shout commands to our devices.
Eyebeam Computational Fashion Fellowship 2013-4
Tired of surfing the internet for up-to-date info about wearables and wearable technology? Want to know what’s happening right now without blog hopping for hours? Get today’s top stories about wearables and wearable technology here with Webelow Wear News Clips.
A Wearable Alert To Head Injuries In Sports
New York Times
Hard knocks to the head are a constant concern in contact sports — and not just in football or boxing, where recent attention has focused. Millions of girls and boys play hockey, soccer, lacrosse and other sports where blows to the head from collisions and falls are part of the game, even in youth leagues and on high school teams … A crop of new lightweight devices that athletes can wear on the field may help people on sidelines keep better track of hits to players’ heads during games and practice sessions. The devices, packed with sensors and microprocessors, register a blow to a player’s skull and immediately signal the news by blinking brightly, or by sending a wireless alert.
Power Shorts: Shake Your Rear To Charge Your Gear
At the outdoor festival in Glastonbury, England, this weekend, mobile carrier Vodafone will try on its new Power Shorts, which harvest movement to boost the battery life of mobile devices … The shorts — created with help from scientists at the University of Southampton — incorporate a Power Pocket that contains foam-like ferroelectret materials with pockets of permanently charged surfaces. When the material gets squashed or deformed through movement, kinetic energy gets produced. Vodafone says a full day’s walking and dancing will charge a smartphone for more than four hours (not much, but way more than campers can expect from those hawthorn-tree outlets).
Redmond Company Developing Computerized Socks
The socks feel like any other sock until you attach a magnetic anklet that feeds back information, via Bluetooth, to a computer that can not only display waveforms of impacts on the foot, but a smartphone app will eventually give a user audio cues in their ear bud when their running technique is poor. The free app will also display east to understand graphics on how to improve their stride.
Hardwired: New Online Show on Wearable Tech
With the launch of AOL’s latest online show “Hardwired” it is evident that “wearable technology” is the tech world’s latest muse. As expected, the first episode covers fitness tech: the Jawbone Up and the Adidas heart rate monitoring sports bra. The show’s host, Justine Ezarik, takes her fitness data to experts and asks the quintessential question: What does mean? And the basic answer is “You’re healthy and normal.” And there lies the problem with all these tracking devices. They don’t really offer most of us much in terms of actionable feedback beyond pretty bar graphs. They don’t educate us on how to interpret this data over time. And the motivation mechanics are weak at best. In short, the industry has focused keenly on getting the algorithms right to interpret a step from a bump in the road while driving and very little on the user experience.
Linda Franco, co-founder of MACHINA sat down with The Next Women business magazine for an interview where she revealed her wearable technology story. We learn how she and her boyfriend/business partner/role model, Angelo, built MACHINA using the momentum of two prior successful start ups and their passion for fashion and technology. Franco also gives insight to the business model of MACHINA, their target market, and building the team that continues to help their brand. As for what’s next, Franco tells us MACHINA will launch in Japan at the end of the year. Webelow Wear will be sure to keep an eye out for this move and how it affects their growth.
Read the interview transcript.