Archive for March, 2010
Ok, so at first glance we’re thinking “light up shoes for surfers”. Silly and unecessary is the second. But then we consider the late night snack/bathroom obstacle avoiding endeavor and the early morning surfer trying to avoid rocks and shells, and there is a glimmer of usefullness. The Teva Illum sandals include a detachable LED light and will start at $60 (leather) and $50 (synthetic) starting May 1.
A friend once told us that her younger sister used an ECG cap and was called E.T. because of it. While it was family and clearly a verbal love tap, it mirrored a bigger issue with current monitoring technology: it can be ugly and conspicuous. Enter wearable technology…once again!
Wearable technology has made noteable progress toward discretely integrated sensors into clothing but have not mastered the art and science for medical purposes. TecInTex, a research program at Nano-Tera is attempting to bridge the gap between theory and a realistic product. The goal of their research is to develop a group of functional fibers with sensors that can measure body functions like continuous ECG monitoring, gather that information by being close to the body, production of the garments and prototypes for medical purposes.
Our vote: yay wearables, boo mean kids!
The wearables industry never ceases to be amazing; from electronics to biometrics the advancement in the industry is ever growing. Contacts have been used as a drug delivery vehichle for a variety of eye problems, but current technology makes it so that some of the drugs are lost due to systemic circulation. Less than 5% of drugs delivered via eye drops reach cornea. The rest just kind floats about in your eye and can cause negative side effects. Anuj Chauhan, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Florida, has developed transparent particle-laden contact lenses that deliver drugs at therapeutic doses for 5-30 days. This, according to Chauhan, can lead to a huge increase in the fraction of the entrapped drug that enters the cornea. So where…*ahem*…when can you pick up these wearable lenses? In about eight years time.
We were at the carnival the other night fishing for ideas off of the Twirl-a-Whirl buzz and funnel-cake rush. Just when we were commenting on how lame everyone was, we spotted a random guy at the snack bar with a pair of Jezign light-up shoes.
We first heard about these a couple of years ago on Talk2MyShirt and the shoe’s style came across as impressive. The style has a real urban flare and the shoes look good without the lights. That’s should be step number one in any serious wearable product. The technology should be molded around a good design.
After doing some research into Jezign, we were impressed to learn that they were available through Finish Line Shoes, a large shoe retailer that’s found across the country in almost every mall. This is a major accomplishment for a wearable product in this early age.
The designer of Jezign is a former Howard University student and the company has filed several patents for wearable-oriented fashions.
We went looking for these shoes in the stores but unfortunately, we could never find them at any Finish Line in the DC area. We were also unable to find the shoes on a site search. The site store is online but it is also unavailable. There are few on eBay starting at $150.00 – $10 more than the original $140 as listed in 2008.
Are these classics already? We may have to snag a pair before eBay get’s out of control.
Yes, Apple has crossed over and is looking far into the future with new Senior Prototype Engineer, Richard DeVaul on the payroll. After an angry fist shaking session, we took a step back and examined the situation. While DeVaul has taken our dream path straight to Jobs (ha…a job with Jobs), us Mom-and-Pop wearable shops needn’t fear the Walmart-ing of our companies and brands. This, ladies and gentlemen, could mean an industry boom for wearables.
Wearables, like every other industry, has it’s layers. There are the couture designers trying to make you Gaga-ed out, the Ipod wearable helping people-on-the-go move to a beat, the rave-scene wearable, the kitschy wearables products for all wearbles geeks, the DIY wearable upgrade to entertain the wearbles tinkerers, the biometrics wearables used in military and medicine, practical wearables for mass use and the home based wearables. Apple’s position in the industry? Considering the I-everything (Ipod, Iphone etc.) craze and DeVaul’s background, we’re in for a long ride of very cool, user friendly wearables. But remember, this is one section of a growing industry!
Our advice: stay positive, stay informed, keep innovating because the industry was just put on the map in big way.
We were recently able to get some work done figuring out the Zilog ePIR sensor and learning more about the hardware and software challenges of the Mona Lisa following eye EL project.
In our a breadboard setup, all we needed was our Arduino Barebones Board , the Zilog sensor and a necessary resistor. As far as wiring goes, this was a pretty basic build.
There are two ways to interact with the sensor. The Hardware Interface Mode gives a very direct connection to the sensors and doesn’t use the single board computer (SBC) to do any special analysis. All tuning parameters are set by input voltages.
A very Gaga design inspired by the theme of climate change, the “Dandelion” demonstrates the reality of human and wind powered designs.
Created by Mary Huang and Jennifer Kay, the Dandelion is a wearable accessory that creates energy from wind and human movement. We think it’s a conscious nod to alternate power sources and a fashion forward creation.
Inspired by the French fairy tale “Peau d’Âne”, Valerie Lamontagne is taking interactive wearables to new fashionable heights. The tale is of a widowed king who promises his dying wife to only marry a woman equal in her beauty and attributes. The princess was the only qualified candidate and fearing a strange living situation, conspires with her fairy godmother to request a list of impossible demands of the King: a dress the color of the sky, a dress the color of the moon, a dress as bright as the sun, and finally, the hide of his marvelous donkey.
No gold-pooping donkeys here, but the dresses are friggin’ fierce. Lamontagne turns fantastical ideas into wearable creations using real time reactions to changing weather conditions.
The “Sky Dress” uses 14 tiny fans linked to a weather station to respond to the variation in wind speed and direction. Pockets of air expand in the parachute fabric to create an image of wind movement.
The “Moon Dress” conveys the changing phases of the moon using 14 glowing flowers that change color accordingly.
The 128 LED’s react to fluctuations in ultraviolet and solar radiation in the “Sun Dress”. The lights flicker on and off, imitating the varying intensity of the sun.
Our vote: we likey.
Well we knew it would only be a matter of time before Lady Gaga made her fashion transition to wearables. This industry is made for artists like Gaga and Kayne who thrive on being the stand-out fashionista on stage. We’re not sure who the magical designer was, but we’re betting on Hussein Chayalan. The way the skirt creeps up the leg and the movement in the head piece screams Chayalan! This makes us super happy on the inside. Check out the video and let us know what you think!