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Functional Wearables

Durex’s Fundawear: Future of Foreplay

by on Apr.23, 2013, under Functional Wearables, Wearables, Wearables News

Fundawear for Men & Women

Durex's Fundawear

This isn’t your mother’s vibrator. (Your dad can have one too).

Durex, the condom manufacturer, has upped the sexual ante with male and female underwear that vibrates at the touch of a smartphone.

Each underwear is connected to an iPhone and app. The app  interface is either of a man’s figure in boxer briefs, or of a woman’s figure in panties and a bra.  With a tap, stroke, or rub of your iPhone, the signal is sent to an Amazon Server, which then sends the same signal and the signal’s intensity to an array of actuators (usually found in cell phones), in the underwear of the wearer. As if the idea of a remote foreplay product wasn’t enough, Billie Whitehouse, a designer on the project, explained Fundawear is made of sustainable materials.  Sexy, smart, and sustainable? We like.

From Arduino Mega prototyping to custom made circuit boards, the wearable sex toy is still a work in progress and is not yet available for purchase. A few lucky Australians, however, can get their hands on a free prototype by visiting Facebook and explaining how they would use Fundawear with their partner.  We contacted Durex to see if they would include entries from the US or just send a free pair to industry bloggers for proper documenting. Fingers crossed that they don’t say noaiou.

Check out the demo video.

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MIT Media Lab’s Proverbial Wallets Changes How You Think About Money

by on Apr.17, 2013, under Functional Wearables, Wearables, Wearables News

Proverbial Wallets from MIT Media Lab

Proverbial Wallets from MIT Media Lab

John Kestner and his team at MIT Media lab developed a series of wallets to help consumers control impulsive and often financially harmful spending habits.  Most of us use debit and credit cards for our day-to-day transactions, but many of us may not be checking available funds, or balancing our checkbooks on a regular basis to make responsible spending decisions.  Enter the Proverbial Wallet Series. The objective of the series is to communicate the user’s financial status in tangible forms to (hopefully) affect the users spending habits in a positive way. So how will a piece of leather and some hardware keep you from falling victim to big-shiny-buy-10-get-1-free purchases?  With actuators, control circuits, and Bluetooth communication, each wallet connects to your bank account and uses that information to update the wallet and notify the user through an action.

Bumble Bee

Using a vibrating motor, the wallet alerts the user of a processed bank transaction with a quick buzz.  If you hear too many buzzes, either you’re spending too much money, or someone else is.

Proverbial Wallet Series: Bumble Bee

Proverbial Wallet Series: Bumble Bee


If you need a more conspicuous alert, the Peacock may be the Proverbial Wallet for you. This wallet uses an embedded servo to create an “inflated” or “deflated” look depending on your available balance.  Got racks on racks on racks? Then your puffed up wallet will show it.

Proverbial Wallet Series: The Peacock
Proverbial Wallet Series: Peacock

Mother Bear

When a vibrating back pocket, or public shaming aren’t enough, the Mother Bear takes wearable wallet protection to a new level.  Based on the users  budget, the resistance of the hinge and motor in the wallet increases as you approach your budget ceiling. Granted, Mother Bear, won’t stop you from ballin’ out, but she will “nag” you about saving and even stand in the door way of wasteful money spending right before you walk past her and do it anyway.

Proverbial Wallet Series: Mother Bear

Proverbial Wallet Series: Mother Bear

While all three are still prototypes, a new wallet combining all three functions should be released shortly. We’ll keep you updated.

Check out the demo video.

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Wearables For The Visually Impaired by Tactile Navigation Tools

by on Mar.28, 2013, under Functional Wearables, Wearables, Wearables News

Tactile Navigation Tools

Tactile Navigation Tools: Wearable aids for the visually impaired.

Dr. John-Ross Rizzo and his team at tech start-up Tactile Navigation Tools (TNT) have created a series of products that include wearable devices to aid the visually impaired. As an active and mobile person with choroideremia, a disorder that causes progressive vision loss, Dr. Rizzo aimed to update the century old white cane with wearable devices that use modern technology.

The Deyenamic is a wearable t-shirt and smart-cane combo that  uses sensors and emitters to detect and report obstacles within the user’s path. The cane is equipped with a  LiDAR laser, an ultrasound emitter, and an infrared sensor that identifies any  peripheral obstructions  and communicates these hurdles to the t-shirt. The t-shirt, using electro-active polymers, then signals the user through vibrations sent to the region of the t-shirt the obstruction is closest to.

As one of many smart-canes dependent on other technology like Bluetooth communication, RFIDs,  or lasers,  Dr. Rizzo separates TNT’s innovation from the crowd with a simple yet effective mechanical cane that answers the question, “what if it all fails?”. The CumbaCane is the same smart-cane used in the Deyenamic, minus all the sensors and emitters. The reversed-umbrella design extends the reach of the traditional white cane with a fan shape of arms around the user. With a static central cane, the additional arms roll on wheels that work with a suspension system to allow the user to detect slight terrain changes like a crack in the sidewalk or the corner of a wall.

Visual impairment is not exclusive to people with medical disorders, however. Recognizing those civil servants who at times, are left visually handicapped in the line of duty, TNT also offers the Eyeronman, a hands free device that holds all the technology of the Deyenamic in one wearable vest.   With the Eyeronman, a fireman in a smoke filled room can safely navigate to a victim using the vest’s 360 degree obstacle detection range and communication system. Check the video below for a brief demo.

With demos at this year’s Technology You Can Touch event by NYC Tech Connect and NYU’s Entrepreneur’s Challenge, we look forward to seeing TNT’s products soon!

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Midi Controller Jacket By MACHINA

by on Mar.15, 2013, under Fashionable Wearables, Functional Wearables, Wearables, Wearables Celebrities


MACHINA's Midi Controller Jacket v1.0

MACHINA, a group of independent developers and designers living in Mexico,  has created the Midi Controller Jacket ($285-$2600), an advanced functional yet fashionable wearble, that transmits music notes to a speaker based on the user’s movements and interactions with the jacket sensors.

[Insert sped up record rewind sound here]

This means beat makers with dancing skills, or dancers with a penchant for music making can create killer beats with the pop-and-lock of an arm. Potentiometers, four push buttons, a flex sensor, and a joy stick can be configured by the user through a mobile app.

Making music not really your gig? No worries, because their fully funded kickstarter video explains that MACHINA is also working on a HACKSTORE with open source code, where users can upload their own presets and programs to add more functionality to the jacket like mixing videos or interacting with a Kinect.

With a ton of other products under their belt, including thermochromic t-shirts (that remind us of this interesting Polar Ice Cap Shirt), MACHINA is definitely a group of wearables celebrities we’ll be looking out for.

Check out their demo video below for more information.

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Google Reveals Talking Shoe at SXSW 2013

by on Mar.11, 2013, under Functional Wearables, Wearables, Wearables News

Google  may have stolen the show (in our wearable opinion) at this year’s South by Southwest Conferences & Festivals when it unveiled the Talking Shoe. With the help of an interactive collective YesYesNo, and Studio 5050, a multidisciplinary design and strategy studio, the shoe offers words of encouragement (or disappointment) in response to user data received from an accelerometer, gyroscope and pressure sensors. This “conversation” can also be shared through Google+.

In it’s current state there are no practical uses for the shoe. In fact, it was developed as part of Google’s Art, Copy & Code, a collaborative project that partners with innovative types to help branding and marketing work better with the technology. Basically they are trying to figure out how to advertise in “cool” and “modern” ways while you’re trying to watch YouTube or skip lame songs on Pandora.

But there are clearly so many places this shoe can go. Strangely enough, the Webelow Wear Team, a motley crew of skateboarders, musicians and tech-geeks, were debating how cool it would be to have sensor laden sneakers and skateboard that when used together, would assist boarders on everything foot placement to busting a tre. Kind of like Skataviz by Design I/O but with more instruction for the user to accomplish tricks.  And as a nod to  Google, it could  replicate the sounds of skaters smacking their boards when you successfully land a trick, and conversely,  the sound of boards being broken when you failed 100 consecutive attempts.

Check out the video for the Talking Shoe below.

[Via All Things D]

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LED Ampli-Tie with Flora

by on Feb.27, 2013, under DIY Wearables, Functional Wearables, Wearables, Wearables News

LED Ample tie

Today on Adafruit’s “Wearable Wednesdays” we learn how to make the LED Ampli-Tie with Flora. Using FLORA, the Electret Microphone Amplifier, Flora NeoPixels, and conductive thread, you can stand out in your next interview or stockholders meeting wearing a tie that lights up in reaction to sound.

You can check out the YouTube Video for step-by-step instructions.

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Life Microscope to Monitor All Your Movements

by on Jul.29, 2010, under Functional Wearables, Wearables

life microscope

Hitachi celebrated its 100th birthday this week and held a mini exhibition in Tokyo to demonstrate a few of their up-and-coming accomplishments. Most notably is the next generation of pedometers: The Life Microscope.  Yes! Another wearable tool to demonstrate how incredibly lazy you are.

This is not your office-mom’s pedometer; using accelerometers, this watch-like wearable monitors a myriad of activities and can distinguish amongst them. From sitting at a desk, to playing video games, the data collected through the Life Microscope is easily sent to a software system that can be used to analyze daily actions. Sounds like a cut-and-dry success, but because the device is worn around one’s wrist, one could trick the device into thinking the whole body is moving. This is not for tricky lazy people, but can help health nuts and doctor’s maintain accurate records on daily activities.

While there are a few working prototypes, there is no info on when it will be available for purchase and how big the price tag may be. Competing with Phillips’ DirectLife and Fitbit, The Life Microscope will probably run you about $100.

Via [AkihabaraNews]

user infterface for life band

More pictures after the jump.

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Square Band

by on Jul.23, 2010, under DIY Wearables, Functional Wearables, Wearables, WW Wish List

Take your studio with you.

Take your studio with you.

This is pretty cool.

The Square Band is a portable square wave synthesizer and is worn like a watch. The band includes eight tone buttons of varying octaves and a light sensor to change the pitch. Using a flexible solar panel, the band is recharged while worn and is powered for that a-ha moment of creativity.  It costs $35 with battery ($30 without) and there are only 4 in stock! But don’t fret – for you DIY’ers out there the creators are taking names for a potential DIY Kit.

music watch

Click here to hear a sample of the sounds. The first sample is a run through of each button and its corresponding tone in a controlled environment. The second sample is the tone of each button being pitch shifted via the on-board light sensor.

(continue reading…)

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BeerBot Bottle Opening Shirt

by on Jul.16, 2010, under Functional Wearables, Wearables

beerbot shirt

ThinkGeek has done it again. Another wearable revolution – sort of.  The BeerBot Bottle Opening Shirt is exactly what it sounds like: a screen printed shirt with a bottle cap opener and it can be yours for $20.

Useful, creative and Bender-influenced. Our vote: great gift for the newly 21.

Via [Geekologie]

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Drum Gloves: Bringing Teens Together

by on Jul.12, 2010, under Functional Wearables, Wearables

beat on the block drum gloves

Beat On the Block Drum Gloves Complete Set

drum glove internet interface

Website Interface

Arnoud den Besten, Kristo De Pooter, Sam Vesters and Thomas Leterme are students of the Artesis University College of Antwerp who have recently added to the long line of wearable gloves with their latest concept, the The Beat on the Block Drum Gloves. The prototype, made of micro-switches connected to a computer, a backpack with speakers and controls to change the instruments, was created with the intent of bringing together the immigrants and native teens of Belgium. The Gloves, according to Besten the gloves make it possible “…for the youth worker to make contact with immigrant youth who are on the street”.

That is, it is a way for two circles of life – which may normally never cross – to meet, share and grow together by creating music, uploading to the Drum Glove website and building on what others have contributed.  A sort of social networking music making site. While it is still under development the goal of the designers is get people creating and working together.

Check out the designers video of real drummers trying out the Drum Gloves.

Drum gloves from Arnoud on Vimeo.

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