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 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.
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.