The Importance of Design in Solving Real Problems: Featured Speaker Steve Vassallo
As hardware components like sensors and chips are getting smaller and cheaper it seems like every day a new connected product is hitting the scene. But what sets a good product apart from a great one is its ability to solve a real need for a user which is reflected in the product design. Thus the role of the Designer is increasingly important for any startup in the shaping of an idea they wish to take to market. 
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Designing a product that solves a real problem; finding the right technology to do so; and building a business around it are the three major ingredients Steve Vassallo looks for in a startup. A General Partner at VC firm Foundation Capital, Vassallo told us that a balance between these three aspects is key but not always achieved. "We’ve seen great products that live in one or two of these circles…but rarely do they have all three", he told us.
Vassallo believes that the role of the designer is an essential one for startups and sees a “complete up-levelling” of product experiences coming out of companies who give these individuals a proper seat in an inter-disciplinary team. He envisions a time in the near future when startup leadership teams will have a business, technical and design founder. But he says that “we aren’t quite there yet”. 
To succeed, designers will need to keep up with the pace of change. As technology becomes more immersive and uses more of our senses through components like sensors, designers will need to understand how inputs, outputs and tools are being reinvented and think about the experiences in this type of environment. They also need to be able to incorporate the use of real-time data to experiment faster and make decisions which solve rather than create new problems for users. Vassallo will be speaking more about this subject at the Designers of Things conference next week in his session entitled, "Designing in a Data-Driven World". 
In a time when some wearable technology has come under fire as “tech for tech’s sake” it’s refreshing to hear Vassallo speak so passionately about the need for a designer to focus on purpose and intent. “There is a serious responsibility of designers to think about the users, the problem they have and the opportunity they would like to take advantage of…and I believe that the world will be a better place because of it. I’m thrilled about where the design world will be in the next twenty years”.
We are too!
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This article is part of our featured speaker series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here.  



 

The Importance of Design in Solving Real Problems: Featured Speaker Steve Vassallo

As hardware components like sensors and chips are getting smaller and cheaper it seems like every day a new connected product is hitting the scene. But what sets a good product apart from a great one is its ability to solve a real need for a user which is reflected in the product design. Thus the role of the Designer is increasingly important for any startup in the shaping of an idea they wish to take to market. 

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Netflix Releases Print the Legend Documentary Trailer (Video)
There is no denying that 3D printing is a disruptive technology which has the potential of truly changing many verticals from manufacturing to health. Netflix’s newest documentary, “Print the Legend”, explores the companies and people behind the growing 3D printing movement. This week, Netflix released the trailer to this film which will be available on the streaming network September 26. 
[[MORE]]The documentary takes a look at some of the innovative companies making 3D printing accessible to the masses including MakerBot and FormLabs. It also dives deep into some of the more controversial stories we’ve seen surrounding this technology including the 3D printed guns and printing prosthetic hands for those in need.
"Print the Legend" originally showed at SXSW and won the special jury recognition award for editing and storytelling. We’ve got to admit that just from the trailer alone you leave feeling like something pretty powerful is happening with this technology. We’ve got the trailer for you below or you can hit this link

Netflix Releases Print the Legend Documentary Trailer (Video)

There is no denying that 3D printing is a disruptive technology which has the potential of truly changing many verticals from manufacturing to health. Netflix’s newest documentary, “Print the Legend”, explores the companies and people behind the growing 3D printing movement. This week, Netflix released the trailer to this film which will be available on the streaming network September 26. 

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Talking About Cool Ideas with Proto Labs
Proto Labs has seen its fair share of cool ideas. The world’s fastest injection molding, additive manufacturing and CNC machining service implemented its Cool Idea! Award program back in 2011 to identify and assist innovative inventors in getting their product to market
[[MORE]]Each year the program awards up to $250,000 of its manufacturing services to assist them in creating fully functional parts for prototyping, design iterations, testing or even an initial production run. Of the recipients from last year is Everpurse, a purse that integrates a smartphone charging system into the accessory and D-Rev, a low-cost knee prosthetic for above-the-knee amputee living in developing countries. 
We caught up with Proto Labs’ Marketing Manager, Sarah Braun, who was brought on board back in 2011 to kick of the program. She told us that solving real problems and a social good factor were key elements in judging the products the company considers for the award, as were originality, marketability and of course the “cool factor”.
One of the first winners that stood out to Braun was Truflavorware, a line of flatware created by Ohio-based Dan Ladanyi. The set of plastic utensils were designed specifically for chemotherapy patients so that they could avoid the taste of metal in their mouth while still using a fork and knife that felt like metal.
Braun told us that one of the biggest trends over the years has been an increase in connected IoT and wearables products. As is Robotics. This year’s winners include a low-cost motor and propeller unit designed for aquatic exploration and a home-based autonomous robot.  
Proto Labs expects to announce its next winner on October 7. Winners will be posted on the Cool Awards section of the Proto Labs website. 
Photo: Everpurse
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This article is part of our featured series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here. 
Proto Labs wants you to join them at DoT 2014 with a complimentary pass. For more information on their limited quantities of free passes, reach out to coolidea@protolabs.com by September 16th with DoT 2014 in the subject line.

Talking About Cool Ideas with Proto Labs

Proto Labs has seen its fair share of cool ideas. The world’s fastest injection molding, additive manufacturing and CNC machining service implemented its Cool Idea! Award program back in 2011 to identify and assist innovative inventors in getting their product to market

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World’s First 3D Printed Car Live Printed This Week, Driven Saturday
We have seen houses, castles and even canoes created by 3D printers and so seeing a fully functional car in this list makes total sense. History will be made this week as Local Motors live prints the first 3D printer car followed by its first drive this Saturday. The print is expected to be 44 hours in length and will take place in Chicago at The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).
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Called Strati, the vehicle will be printed in one piece while the internal components will be sourced from other suppliers. All pieces will be assembled by global co-creation company, Local Motors who are most known for creating the off-road desert racer, The Rally Fighter. 
“The Strati was designed by our community, made in our Microfactory, and will be driven by you,” said John B. Rogers, Jr., CEO of Local Motors. “This brand-new process disrupts the manufacturing status quo, changes the consumer experience, and proves that a car can be born in an entirely different way.” 
Following the show, Local Motors will continue using 3D printers in its car creation. They intend to launch production level 3D printed vehicles for purchase in the months following the show.

World’s First 3D Printed Car Live Printed This Week, Driven Saturday

We have seen houses, castles and even canoes created by 3D printers and so seeing a fully functional car in this list makes total sense. History will be made this week as Local Motors live prints the first 3D printer car followed by its first drive this Saturday. The print is expected to be 44 hours in length and will take place in Chicago at The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).

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Apple Enters The Wearable Category With The Apple Watch
Apple held its expected September event in Cupertino today. Among the announcements was the reveal of the new iPhone 6 including one with a larger 5.5 inch screen called the iPhone 6 Plus.  Apple also entered the mobile payments by including NFC on the latest devices and rolling out a feature called ApplePay. But it was when Tim Cook spoke the magic words “One More Thing” at the tail end of the event when things really got exciting. Cook presented a line of Apple Watches at the event officiating the rumours that the company was joining others in creating products for the wearable tech category.  
[[MORE]]The Apple Watch comes in a variety of styles and colors to offer personalization and options for wearers to fit their sense of style. The watch will be offered in two sizes and feature six different straps made from various materials including leather, silicon and stainless steel. Apple will be selling three three different collections of the watch: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition, the latter  made using 18-karat gold. On top of the hardware options, Apple also featured a variety of watchfaces to choose from including a classic Mickey Mouse watch you may have remembered from the iPod Nano days.
The Apple Watch features some new and familiar inputs to interact with the software on the device. The Digital Crown on the side of the watch lets you navigate within an app and when pressed can take you back to the home screen. The other physical button under it opens up a screen with your favourite contacts for you to interact with. The screen itself is a touch screen which lets you tap and swipe but its outfitted with a new technology Apple calls Force Touch which allows the screen distinguish between a tap and a hard tap acting almost like a right click of a mouse. Finally, Siri is integrated with the watch letting you use voice to access information. 
The Watch presents some interesting way to communicate such as its Digital Touch feature which lets you send doodles and even your heartbeat to another wearer. And responding to text messages is made easy on the device through the use of predictive canned responses and a strong emphasis on the use of animated emojis. The Watch also features calling functionality with the built-in speaker and microphone.
The two immediate killer features for the device were around health and payments. The newly announced ApplePay system which allows users to pay with credit and debit cards kept in Apple’s Passbook will work on the smartwatch. And Apple unveiled two new fitness and health apps for the Watch which make use of the heart rate monitoring and activity tracking functions it comes equipped with.
But payments and health are only the tipping point for the Apple Watch as Apple also announced WatchKit to help developers build apps for the device. Apps have already been created by Starwood Hotels, to open hotel room doors with the watch, Twitter and Facebook and we are sure to see a lot more by the time the watch is ready in 2015.

Apple Enters The Wearable Category With The Apple Watch

Apple held its expected September event in Cupertino today. Among the announcements was the reveal of the new iPhone 6 including one with a larger 5.5 inch screen called the iPhone 6 Plus.  Apple also entered the mobile payments by including NFC on the latest devices and rolling out a feature called ApplePay. But it was when Tim Cook spoke the magic words “One More Thing” at the tail end of the event when things really got exciting. Cook presented a line of Apple Watches at the event officiating the rumours that the company was joining others in creating products for the wearable tech category.  

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Last Week to Register for DoT 2014 with Special Pricing
Advance rates for Designers of Things expire Friday, September 12. Register this week to save up to $150 on your VIP, Tech or Demo Pass.
All pass holders will gain access to the Demo Hall, featuring cutting-edge technologies from innovative companies, including Autodesk, Freescale and Grid Connect. Join them and other participating companies to learn about new products, interact with designers and developers, and establish relationships with the brightest minds in wearable tech, 3D printing and IoT. Additionally, pass holders are invited to attend on-site parties hosted by Shapeways and Proto Labs after the Demo Hall closes on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
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VIP and Tech pass holders can also access a wide range of talks, intensives and workshops covering these technologies, including: Designing for 24/7 Wearability with Nirav “Rav” Sheth  from MC10, Designing Voice Interfaces for Wearables and Other Form Factors with Tanya Kraljic from Nuance Communications, and Wireless Connectivity and Wearables: The What, How, and Why with Cary Bran from Plantronics.
Visit the session scheduler on the Designers of Things Conference website for the full session listing or download the Official DoT 2014 app.

DoT 2014 will take place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF in San Francisco, California.

Last Week to Register for DoT 2014 with Special Pricing

Advance rates for Designers of Things expire Friday, September 12. Register this week to save up to $150 on your VIP, Tech or Demo Pass.

All pass holders will gain access to the Demo Hall, featuring cutting-edge technologies from innovative companies, including Autodesk, Freescale and Grid Connect. Join them and other participating companies to learn about new products, interact with designers and developers, and establish relationships with the brightest minds in wearable tech, 3D printing and IoT. Additionally, pass holders are invited to attend on-site parties hosted by Shapeways and Proto Labs after the Demo Hall closes on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

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Opening Up IP to Make Really Cool Things: Featured Speaker Duann Scott
Back in July, Hasbro and Shapeways embarked on a completely new venture never before attempted by a major brand. The global toy maker opened up its IP for its uber popular “My Little Pony” franchise to enable fans to 3D print and sell their own creations on leading 3D printing platform Shapeways. We caught up with Shapeway’s Designer Evangelist, Duann Scott, to chat about this partnership and talk about how cool things can happen when brands open up their products to the 3D printing community.
[[MORE]]SuperFanArt launched at Comic-Con 2014 and saw five designers have license granted to them to create new art and product offerings under the My Little Pony Hasbro brand. All of the designs, including some pretty wicked “Bronies” are all for sale on the Shapeways site. 
Scott told us that this is just the start of the partnership with Hasbro and that we should see the SuperFanArt program expand to offer license to a wider audience and start to include other Hasbro brands such as Dungeons and Dragons and Transformers.
As exciting as seeing branded art being created by fans that love it, for Scott the fact that a large brand like Hasbro has opened its IP to allow for the design community to collaborate is “groundbreaking”. He hopes that the success of this program will serve as a case study for those brands who may be afraid that they will lose control if they do the same. And he is hopeful that more brands and companies move in this direction.
The benefit for brands to partner with a platforms like Shapeways in creating 3D printed user generated content is the manufacturing, distribution and customer service. As Shapeways handles the printing and selling of the branded art, the print quality and customer experience associated with its brand is kept at a high level of standard. The benefit for the designers is the license to create under an existing brand and have the ability to profit from it. 
Scott sees more and more software being developed for designers to be able to customize without the need to know conventional 3D modelling techniques removing one of the major barriers of 3D printing today. With tools making the process easier to create and the license from brands to give designers the freedom to do so, 3D printing is well positioned to develop a new type of market where brands co-create with the community to develop new interpretations and products they may not have had the ability to realize otherwise.
Duann Scott will be speaking about the Hasbro-Shapeways partnership at the Designers of Things conference later this month in a session called “Fans + Open IP = Internet of Really Cool Things”. 
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This article is part of our featured speaker series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here. 

Opening Up IP to Make Really Cool Things: Featured Speaker Duann Scott

Back in July, Hasbro and Shapeways embarked on a completely new venture never before attempted by a major brand. The global toy maker opened up its IP for its uber popular “My Little Pony” franchise to enable fans to 3D print and sell their own creations on leading 3D printing platform Shapeways. We caught up with Shapeway’s Designer Evangelist, Duann Scott, to chat about this partnership and talk about how cool things can happen when brands open up their products to the 3D printing community.

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Wearables Wrap-up: IFA, Unpacked and Motorola Launch Announcements
This week was a whirlwind of product launches for wearable tech as a couple of big events were held around the world. ASUS, Sony, Samsung and Motorola all unveiled tech you can wear on your wrists, your face and even your ears. We recap the wearables you can expect from these companies later this year.
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Motorola officially announced two wearables today including the much anticipated Moto 360 smartwatch and a smart earbud called Hint. The Moto 360 has a classic round face making it look more like a traditional timepiece than a chunky smartwatch. The device runs Android Wear which delivers notifications including Google Now messages to your wrist. It also includes an optical light sensor to track your heart rate and is the first Android Wear device to incorporate an ambient light sensor to change the screen brightness in different lighting conditions. This smartwatch will be available for purchase later this fall.
Motorola’s Hint is a smart earbud that connects via Bluetooth to your Moto smartphone to act as a digital assistant. The always-listening earbud uses voice commands to remotely control apps on your smartphone - anything from checking a text to getting turn-by-turn directions. The earbud is quite discrete and somewhat fashionable with wood, leather and fabric options to choose from. No word on when this device will be released.
Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled its first standalone smartwatch, the Gear S, at its Unpacked event. The Gear S has its own nanoSIM which allows it to be independent of a smartphone. This means you can leave your phone at home and still do things like take calls and receive messages. The device runs Samsung’s operating system, Tizen, and features a 2-inch curved OLED display making the device almost cuff like. The device will launch first in Korea in October with release in the rest of the world to be announced.  
Along with a new smartwatch, Samsung entered the Virtual Reality headset space with Samsung VR. Created in partnership with Facebook-owned, Oculus, the device is an accessory for the new Note 4 to transform the smartphone into a virtual reality entertainment device.
At IFA in Berlin, Sony and Asus launched new wrist-worn devices. ASUS got into the smartwatch space with the ZenWatch, an Android Wear device that has biometric tracking capabilities while Sony released its third generation of its Sony SmartWatch this time choosing to power the device with Android Wear. Sony also announced a new fitness band that can take calls called the Sony SmartBand Talk. The Talk is the sequel to the original SmartBand and has new features such as an e-ink display and a microphone and speaker to take and make calls. 
Next week Apple is expected to finally unveil the rumored iWatch as its first wearable device. The flurry of activity for wearable is well timed to capture the wrists, eyes and ears of consumers as they head into the holiday season.  

Wearables Wrap-up: IFA, Unpacked and Motorola Launch Announcements

This week was a whirlwind of product launches for wearable tech as a couple of big events were held around the world. ASUS, Sony, Samsung and Motorola all unveiled tech you can wear on your wrists, your face and even your ears. We recap the wearables you can expect from these companies later this year.

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Opening Ceremony To Debut Smart Bracelet at New York Fashion Week
Back in January, Intel announced that they were working with Open Ceremony to create fashionable wearable tech that would be available for sale at Barneys. This week we learned that Opening Ceremony will debut this tech as part of its Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Show at New York Fashion Week.  
[[MORE]]The duo have created MICA, a smart bracelet that is as much fashion first as it is a device with “communications capabilities”. Powered by Intel, MICA, which stands for "My Intelligent Communication Accessory", marries luxurious design elements like semi-precious gems and snakeskin with technology to work with, and not against, a woman’s sense of style. Opening Ceremony has made two styles available for the smartband. One style will feature black watersnake skin, pearls from China, and lapis stones from Madagascar, while the other style will feature white watersnake skin, tiger’s eye from South Africa, and obsidian from Russia. Both boast a curved sapphire glass display. 
On the tech side, MICA offers mainly a host of notification features including the ability to read text messages, get meeting alerts and other general notifications. But Intel did indicate in its press release yesterday that “additional features and functionalities to be revealed at a later date.”
MICA will be available at select Barneys and Opening Ceremony stores by holiday 2014. Pricing was not announced but from the sounds of the premium materials of these accessories, and the choice of store, we can assume the price tag is going to be a higher one.

Opening Ceremony To Debut Smart Bracelet at New York Fashion Week

Back in January, Intel announced that they were working with Open Ceremony to create fashionable wearable tech that would be available for sale at Barneys. This week we learned that Opening Ceremony will debut this tech as part of its Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Show at New York Fashion Week.  

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ASUS Latest To Launch Android Wear Watch with ZenWatch
IFA is underway in Berlin and to kick off the announcements ASUS officially unveiled its first wearable device, the Android Wear powered smartwatch, ZenWatch. The ZenWatch is just one of many smartwatches and other wearables expected to be launched at this event.
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ASUS has chosen to go with a classic timepiece look for its first watch. It features a 2.5D curved glass face and uses a soft genuine stitched-leather strap with quick-release clasp. The watch will come with a selection of interchangeable watchface apps for users to switch things up.
The ZenWatch features a version of the ASUS ZenUI which was specifically designed for the watch. It also features some pretty engaging elements, most not yet found on other Android Wear smartwatches. Users will be able to tap the watch to unlock a device or perform a pre-set function. It also comes equipped with remote camera capabilities and a means to control presentations. Of course it adds even more functionality to owners of ASUS smartphones. 
The ZenWatch is also an activity tracker, using its 9-axis sensor along with the companion ASUS ZenUI Wellness app to monitor activity, heart  rate, exercise intensity and relaxation levels. 

ASUS Latest To Launch Android Wear Watch with ZenWatch

IFA is underway in Berlin and to kick off the announcements ASUS officially unveiled its first wearable device, the Android Wear powered smartwatch, ZenWatch. The ZenWatch is just one of many smartwatches and other wearables expected to be launched at this event.

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Stratasys and Jenny Wu Pair Up To Create 3D Printed Jewelry Collection
Leading 3D printing company, Stratasys, has partnered with designer and architect, Jenny Wu, on her first 3D printed jewelry collection called LACE. The collection includes necklaces and rings which are inspired by geometric patterns and organic movement which are motifs found in the art and design installations she is most known for.
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Wu is an American architect and partner at the award-winning firm Oyler Wu Collaborative which specializes in experimental and progressive projects. Its most recent installation, The Cube, was a sixteen meter tall painted steel and rope installation created for the Beijing Biennale.
The LACE collection comprises of a line of 3D printed wearable jewelry including the graphic Tangens necklace which will be made available in black, white or translucent and a sterling silver polished Papilio ring inspired by the fluttering of a butterfly wing. The Papilio ring was recently sold via Paddle8, the International fine art and collectibles auction site.

"I wanted to design a range of jewelry that could be avant-garde yet wearable, and approached it from my architectural heritage of spatial and line-based geometries to form a bold but soft spectacle for the body," Jenny Wu explains. "From my 15 years’ experience with 3D printing for architectural projects, I knew it would deliver the capabilities to realize my creative vision for jewelry. 3D printing offers an elegant aesthetic and enables different layers and densities of fine and detailed pieces to be intertwined and produced within hours instead of months."
The LACE collection is in the final production stage and will be available Autumn 2014 from: http://www.jennywulace.com/

Stratasys and Jenny Wu Pair Up To Create 3D Printed Jewelry Collection

Leading 3D printing company, Stratasys, has partnered with designer and architect, Jenny Wu, on her first 3D printed jewelry collection called LACE. The collection includes necklaces and rings which are inspired by geometric patterns and organic movement which are motifs found in the art and design installations she is most known for.

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Emotional Prosthetics, Modular Smarbands and Sixth Sense Necklaces Make Up Finalists for Intel’s Make It Wearable Challenge
Earlier this year, Intel launched its Make It Wearable challenge which asked Developers to submit a proposal and a pitch video of innovative and creative concepts. This week they announced the ten finalists who will be judged in November in San Francisco for a chance to win $500,000. The finalists represented the vast landscape of wearable tech from emotional prosthetics, to flyable and wearable cameras and smart baby wear. 
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One of the finalists from the UK, Blocks, is taking a modular approach to wearable tech in building a snapable platform. Taking cue at current modularity projects on the go like Google’s Project Ara, the team behind blocks believes that being able to swap things out is even more important for a wearable device. Blocks will let users replace or upgrade capabilities of its smartband for things like sensors, displays, processors and batteries.
  

Another team from the UK have developed the Vumble, a sports and activity necklace which tracks information from the body using vibrations and allows the user to interact with it via touch. The team describes Vumbl as being a kind of sixth sense. It’s haptic feedback can guide a user to where they need to be without a screen or can be used to enhance a game by letting the player feel the action. Vumbl’s voice control feature also acts as a Bluetooth headset to make a call or control your smartphone.

Some of the other ideas include a First V1sion - gaming system which shows the players point of view; Nixie - a wearable camera that can also fly and Snowcookie - a fitness coach for skiing. Intel has featured all ten of its finalists on the Make It Wearable challenge page. 
These teams have already won $50,000 and intensive mentoring and coaching from industry leaders such as Guy Kawasaki and author Steve Blank to help refine the projects and get them off the ground. In November, they will all compete for the grand prize of $500,000. 

Emotional Prosthetics, Modular Smarbands and Sixth Sense Necklaces Make Up Finalists for Intel’s Make It Wearable Challenge

Earlier this year, Intel launched its Make It Wearable challenge which asked Developers to submit a proposal and a pitch video of innovative and creative concepts. This week they announced the ten finalists who will be judged in November in San Francisco for a chance to win $500,000. The finalists represented the vast landscape of wearable tech from emotional prosthetics, to flyable and wearable cameras and smart baby wear. 

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Samsung & LG Announce New Smartwatches Ahead of IFA
Samsung and LG had both been teasing new smartwatches to be announced at next month’s IFA in Berlin but it looks like they have both let the cat out of the bag early! Lucky us! Specs and photos for the new Samsung Gear S and round-faced LG G Watch R were released yesterday showing off the latest wearable offerings from two companies that already have devices on people’s wrists.
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Samsung Gear S
The Samsung Gear S is a first for the manufacturer who has already released several watches and wearable bands to the market. Gear S has 3G connectivity which means that it can still perform things like make calls and receive messages even when not connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth or near a WiFi connection. 
“Samsung is leading this exciting and rapidly developing wearable category through progressive innovation,” said JK Shin, CEO and head of IT & mobile communication at Samsung Electronics. “The Samsung Gear S redefines the idea of the smart wearable and the culture of mobile communication. It will let consumers live a truly connected life anywhere, anytime.
The Gear S features a similar curved AMOLED screen featured on the Gear Fit but this one is larger measuring 2-inches making it much easier to read messages on the watch. Gear S runs Samsung’s own operating system, Tizen, which is the same OS used for Gear 2 and the Gear Neo. Samsung has featured Nokia’s HERE as included in this release to give users pedestrian turn-by-turn directions and the inclusion of Spritz technology to make content easier to read on the device.

LG G Watch R 
LG recently debuted it’s first smartwatch, LG G Watch which runs Android Wear, at Google I/O. The company is jumping on the round watch bandwagon made uber popular by Motorola’s upcoming 360 in announcing the release of the G Watch R. LG states that this will be the “world’s first watch-style wearable device to feature a circular Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display and utilizes 100 percent of its watch face”.
The LG G Watch R features a 1.3 inch full circle P-OLED screen. P-OLED allow the screen to be clear from any angle and makes it easier to read in the sun, a great feature for something you will be looking at out and about. The design of the watch is very much like, well, a watch. Its classic round face and retro finishings will win over those looking to have a smartwatch on their wrist that doesn’t look like others on the market today.
“What we’ve noticed in the year of the wearable is that this is a category that can’t be compared to smartphones and tablets,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Wearables are also accessories and consumers will want more than one to choose from. So we wanted to complement the modern design of the original G Watch with the classic look of the G Watch R. Customers can’t go wrong with either device.”
Like the LG G Watch before it, the G Watch R will run Google’s Android Wear. It also works with LG’s suite of health apps which work with the embedded photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor. 
Both the Samsung Gear S and the LG G Watch R are expected to be on people’s wrists later this year. Samsung states that their roll-out will begin in October while LG says to expect the G Watch R in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Samsung & LG Announce New Smartwatches Ahead of IFA

Samsung and LG had both been teasing new smartwatches to be announced at next month’s IFA in Berlin but it looks like they have both let the cat out of the bag early! Lucky us! Specs and photos for the new Samsung Gear S and round-faced LG G Watch R were released yesterday showing off the latest wearable offerings from two companies that already have devices on people’s wrists.

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Robots to Use Internet as a Shared “Robo Brain”
We all rely heavily on the Internet. It tells us the weather, how to get to work and even does our math. But we aren’t the only ones who will benefit from this growing, intelligent brain. Robots are expected to leverage the power of the web as a resource to help them become more effective in the near-future world.
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Developed by researchers at Cornell University, the new system called “Robo Brain” will take data from public Internet sites for use by robots in future interactions. Photographs, YouTube videos and how-to documents are used by the system to store this information in robots, from household robots to self-driving cars, for when it needs it.
The team at Cornell are using crowdsourcing methods to fill in any gaps by showing what the robots know already and asking users to add new information or to correct existing data. 
The researchers presented the project at the 2014 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference in Berkeley in July. Here a video of the presentation: 

Robots to Use Internet as a Shared “Robo Brain”

We all rely heavily on the Internet. It tells us the weather, how to get to work and even does our math. But we aren’t the only ones who will benefit from this growing, intelligent brain. Robots are expected to leverage the power of the web as a resource to help them become more effective in the near-future world.

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The US Open Just Got Smarter with the Ralph Lauren and OMSignal Smart Shirt Collaboration
Tennis is about to get a whole lot smarter this US Open as Ralph Lauren, the official outfitter of the sporting event, has teamed up with biometric clothing company OMSignal to create The Ralph Lauren Polo Tech Shirt. The debut of these sensor-based shirts will be the first time a global sporting event is being used to launch a collection of wearable products. 
[[MORE]]The shirt was developed with proprietary technology from OMSignal, a Canadian-based company who recently opened pre-orders for its collection of smart clothing that measures heart rate, breathing and activity to help you improve your fitness and live a better life. Like the OMSignal clothing, the smart Polo features sensors knitted into the shirt which is then collected in a “black box” attached to the shirt. This data is then transmitted from the box to a smartphone via Bluetooth.  
The smart shirt will be worn by Marcus Giron during practice to track his biometrics and make adjustments needed before playing in his first Grand Slam in Flushing. Ball Boys will also be outfitted with the Polo Tech Shirt during select matches at the Billie Jean National Tennis Center at the event.
 David Brewer, US Open Tournament Director, said there are features in the Polo Tech shirt that can “revolutionize how players train and compete.” “The fact that Ralph Lauren chose the US Open as the venue to unveil its Polo Tech shirt enhances our tradition as a showcase for innovation,” said Brewer.

The US Open Just Got Smarter with the Ralph Lauren and OMSignal Smart Shirt Collaboration

Tennis is about to get a whole lot smarter this US Open as Ralph Lauren, the official outfitter of the sporting event, has teamed up with biometric clothing company OMSignal to create The Ralph Lauren Polo Tech Shirt. The debut of these sensor-based shirts will be the first time a global sporting event is being used to launch a collection of wearable products. 

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