Your Next Ice Cream Sundae Could Be 3D Printed
We’ve seen candies, cake toppers and even pizza get the 3D printer treatment. So it was just a matter of time that Summer’s favorite treat, ice cream, joined the party. MIT students have hacked a 3D printer to produce soft serve ice cream in any shape. 
[[MORE]]
The 3D ice cream printer was part of a graduate project for the students as part of the additive manufacturing program at MIT. The students built a cooling system using liquid nitrogen to ensure that the ice cream kept its shape.  The coolant allowed the ice cream to be built up in layers just like a traditional 3D printer would when using plastic.
The team told 3Ders.org that they were inspired to build a 3D printer that use ice cream as they thought it would be fun for children. Although the machine needs a lot of refinement, they believe that in the near future ice cream parlors like Dairy Queen will adopt the use of this technology to take ice cream treats the next level.

Your Next Ice Cream Sundae Could Be 3D Printed

We’ve seen candies, cake toppers and even pizza get the 3D printer treatment. So it was just a matter of time that Summer’s favorite treat, ice cream, joined the party. MIT students have hacked a 3D printer to produce soft serve ice cream in any shape. 

Read More

Metaio Brings Augmented Reality to the Smartwatch
Leading augmented reality software developer, Metaio, is bringing its visual search capabilities to the smartwatch. It’s object recognition software transforms the smartwatch camera from a nice-to-have feature to a must-have tool. 
[[MORE]]
Metaio’s solution uses photos taken by a user to match up results in its object library. When a match exists the app takes action like providing the user with glanceable information about the object. In a recent video posted on its YouTube channel, Metaio shows the app in action on a Galaxy Gear smartwatch where pictures of advertisements in a paper come to life on the watch and snapshots of items eaten at breakfast are added to a food journal.
For Metaio, the smartwatch offers a way for users to quickly and conveniently discover more about the world around them. They state in the video description:

“There exist millions of objects in our environment that can be scanned by a smart device, but it is not always convenient for users to be constantly removing their smart phones from pockets or purses. Placing object recognition capabilities on the wrist allows for convenient access to visual search and augmented reality applications that already exist today”. 

Metaio Brings Augmented Reality to the Smartwatch

Leading augmented reality software developer, Metaio, is bringing its visual search capabilities to the smartwatch. It’s object recognition software transforms the smartwatch camera from a nice-to-have feature to a must-have tool. 

Read More

Technology that Knows Who You Are: Featured Speaker Karl Martin
One of the most critical ingredients in creating a connected world is making sure that our technology knows who we are. Once our smart car, smart TV and even our smart toaster confirm our identity they can provide more meaningful experiences like the perfect in-car temperature, your favorite TV channel or how light or dark you like our toast. Right now we mostly use passwords and pins to help our tech tell us apart from others, but these mechanisms are frustrating, cumbersome and definitely don’t feel very futuristic. One wristband, the Nymi, is about to change all that. 
[[MORE]]The Nymi is a wristband which uses your cardiac rhythm or your unique heartbeat to identify who you are and then relays your identity to any connected thing via Bluetooth. As the Nymi is something you wear, it offers persistent identity once you are authenticated which means that you only need to confirm your identity once rather than every time you want to get access to something. 
Bionym, the company behind the Nymi, is getting ready to ship its first batch of wristbands out to those that have pre-ordered in the Fall of this year. The team has spent the past couple of months focusing on the design of the device and are now in the process of ramping up manufacturing to prepare for their public release. They are also focusing on building apps for they Nymi on every platform including iOS, Android, PC and Mac.
There are some pretty obvious uses for the Nymi like using it to unlock your smartphone, access your Gmail or even possibly paying for a coffee. But the Nymi’s identity capabilities move far beyond a password and pin replacement. It has the potential to personalize the connected world around you. 
“Identity is not just about security but also about different profiles and different behaviors that depend on a person’s preferences”, CEO and Co-founder of Bionym, Karl Martin, told Designers of Things. “One of our core interests longer term is adaptive environments. Just in the past year smart lighting has become very accessible you can actually buy wi-fi enabled smart lights at Home Depot and these are the kinds of things that we would like to marry the Nymi capabilities with. It’s really going to be about environment and experiences not just about security”. 
But as much as walking into a room to have the perfect lighting sounds nice, Bionym realizes that the Nymi’s immediate draw is reducing the headaches being caused by the abundance of passwords and PINs we have found ourselves having to manage in our daily lives.
“Smart environments and hyper-personalization are something that excite people but the whole thing about security, passwords and unlocking devices is something they understand and is a pain point today”, explained Martin. “It’s great that people can relate to the product both as something that will help with a pain point today as well as the excitement of the future”. 
- - - - - - - -
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 25% off VIP and Tech passes now through July 26, 2014 by clicking here.

Technology that Knows Who You Are: Featured Speaker Karl Martin

One of the most critical ingredients in creating a connected world is making sure that our technology knows who we are. Once our smart car, smart TV and even our smart toaster confirm our identity they can provide more meaningful experiences like the perfect in-car temperature, your favorite TV channel or how light or dark you like our toast. Right now we mostly use passwords and pins to help our tech tell us apart from others, but these mechanisms are frustrating, cumbersome and definitely don’t feel very futuristic. One wristband, the Nymi, is about to change all that. 

Read More

Celebrate the First Moonwalk with 25% Off DoT 2014
The 2014 Designers of Things conference – taking place September 23 & 24 in San Francisco – is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing! Register here before July 26, 2014 and save 25% on VIP and Tech passes.
[[MORE]]The conference schedule continues to grow. Check out a few recently added sessions:
Designing for Quantified OtherSteven Eidelman | Co-founder, Whistle
Challenges of a 3D Printing StartupMarcus Foley, Aaron Rowley, Joseph White | Co-founders, Electroloom
Identification, Authentication and Customization with BiometricsKarl Martin | CO-founder & CEO, Bionym
View the latest conference agenda.

Celebrate the First Moonwalk with 25% Off DoT 2014

The 2014 Designers of Things conference – taking place September 23 & 24 in San Francisco – is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing! Register here before July 26, 2014 and save 25% on VIP and Tech passes.

Read More

Thread Sews Consistency Through the Fabric of the Internet of Things
Nest, Samsung, ARM, Freescale and three other companies have joined forces to form a group dedicated to solving some of the challenges around the Internet of Things. The non-profit is called Thread Group and they have designed and developed a protocol for the Internet of Things aimed at making the connected home much simpler and easier for users and developers alike.
[[MORE]]
The Thread Group’s mission is to “create the very best way to connect and control products in the home”. The consortium got together to tackle relevant IoT issues such as battery life, dependency on one device as a hub and an often confusing user experience.
Their solution is Thread, a standard for connected products that is designed to be secure, simple to use, power efficient and runs on a robotic mesh network with no single point of failure. A version of Thread is already shipping in products today and the group has indicated that “millions of 802.15.4 wireless devices already on the market can run Thread with just a software enhancement — no new hardware required”.
"Existing wireless networking approaches were introduced long before the Internet of Things gained ground," said Vint Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist, Google, and advisor to the Thread Group. "The Thread protocol takes existing technologies and combines the best parts of each to provide a better way to connect products in the home."
Thread Group is one of many groups being created to try to standardize the fast-growing connected world. The group joins the Open Interconnect Consortium which was just recently formed by Intel and Samsung and AllSeen Alliance which is backed by Qualcomm. 

Thread Sews Consistency Through the Fabric of the Internet of Things

Nest, Samsung, ARM, Freescale and three other companies have joined forces to form a group dedicated to solving some of the challenges around the Internet of Things. The non-profit is called Thread Group and they have designed and developed a protocol for the Internet of Things aimed at making the connected home much simpler and easier for users and developers alike.

Read More

Fitbit Gets a Makeover with the Tory Burch Collection
Accessories designer, Tory Burch, has launched an exclusive collection for the Fitbit Flex. The marriage brings a flair of fashion to the popular activity tracker. Checking the style box for Fitbit is huge seeing that one of the most common complaints about wearable technology today is the fact that it isn’t very “wearable”. 
[[MORE]]Among the accessories for the connected step counter is a metal hinged bracelet and fret pendant which do away with the silicon wristband completely and create a cradle for the Fitbit sensor to sit in to keep track of your activity. Burch will also be offering Silicone Printed Bracelets in Tory Navi and Fuschia which can be used in lieu of the out-of-the-box versions that come when you buy a Fitbit. 
The Tory Burch website is accepting pre-orders for all of the accessories ranging from $175 for the metal fret pendant to $38 for the designer silicone bracelets. All of the accessories are expected to ship at the end of August. 
This is not the first tech accessory for the designer. Tory Burch also offers a collection of smartphone wristlet purses which act as all-in-one clutch for your cash, cards and smartphone. 
The Tory Burch + Fitbit partnership marks a shift in the wearable landscape where more focus is being placed on the aesthetic and personalization of the tech than just on its sensor-capability, which is definitely a step in the right direction.

Fitbit Gets a Makeover with the Tory Burch Collection

Accessories designer, Tory Burch, has launched an exclusive collection for the Fitbit Flex. The marriage brings a flair of fashion to the popular activity tracker. Checking the style box for Fitbit is huge seeing that one of the most common complaints about wearable technology today is the fact that it isn’t very “wearable”. 

Read More

3D Printing Big Dreams With CobbleBot
Everything is bigger in Texas and the Cobblebot is no exception. The latest 3D printer option to hit KIckstarter, Cobblebot is a low cost printer with a large build area of 15x15x15. The team behind Cobblebot have big dreams to shake up the 3D printing market to make these devices more affordable and able to do more than just print trinkets and iPhone cases.  
[[MORE]]
The Cobblebot is being offered to backers on its Kickstarter page for a price of $299. This is a significant price drop from the $3,700+ price tag which is normally attached to a printer with this capability. The company explains that its ability to bring the price down for Cobblebot is all about connections. They explain on the Kickstarter page:

How are we able to get the cost this low?  One of our team members is a business attorney with extensive connections in the manufacturing world and has negotiated rock bottom prices from all of our suppliers.  And that negotiated price keeps falling based on the quantity we order - This is where stretch goals come in - each stretch goal is based on the amount of orders necessary to get the next lower price from our suppliers.  The savings is then shared with everyone with the STRETCH GOAL items (heated bed, filtration case, stepper drivers, etc..)

Outside of cost and the large print area some of the other unique features of Cobblebot are the ability to customize its color scheme and the fact that the print area is entirely stationary. Cobblebot was built with all of its axes connected so that the print bed can stay stable and the printer builds the item straight up with all of the axes connected. 
 Cobblebot has already raised nearly double its Kickstarter funding goal of $100,000 and is well on its way to meeting its first stretch goal of $250,000 which will upgrade the stepper drives of the unit. 

3D Printing Big Dreams With CobbleBot

Everything is bigger in Texas and the Cobblebot is no exception. The latest 3D printer option to hit KIckstarter, Cobblebot is a low cost printer with a large build area of 15x15x15. The team behind Cobblebot have big dreams to shake up the 3D printing market to make these devices more affordable and able to do more than just print trinkets and iPhone cases.  

Read More

MakerBot Teams Up with Home Depot To Sell 3D Printers In-Store
Home Depot and MakerBot have paired up to start selling MakerBot 3D Printers in store. The partnership will see 3D printers placed in 12 locations as part of the pilot including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco beginning July 14.  
[[MORE]]
Home Depot has been selling MakerBots online for three months, but this shift to physical retail marks a huge milestone for this nascent technology which used to be the toy mainly to engineers and hobbyists.
According to the Bloomberg article:
MakerBot’s partnership with Home Depot is a “step into the mainstream,” said Bre Pettis, chief executive officer of Brooklyn, New York-based MakerBot. “Mom, dad, contractors, interior designers — we’re looking forward to blowing their minds and making them MakerBot lovers.”
Home Depot joins Staples and Amazon as retailers who are currently selling 3D Printers. Back in April, Staples joined forces with 3D Systems to make the Cube series of printers available. While in June, Amazon opened its online store offering a variety of printers, scanners, filament and books for the 3D printer.

MakerBot Teams Up with Home Depot To Sell 3D Printers In-Store

Home Depot and MakerBot have paired up to start selling MakerBot 3D Printers in store. The partnership will see 3D printers placed in 12 locations as part of the pilot including New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco beginning July 14.  

Read More

Extending the Body with Wearable Tech: Featured Speaker Chris Goodine
Technology has done a great job at augmenting our mental capabilities. We now have an infinite ability to know and remember things thanks to the internet and services like Google, IMDB, Wikipedia and the like. But when it comes to our physical skills like walking, seeing, touching and so on, technology hasn’t really played a part…until now. Integrating the tech with our body through wearable technology is starting to show us the potential of extending our physicality beyond our natural capabilities. One of these devices is the gesture control armband, Myo.
[[MORE]]
Created by Canadian startup, Thalmic Labs, the Myo armband uses the kinetic energy in your arm to identify hand gestures and is also equipped with motions sensors to detect the movement of your arms. When connected to any smart “thing” using Bluetooth, like your tablet or Smart TV, the Myo turns your hand into a controller letting users swipe through pages, or turn up the volume with just a flick of the hand.
Thalmic Labs is getting ready to release the final production unit of the Myo to its developer community in the next month. A select few of the over 10,000 developer applicants currently have an alpha unit of the Myo to help create some initial applications for the device. The Thalmic team have released videos on its YouTube channel giving a sneak peek of the types of apps that are being worked on including the use of the Myo to control robotics, play games, fly a drone and enhance the Oculus Rift virtual reality experience.
Chris Goodine, Developer Evangelist at Thalmic Labs, told Designers of Things that one of the biggest learnings from the initial developer access was how the developer community started to create developer tools for the device. This inspired the Thalmic Team to create more support for its SDK for the official developer roll-out.
Goodine told us that the first step developers usually take with the Myo is to implement gestures into their existing software in lieu of touch or a mouse. For Goodine this is a great start but often the value proposition in using gesture within the app isn’t exactly clear. He believes that once developers get the hang of using gesture, they will start to think outside the box to create net new experiences for the Myo. 
As gesture is a new input, Goodine explained that the Myo is expected to come with a tutorial to help users understand the basics. The Myo will also come equipped with only a handful of gestures to start which should help reduce any confusion. He is also seeing developers include a command screen or guided help in their own apps to help the user orient themselves. 
The Myo is currently in pre-orders and is expected to ship later this Fall after the developer units are in the hands of the developer community. It will be quite exciting to see what apps will be available for users at that time and how the developers utilized gesture to take there experiences to the next level. 
- - - - - - - -
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 25% off VIP and Tech passes now through July 26, 2014 by clicking here.

Extending the Body with Wearable Tech: Featured Speaker Chris Goodine

Technology has done a great job at augmenting our mental capabilities. We now have an infinite ability to know and remember things thanks to the internet and services like Google, IMDB, Wikipedia and the like. But when it comes to our physical skills like walking, seeing, touching and so on, technology hasn’t really played a part…until now. Integrating the tech with our body through wearable technology is starting to show us the potential of extending our physicality beyond our natural capabilities. One of these devices is the gesture control armband, Myo.

Read More

Making Wearables Personal: Featured Speaker Adam Adelman
What you wear when you walk out of the house says a lot about who you are, and how you feel that day. We don’t wear the same shirt and pants everyday but yet when it comes to putting on our wearables we don’t have that choice. Empowering users to express themselves with wearable tech is at the core of the NEX Band, a wrist-worn device from Montreal-based Mighty Cast. 
[[MORE]]The NEX Band is a modular wearable device which changes its look and functionality based on the charms selected by the user. On the outside, the charms, or “Mods” as Mighty Cast calls them, will let users customize how the NEX band looks so that its unique to them rather than the same band for everyone. On the inside, the Mods offer different functionality which means that the NEX band isn’t just an activity tracker or notification device, it is many things depending on the Mod connected to the device at the time.
Mighty Cast intends to release mods that will light up when your friends are close by, will act as gaming pieces that will unlock levels or score power-ups and can be swapped and tracked so that a Mod can start to tell a story of where its travelled. Users can use up to five Mods at one time and the Mods themselves will be customized using the NEX Band smartphone app.  
Mighty Cast President, Adam Adelman, told us that it was always the companies mission to make the NEX Band modular. “It was really only a year ago that we added sensors directly into the Mods themselves”, he told us. “The concept started as a modular solution aesthetically on the outside and evolved to a modular approach on the inside”. 
For Adelman, personalization is a key challenge that wearables are facing today. “One of the big disappointments has been the lack of customization on the outside which means that, on the outside, people are locked into the same style”, he said. “On the inside, there has been a lot of progress on the miniaturization of sensors but its impossible to pack all sensors into one device so I think that we are going to see a lot more demand for customization on the side of the consumer. For the most part, a lot of wearables today lock you into one application or a small handful of sensors”.
The NEX band Mods use Mighty Cast’s proprietary and patent pending base and token technology. This technology connects physical, low-cost collectibles to Bluetooth bases to bring them alive. The company is currently working on using this technology in more than just the NEX Band including the toy space with some big brands.
Pre-orders for the NEX Band just recently closed after seeing some great success according to Adelman. The team is currently working with focus groups to help shape the style and functionality of the mods that they will go out to market with. A beta launch is expected later this year.
- - - - - - - -
T 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 25% off VIP and Tech passes now through July 26, 2014 by clicking here.

Making Wearables Personal: Featured Speaker Adam Adelman

What you wear when you walk out of the house says a lot about who you are, and how you feel that day. We don’t wear the same shirt and pants everyday but yet when it comes to putting on our wearables we don’t have that choice. Empowering users to express themselves with wearable tech is at the core of the NEX Band, a wrist-worn device from Montreal-based Mighty Cast

Read More

Samsung and Oculus Teaming Up to Create VR Headset
Samsung already has your wrist covered when it comes to wearables with a watch and an activity tracker in the market but it looks like they want to get on your face too. An exclusive report from SamMobile confirmed rumors that Samsung is indeed getting into the virtual reality headset space with a collaborative product with Oculus Rift called Gear VR.
[[MORE]]
The VR headset will not be a standalone device like the Oculus Rift but instead will allow users to dock their Samsung smartphone into the headset using USB 3.0. VR effects are done through head tracking and the headset uses the smartphones onboard sensors like accelerometer and gyroscope to follow the head movements.
This design may sound very familiar. Google recently gave out cardboard virtual reality kits to all of its I/O event attendees which accomplished similar functionality. According to SamMobile, the concept behind the Gear VR headset is the same but they indicate that “Gear VR is much more comfortable to wear, thanks to the elastic head band and soft padded cushions on each side of the device, and Samsung’s implementation is also much better than that of Google’s Cardboard.”
Samsung is expected to announce Gear VR at IFA 2014, the world leading tradeshow in consumer electronics and home appliances in September. But for now SamMobile has released a pic of the device to wet your appetite.   

Gear VR image source SamMobile

Samsung and Oculus Teaming Up to Create VR Headset

Samsung already has your wrist covered when it comes to wearables with a watch and an activity tracker in the market but it looks like they want to get on your face too. An exclusive report from SamMobile confirmed rumors that Samsung is indeed getting into the virtual reality headset space with a collaborative product with Oculus Rift called Gear VR.

Read More

Amazon UK Launches Wearable Tech Store
Wearables are getting a new home for those in the UK as e-retailer giant Amazon launched an official wearables store yesterday. The wearable section of the ecommece site offers more than 150 wearable devices including activity trackers, smartwatches and wearable cameras.
[[MORE]]The UK store opened just two months after the North American Amazon site opened its own wearable tech section. Like the American store, the UK wearable section offers not just devices for sale but an educational section complete with videos and articles about the wearable tech space. Users can find information about smartwatches and activity trackers in this area to help them with their purchase decisions.
The UK version does seem less robust than its American counterpart. Missing from the UK version is a coming soon section which on the American page is currently featuring devices like Bionym’s Nymi and the Razer Nabu. As well, Amazon UK has also yet to update its Electronics menu to add Wearable Tech to the mix.   
Amazon’s focus on wearables bodes well for this nascent space which is just starting to get its footing. It will be interesting to see if more complex devices like Google Glass, which also just recently launched in the UK, will be added to this catalogue.

Amazon UK Launches Wearable Tech Store

Wearables are getting a new home for those in the UK as e-retailer giant Amazon launched an official wearables store yesterday. The wearable section of the ecommece site offers more than 150 wearable devices including activity trackers, smartwatches and wearable cameras.

Read More

Power Your Life with Solar Powered Clothing (Video)

You wear clothing every day. It keeps you warm, keeps you from being naked and expresses your style. But what if your dress, shirt or shoes could also keep your devices powered. Solar powered clothing is the latest wearable technology explored in the most recent video from the “Make It Wearable” series by the Creators Project.

Read More

Your Flowerbed Gets Smarter with the Edyn Smart Garden System
The Internet of Things is trickling into all facets of our life including the garden. Edyn is a smart garden system which is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. The system monitors and tracks environmental conditions of your garden bed giving you advice to keep your plants staying greener and living longer. If you aren’t a green thumb - this sensor is for you!
[[MORE]]When inserted into your garden bed, the Edyn sensor gathers information about your soils condition as well as the changing weather condition. This data is then sent to the Edyn smartphone app where users can keep track of your garden’s performance including soil nutrition, moisture, light and temperature.  
One of the really unique features of Edyn is that the Garden Sensor cross-references the information it gathers with plant, soil science and weather databases specific to your region. The app uses your current garden condition and information specific to your area to provide insights and recommendations to keep your garden green.
Edyn has already well surpassed its crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter, nearly tripling its original $100K goal with over $280,000 funded.  Backers can grab one garden sensor for $99 with a shipping date of Spring of next year.

Your Flowerbed Gets Smarter with the Edyn Smart Garden System

The Internet of Things is trickling into all facets of our life including the garden. Edyn is a smart garden system which is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. The system monitors and tracks environmental conditions of your garden bed giving you advice to keep your plants staying greener and living longer. If you aren’t a green thumb - this sensor is for you!

Read More

FDA Approves First Wearable Exoskeleton for Personal Use in the USA
A decision from the FDA has the potential to change the lives of an estimated 200,000 people in the USA living with a spinal cord injury, many of whom have complete or partial paraplegia. Last week, the FDA approved the ReWalk Exoskeleton system as the first wearable motorized device to be used for personal use in the USA.
[[MORE]]
ReWalk is a device worn over the legs and part of the upper body. The device is an integration of a wearable brace, a computer-based control and motion sensors which help individuals sit, stand and walk.  The ReWalk system passed numerous FDA clinical studies and extensive performance testing before receiving clearance from the regulatory body.
“This revolutionary product will have an immediate, life-changing impact on individuals with spinal cord injuries,” said Larry Jasinski, CEO of ReWalk Robotics. “For the first time individuals with paraplegia will be able to take home this exoskeleton technology, use it every day and maximize on the physiological and psychological benefits we have observed in clinical trials,” he added. “This is truly the beginning of ‘ReWalking’ as a daily reality in the U.S.”
ReWalk was developed by Dr. Amit Goffer, an Israeli inventor who became quadriplegic after an ATV accident in 1997. It was through his own personal experience in utilizing mobility devices for people with spinal cord injury that Dr. Goffer developed the ReWalk.

FDA Approves First Wearable Exoskeleton for Personal Use in the USA

A decision from the FDA has the potential to change the lives of an estimated 200,000 people in the USA living with a spinal cord injury, many of whom have complete or partial paraplegia. Last week, the FDA approved the ReWalk Exoskeleton system as the first wearable motorized device to be used for personal use in the USA.

Read More