Honing Your Pitch: Featured Speaker Jennifer Myers
Every startup starts with a great idea. But for a startup to turn into a sustainable business, entrepreneurs need to take their idea and understand it in context to a business plan. Coming up with the next big wearable device, or connected appliance is just the first step in creating a company. Figuring out who your audience is, why they would want to buy your product and what you need to make that happen is a whole other side to starting a business.
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Jennifer A. Myers is a business advisor to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and growing businesses alike.  Her primary areas of expertise are writing business plans, helping clients effectively brainstorm and implement ideas, and strategizing for effective growth.  Both a transactional lawyer and a businesswoman, Jen is a solutions generator who balances passion with need and big goals with limited resources.
We sat down with Myers to get some advice on putting together the perfect pitch for investors. Here are the a couple of key insights:
Make sure that your pitch is something that can easily be digested. Being simple, clear and to the point is critical. 
Clearly articulate what you are trying to create and for whom
Take some time to express why you and your team are the right people to make this happen
Have a clear understanding of what you need and ask for it
Myers told us that one of the biggest pitfalls startups have is falling in love with the “cool factor”. Her biggest advice is to make sure that a startup understands the real benefit of what they are creating and not building “tech for tech’s sake”.
Good advice!
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This article is part of our featured speaker series for the Designers of Things Conference which takes place in San Francisco on September 23 & 24, 2014.  

Honing Your Pitch: Featured Speaker Jennifer Myers

Every startup starts with a great idea. But for a startup to turn into a sustainable business, entrepreneurs need to take their idea and understand it in context to a business plan. Coming up with the next big wearable device, or connected appliance is just the first step in creating a company. Figuring out who your audience is, why they would want to buy your product and what you need to make that happen is a whole other side to starting a business.

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Rufus Cuff Wrist Communicator Goes Beyond the Smartwatch
If Sci-Fi movies are made to inspire the tech of the future than the Rufus Cuff fits the bill. This new wearable device aims to solve some of the woes of smartwatches by moving past the smaller form factor we’ve seen so far in this space to offer, what they are calling, a wrist communicator.   
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After a long ride home from CES last year, Gabe Grifoni was inspired by all the wearables on the floor but knew that there could be better. He left inspired that there were so many independent startups creating hardware but felt that the smartwatch space especially hadn’t yet hit the nail on the head. When he returned he put things into action and co-founded Rufus Labs to create the Rufus Cuff. 
The main difference between the Cuff and a smartwatch is the width of the screen which is 3-inches wide. This is nearly two times the size of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The screen size was an important decision for the Rufus team as they wanted this device to offer a more comfortable typing experience on a keyboard as well as to be able to run full Android. Most importantly, the size of the device also affords a bigger battery which means that the Cuff will last longer than other wrist-worn devices on the market. 
Unlike other larger smartwatches coming to the market, like the Neptune Pine, the Cuff isn’t a fully standalone device. It does require to be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth for a number of features. But you are able to use WiFi on the Cuff to bypass the need of the phone for VoIP, Email and other cloud-based services. 

In a time when smartwatches are under the gun for being too clunky, the Cuff’s design is a risky move. But it looks as though it has found a sweet spot for many. Their Indiegogo campaign just recently surpassed its goal of $200,000 yesterday and is currently sitting at over $220,000 with 5 days left to go. 
Those wanting to nab one of the first wrist communicators are out of luck. Early Adopter packages on Indiegogo for the Rufus Cuff are all sold out. Rufus is offering additional backer options starting at $279 which ship for September of this year.

Rufus Cuff Wrist Communicator Goes Beyond the Smartwatch

If Sci-Fi movies are made to inspire the tech of the future than the Rufus Cuff fits the bill. This new wearable device aims to solve some of the woes of smartwatches by moving past the smaller form factor we’ve seen so far in this space to offer, what they are calling, a wrist communicator.   

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Turning Trash Into Treasure with 3D Printing
A Seattle entrepreneur wants to take recycling to a whole new level. Working together with a local inventor, she has developed a machine that turns plastic bottles into 3D printing filament allowing makers to literally turn their trash into newly created treasures. 
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Founder Liz Havlin is currently preparing a Kickstarter campaign to create an open sourced desktop recycling machine called the Legacy Filament Extruder. The machine turns recycled plastic pellets into 3D printer ink. Havlin hopes to raise $30,000 to make this concept a reality.
The machine is just one part of the equation. Havlin has partnered with a company who will take collected recycled plastic and make the necessary pellets needed to create the filament using the Legacy. This partnership removes the need for additional machinery to be created or bought to processes the plastics itself.  
Once things are up and running, Havlin aims to be able to collect recycling at a location in Seattle, exchange it for pellets and then sell 3D printer filaments created by the extruder.
The Legacy could be the start of a new way to tackle a huge environmental problem which continues to plague our oceans and our wildlife. In addition, as Havlin points out on her draft Kickstarter page, the collection of plastics and other recycling is already a means for people to earn money to help them lift themselves out of poverty. The use of these materials for a growing demand of makers could help further this social cause as well. 
via VentureBeat

Turning Trash Into Treasure with 3D Printing

A Seattle entrepreneur wants to take recycling to a whole new level. Working together with a local inventor, she has developed a machine that turns plastic bottles into 3D printing filament allowing makers to literally turn their trash into newly created treasures. 

Read More

2013 Was A Banner Year for Crowdfunding Wearable Tech
Wearable tech and crowdfunding go hand-in-hand. Ever since Pebble literally “kickstarted” the wearable craze back in 2012 raising over $10 million dollars for its smartwatch, the wearable and crowdfunding space has never been the same. 
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Crowdfund Productions performed a study of 300 wearable tech projects on various crowdfunding platforms and have illustrated its findings in an infographic we have for you below.
The team at Crowdfund Productions identified that over $44,989,335 has been raised for wearable projects using crowdsourcing platforms at the time of this report. Most of this is from Kickstarter which had raised triple the amount of funds compared to Indiegogo. 
Kickstarter also saw a higher success rate, being eleven points higher than Indiegogo when looking at the percentage of campaigns that successfully raised their funding goals. 
2013 was a banner year for crowdfunding on both of these popular platforms. 68 wearable projects were successfully funded in 2013 compared to 19 in 2012. This totalled over $18.8 million dollars in funds. But it looks like 2014 is set to surpass this number with 45 projects already funded in the first quarter alone.


Crowdfunding Wearable Technologies Infographic

2013 Was A Banner Year for Crowdfunding Wearable Tech

Wearable tech and crowdfunding go hand-in-hand. Ever since Pebble literally “kickstarted” the wearable craze back in 2012 raising over $10 million dollars for its smartwatch, the wearable and crowdfunding space has never been the same. 

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It’s Fido’s Turn for Wearable Tech
Verizon has put together a great video on the opportunities for pet lovers to use wearable tech with their furry best friend. The video highlights the Tagg Pet Tracker & GoPro. If you can get past the heavy marketing push for Verizon services, the spot is a great intro into this growing sector of wearable technology.
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Watch the Video Here
The Tagg Pet Tracker letsowners keep track of their pets using advanced GPS technology. The collar-device also serves as an activity tracker and syncs your pets activities and whereabouts to a smartphone app.
With a GoPro mounted on Fido, you’ll be able to see what your doggie’s been up to all day with the footage he captures. This dog’s eye-view is a unique way to experience a day in the life of your pet or can be used to make sure he is not getting into any trouble.
Of course there are a lot more devices out there for pets. The wearable tech database from Vandrico is starting to compile these devices and have currently listed Fitbark, Voyce and Trax which is another GPS tracker.
As dog lovers will do anything for their canine, we are sure to see this segment of wearables boom as more and more of these devices hit the market. 

It’s Fido’s Turn for Wearable Tech

Verizon has put together a great video on the opportunities for pet lovers to use wearable tech with their furry best friend. The video highlights the Tagg Pet Tracker & GoPro. If you can get past the heavy marketing push for Verizon services, the spot is a great intro into this growing sector of wearable technology.

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Pushing the Boundaries of 3D Printing: Featured Speaker Karl Willis
Karl Willis is no stranger to innovative technology. The Carnegie Mellon computational design graduate has worked with Microsoft, Disney and now Autodesk on research projects that explore the use of light, projection, motion and 3D printing to push the boundaries of art, science, design and technology. 
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"I research ways in which novel technology can promote and provoke playful experiences, everyday creativity, and new forms of social interaction," said Karl Willis.

Willis most recent research project with Microsoft looks at the way we can use 3D printers to embed information into objects. The project, called InfraStructs, tested embedding material-based passive tags into 3D printed objects. These objects could then be scanned using terahertz imaging devices. This type of technology could be used to enhance various applications from inventory control to real-time gaming.

In 2012, Karl and the team at Disney Research experimented with creating custom optical elements for interactive devices using 3D printers in a project called Printed Optics. In this project, interactive devices were 3D printed with embedded optical sensors which would illuminate and display. This project was part of a larger vision which proposed that we will someday be able to 3D print interactive devices on -demand in their entirety, negating the need for assembly of parts. 

Willis will be talking about digital fabrication and the various applications of embedding readable tags in objects at the Designers of Things conference which takes place in San Francisco September 23 & 24, 2014.
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This article is part of our featured speaker series for the Designers of Things Conference which takes place in San Francisco on September 23 & 24, 2014.  

Pushing the Boundaries of 3D Printing: Featured Speaker Karl Willis

Karl Willis is no stranger to innovative technology. The Carnegie Mellon computational design graduate has worked with Microsoft, Disney and now Autodesk on research projects that explore the use of light, projection, motion and 3D printing to push the boundaries of art, science, design and technology. 

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Wearable Tech: Past, Present and Future (Infographic)
Vancouver-based wearable tech research and development firm, Vandrico, have released an infographic on the history of Wearable Tech. The illustration is filled with some pretty interesting facts. Did you know that the first “wearable” could have been worn as early as 1644? Or that a gambling shoe was created in the 60s to help gamblers beat the odds?
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Along with an interesting timetable, Vandrico also outlines how companies can find ROI in wearables. They also look into its crystal ball to provide some wearable tech predictions including the rise of smart safety glasses and augmented reality.

Wearable Tech Infographic

Wearable Tech: Past, Present and Future (Infographic)

Vancouver-based wearable tech research and development firm, Vandrico, have released an infographic on the history of Wearable Tech. The illustration is filled with some pretty interesting facts. Did you know that the first “wearable” could have been worn as early as 1644? Or that a gambling shoe was created in the 60s to help gamblers beat the odds?

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Google Glass Getting Ready for Kit Kat Update, Goes on Sale To Public Today for One Day Only
If you are in the US and have been waiting for the chance to become a Google Glass Explorer then today is your lucky day. For the first time since its announcement two years ago, Google is selling its first wearable tech to the general public on a first come, first serve basis. 
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Sales will begin at 9AM EST today. Glass can be purchased at a price of $1500 plus tax and shipping and it now comes with your favorite frame or shades which is a bonus. Google says that the number of spots is limited, so head on over to this link if you are interested to grab a pair: http://google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one. 
Google isn’t just busy adding new Explorers to its infamous Glass Project. Glass is expected to get its biggest software update yet this week as the heads-up display moves to Android’s Kit Kat. In a post on its Google Plus page which went live yesterday, Google confirms that Kit Kat will be a huge behind the scenes update which will improve battery life and make Glass more reliable and easier to update.
In addition to Kit Kat, Glass will also be receiving new feature updates including bundling of photos by day; the ability to photo reply in Hangouts and a more organized and intuitive way to use the growing amount of voice commands.
Explorers who were fond of video calling, of which Google says is few, will be losing this feature when the upgrade hits. Google is removing this feature for the time being although its post suggests that it will return when the experience is better.
Did you grab a Glass in the one-day flash sale? Tell us in the comments below.
 

Google Glass Getting Ready for Kit Kat Update, Goes on Sale To Public Today for One Day Only

If you are in the US and have been waiting for the chance to become a Google Glass Explorer then today is your lucky day. For the first time since its announcement two years ago, Google is selling its first wearable tech to the general public on a first come, first serve basis. 

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Staples Testing In-Store 3D Printing Services
Staples announced last week that they will be piloting 3D printing services in two of its stores in New York and Los Angeles. The office supply company has made a huge push in the 3D printing space since making news in May that it would be the first major US retailer to carry 3D printers. 
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The 3D Printing services are being offered in partnership with leading 3D printing company 3D Systems, makers of the personal 3D printer the Cube. The stores involved in the pilot will be setup with an immersive 3D Printing centre which will offer 3D printing services and provide education on these new devices.
Consumers and small businesses can come in to create and print in-store, or bring their already completed 3D printing files to have them printed. Each store will also have a photo booth which will scan a person’s facial image to create personalized 3D printed figurines.
“3D printing offers enormous potential for small businesses, and by using Staples, they can print with the technology without having to invest in it,” said Damien Leigh, senior vice president of business services for Staples, Inc. “The test with 3D Systems will help us learn about our customers’ needs for a local 3D printing service, and how Staples can help them make more happen for their business through 3D printing.”
Photo: Business Wire

Staples Testing In-Store 3D Printing Services

Staples announced last week that they will be piloting 3D printing services in two of its stores in New York and Los Angeles. The office supply company has made a huge push in the 3D printing space since making news in May that it would be the first major US retailer to carry 3D printers. 

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Google Provides Insight Into Developing for Android Wear

Last month, Google announced that they will be extending the Android platform to wearables through Android Wear. This much anticipated operating system for wearables will be require a different development mindset than Android devices. Android Engineer Sagar Seth gave some insight and tips for developing using Android Wear in the “Ask A Dev” series from Mashable answering the question “What does a developer need to know about Android Wear?”

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Livestream App for Google Glass Turns Explorers Into Reporters
One of Google Glass’ most powerful features is its hands-free recording capabilities which let you share your world as you experience it. Up until now, Explorers have been able to take and share pictures and video or start a hangout with a select group of friends to let them in on the action. But the reach has been limited to the Explorers own network. A new app from Livestream is taking everything to the next level by turning Glass into a broadcast tool. In doing so it has the potential of turning the Explorer community into an army of reporters. 
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Founded in 2007, Livestream has been on a mission to provide everyone with the tools they need to broadcast any event online. Over 40 million viewers watch live events on Livestream which is being created from more than 300,000 producers using its tools. 
To get started with Google Glass, Explorers need to install the app and then pair Glass to an event by scanning a QR code with the device. Once the setup is complete live broadcasting can start with just one tap on Glass’ tap bar. 

As Glass sits about eye-level with the producer, the Livestream app gives viewers a unique perspective of the event that is being broadcasted. And with no need to hold a tablet or smartphone, the producer is free to enjoy the event they are broadcasting while streaming it. 
Having a video camera on you at all times ready to stream what you are seeing from your perspective to the world is a powerful tool which could add massive fuel to an already growing fire of citizen-reporting. Expect to see reports from Glass show up soon on your local news or as part of a live event like a sports game or concert.  
Image Source: Livestream

Livestream App for Google Glass Turns Explorers Into Reporters

One of Google Glass’ most powerful features is its hands-free recording capabilities which let you share your world as you experience it. Up until now, Explorers have been able to take and share pictures and video or start a hangout with a select group of friends to let them in on the action. But the reach has been limited to the Explorers own network. A new app from Livestream is taking everything to the next level by turning Glass into a broadcast tool. In doing so it has the potential of turning the Explorer community into an army of reporters. 

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Happy Internet of Things Day!
Today is Worldwide Internet of Things day. To celebrate this emerging connected world we found this fantastic infographic that breaks down everything you need to know about IoT. We especially like the mashup of Godzilla and a refrigerator.
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Source: BestComputerScienceDegrees.com
Image Source: PSFK

Happy Internet of Things Day!

Today is Worldwide Internet of Things day. To celebrate this emerging connected world we found this fantastic infographic that breaks down everything you need to know about IoT. We especially like the mashup of Godzilla and a refrigerator.

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Google Glass A Slam Dunk On the NBA Court
Orlando Magic announced that they will be the latest basketball team to use Google Glass to give fans a new perspective on the game. The NBA team will use Glass at its home game with the Brooklyn Nets on April 9th. This is the third NBA team to use Glass and Crowdoptic’s live-streaming for wearables platform. 
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The partnership with Crowdoptics will let players and other team members capture real-time experiences of this week’s game and then instantly share it with those in the audience and at home on Magic Vision, the tallest high-definition video board in an NBA venue.
Crowdoptic’s Glass Broadcast platform lets fans experience the game through the eyes of their favorite players on the jumbotron or to use Glass to see the game from different angles. The platform has been used in the past to live stream NBA games for the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings.
This is not the first time Orlando Magic and Glass have made news together. Victor Oladipo made headlines back on NBA Draft Day in 2013 when he wore Google Glass to capture his experience which eventually saw him as second pick for Magic. 
Source: Orlando Magic via Glass Almanac

Google Glass A Slam Dunk On the NBA Court

Orlando Magic announced that they will be the latest basketball team to use Google Glass to give fans a new perspective on the game. The NBA team will use Glass at its home game with the Brooklyn Nets on April 9th. This is the third NBA team to use Glass and Crowdoptic’s live-streaming for wearables platform. 

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Wearables Impact On Our Everyday Lives (VIDEO)
It’s no secret that we are a fan of the Creator’s Project series on wearables. This partnership between Intel and Vice has produced some thought-provoking videos on the impact of wearable technology. Their latest video focuses on how wearables will change our everyday life through context, connectivity and sensors.
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We have become quite addicted to being connected. Wearables promise this connectivity but in a manner that is more natural and integrated in our everyday lives. The use of sensors to better know ourselves and the world around us combined with much smarter and more contextual algorithms will shift our need to pull information from the internet to having this information being presented when we need it at the time. This will let us live and enjoy our life without the need to disrupt and interrupt it to check a smartphone, tablet or computer. ”We really need to rethink and redesign human computer interaction and make sure it is less people that have to adapt to technology but the technology becomes more adaptive to people,” explains MIT Professor Pattie Maes in the video.
But wearables go far beyond connecting us to the ever-growing ecosystem of the Internet of Things. The experts in this video hypothesize that wearables will extend our senses and our ability to express ourselves which will allow us to communicate with each other in ways we haven’t yet been able to achieve. “We are going to see products that are going to start being able to help us express ourselves better and help us surface our expressions and our needs,” explains Theo Forbath, VP of Frogdesign. “I think that is an interesting opportunity for product designers to start solving for”.
As wearables become more robust, invisible and understood they will become more a part of our everyday lives. Watch how this will all unfold in the full episode from the Creators Project.

Wearables Impact On Our Everyday Lives (VIDEO)

It’s no secret that we are a fan of the Creator’s Project series on wearables. This partnership between Intel and Vice has produced some thought-provoking videos on the impact of wearable technology. Their latest video focuses on how wearables will change our everyday life through context, connectivity and sensors.

Read More

It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s a 3D Printed Drone!
Our skies may soon be filled with drones that we print ourselves. Engineers at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield have successfully printed a 1.5m-wide drone, and it can fly!
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The 2KG thermoplastic nine-part drone was made without supporting materials and was printed and assembled within 24 hours. Its success suggests that disposable drones (or UAVs: unmanned aerial vehicles) could someday be printed out and deployed in remote areas in as little as a day.
With its test flight under its wing (pun intended) the team are already looking to improve upon the 3D printed model to use a new nylon rather than polymer material and incorporate GPS and camera features that would allow operators wearing first person-view goggles to control the device.

Source Gizmodo via sUAS
Image & Video Source sUAS

It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s a 3D Printed Drone!

Our skies may soon be filled with drones that we print ourselves. Engineers at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield have successfully printed a 1.5m-wide drone, and it can fly!

Read More