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”. 
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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 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. 

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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”. 

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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.

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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.
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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.

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Unlocking Your Potential Through Dreams with Aurora Headband
Like Space and the Ocean, dreams are one of those final frontiers we have always tried to explore and better understand. Wearable technology may just be the key in helping us better understand our dreams and start to use them to our advantage. 
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iWinks is a California-based company using brain-sensing technology in order to help better understand, catalog and even shape our dreams. They have invented the Aurora, an EEG headband which tracks sleep cycles and trigger lights and sounds to help induce lucid dreams.
Lucid dreams are ones where you realize that you are dreaming. People who lucid dream live happier, more healthier lifestyles and research has shown that practicing some skill in a dream will increase our effectiveness in that skill in waking life. The Aurora monitors your brainwave activity when you sleep and then identifies when you are in REM and produces lights and sounds to help you realize your dream state.
The company successfully funded its Kickstarter campaign for Aurora back in January of this year raising over $230,000. The Creators Project recently featured iWinks Aurora as part of its Innovator Series of the Make It Wearable program where CEO Daniel Schoonover speaks candidly about his own dreams and his journey in creating a brain-sensing device. 

Unlocking Your Potential Through Dreams with Aurora Headband

Like Space and the Ocean, dreams are one of those final frontiers we have always tried to explore and better understand. Wearable technology may just be the key in helping us better understand our dreams and start to use them to our advantage. 

Read More

Mind Controlled Exoskeleton Kicked Off The 2014 World Cup
It may not have been the longest kick of the first game of the World Cup yesterday but it certainly was the most monumental. A paralyzed adult, identified by the BBC as 29-year-old Juliano Pinto, took to the field wearing an exoskeleton which was controlled using his mind to help him make the first kick of FIFA 2014 which went 6-feet before a ball boy picked it up off the field. 
[[MORE]]This moment was made possible thanks to the Walk Again Project, an international collaboration of over 100 scientists around the world who are working to create light, smart and modular exoskeletons which are controlled using the mind. The project is led by Prof. Miguel Nicolelis of Duke University and the International Institute for Neurosciences of Natal, Brazil
In a statement, the consortium said the World Cup demonstration would be “just the beginning” of a future “in which people with paralysis may abandon the wheelchair and literally walk again”.
The device works by reading brain activity from the wearers mind using a head worn device which is filled with non-evasive EEG electrodes The device interprets the wearers intentions and then uses these commands to move the exoskeleton.
The exoskeleton itself is equipped with sensors which both give feedback to the user and monitor their state to ensure that they are not in distress. The sensors are embedded in what the researchers call CellulARSkin, a surface consisting of flat, hexagonal cells in a honeycomb structure. Each sensor contains a micro-processor, accelerometer, and sensors that can detect proximity pressure, vibration and temperature. The proximity detector, for example, detects when the foot is about to hit the ground to send signals to the users arms to help understand when the foot is about to hit the ground.
Pinto was one of eight paralyzed men and women from Brasil who were selected to train with the Walk Again Project for the FIFA event. But the kick that successfully happened yesterday is just the start for the consortium. 
"I think some people see the World Cup opening as the end," said Prof. Gordon Cheng, TUM Institute for Cognitive Systems, "but it’s really just the beginning. This may be a major milestone, but we have a lot more work to do." He views the event as a public demonstration of what science can do for people. "Also, I see it as a great tribute to all the patients’ hard work and their bravery!"

National Science Foundation Video of the Walk Again Exoskeleton 
Image from Walk Again Project Twitter

Mind Controlled Exoskeleton Kicked Off The 2014 World Cup

It may not have been the longest kick of the first game of the World Cup yesterday but it certainly was the most monumental. A paralyzed adult, identified by the BBC as 29-year-old Juliano Pinto, took to the field wearing an exoskeleton which was controlled using his mind to help him make the first kick of FIFA 2014 which went 6-feet before a ball boy picked it up off the field. 

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The Future of Bionic Limbs: Making It Wearable (Video)

The Creators Project is back with another fantastic example of how wearables will change our everyday lives. The latest in its “Making It Wearable” concept series features Chef Eduardo Garica, an amputee who uses various mechanical and myoelectric prosthetics to continue pursuing his passion.

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If Your Shirt Could Talk, The Rise of Biometric Smartwear
Instead of wearing wristbands, bracelets or chest straps, what if you could just simply put on a fitness shirt and have your heart rate, respiratory and activity tracked while at the gym and through out the day. Meet OmSignal, a biometric shirt equipped with sensors that send this data to your smartphone. 
[[MORE]]The OmSignal shirt itself is a smart textile that needs to be close to the skin to collect data and then send this data to the data module or “little black box” as they call it which snaps to the shirt. Its the little black box that records and streams the data collected from the shirt to your smartphone via Bluetooth. 
OmSignal has launched a line of mens clothing that uses this smart textile. Many are for fitness meant for at the gym or while playing sports. But they are also offering undershirts which you can wear throughout the day. The companion app is designed to provide both fitness insights when working out as well as appropriate data and recommendations throughout the day to help you chill out and calm down to manage your stress.
All shirts are compression garments which, outside the tech, help with posture, increases blood circulation and enhances muscle recovery. They also feature moisture-wicking and are machine washable. The Up & Running kit which includes one shirt and one black box retails for $249 USD but you can grab it now in pre-orders for $199.
OmSignal has put together a slick video which will definitely get you excited about this new form of wearable tech. You can watch it here.

If Your Shirt Could Talk, The Rise of Biometric Smartwear

Instead of wearing wristbands, bracelets or chest straps, what if you could just simply put on a fitness shirt and have your heart rate, respiratory and activity tracked while at the gym and through out the day. Meet OmSignal, a biometric shirt equipped with sensors that send this data to your smartphone. 

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A History of Wearable Tech (Infographic)
Think wearables are new, think again. Wearables have been around long before the Pebble, Galaxy Gear and Google Glass hit the market. It all started back in 1961 with a gambling device created by an MIT professor called Beat the Dealer. Take a stroll down wearable memory lane in this great inforgraphic from Mashable.
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Source: Mashable

A History of Wearable Tech (Infographic)

Think wearables are new, think again. Wearables have been around long before the Pebble, Galaxy Gear and Google Glass hit the market. It all started back in 1961 with a gambling device created by an MIT professor called Beat the Dealer. Take a stroll down wearable memory lane in this great inforgraphic from Mashable.

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Thermal Touch Can Turn Anything Into a Touchscreen
Augmented reality leaders, Metaio, are developing a new technology that makes the physical world into one giant touchscreen. Coined “Thermal Touch”, the technology uses thermal imaging to register the heat signature from a users’ touch on a surface and then layers in an augmented reality experience to allow the user to interact with digital content. The technology is designed to provide a better and more natural user experience with smart glasses. 
[[MORE]]Metaio’s Thermal Touch prototype currently uses a infrared and standard camera and a tablet PC but the vision is that eventually these components will come together in a pair of smart glasses which can utilize the software.
“Everyone is talking about wearable computing eyewear like Google Glass,” said Metaio CTO Peter Meier, “but no one is talking about the best way to actually use those devices. We need natural, convenient interface to navigate the technology of tomorrow, and that’s why we developed ‘Thermal Touch’.”
Thermal Touch introduces a new way to interact with wearables, one where the physical and digital coincide and users are able to engage with digital content in the same way they would every day objects in the real world. 
“Imagine pushing directions to your device simply by touching a static map in a shopping mall, building complex or airport; children could bring play to new levels and launch digital content directly from their toys; design professionals could visualize their digital and 3-D creations on their real world counterparts,” Metaio explains on its blog.
Right now Thermal Touch is just a prototype built for the Augmented Reality World Expo which takes place this week in Santa Clara. Metaio has expressed that this technology is still five years away from being ready for the prime time. 
Can’t wait five years? Check out Thermal Touch in action in this short spot from Metaio here. 

Thermal Touch Can Turn Anything Into a Touchscreen

Augmented reality leaders, Metaio, are developing a new technology that makes the physical world into one giant touchscreen. Coined “Thermal Touch”, the technology uses thermal imaging to register the heat signature from a users’ touch on a surface and then layers in an augmented reality experience to allow the user to interact with digital content. The technology is designed to provide a better and more natural user experience with smart glasses. 

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Map Your Mind While Cycling with MindRider
Riding your bike in the city can be a stressful experience. Avoiding traffic, pedestrians and dogs off their leash requires a tremendous amount of focus and courage. Imagine being able to map your bike routes to show not just where you’ve travelled but your state of mind getting there. This is the intent of a wearable project called MindRider.
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MindRider is a brain-reading bike helmet that uses commercial EEG sensors you would find in the likes of NeuroSky, Emotiv or the upcoming Muse to monitor and measure your brain activity. 
Paired with LED lights, MindRider can show your state of mind while cycling to the outside world by changing the color of the lights on your helmet. Blinking red if you are panicking or hopefully a consistent green to indicate you are driving calm and and focused. 

When combined with GPS, MindRider can begin to map your mind state against the bike route you’ve taken that day. These “Experience Maps” geo-locate brain activity to help you better understand the relationship between cycling and your environment. This type of information could help you make better decisions on the bike route you take in the morning to avoid being overly stressed out when you reach the office. 
Right now MindRider is in the process of development and market analysis with no date for launch. They are currently inviting interested users to sign-up for a chance to win a unit in 2014. 

Map Your Mind While Cycling with MindRider

Riding your bike in the city can be a stressful experience. Avoiding traffic, pedestrians and dogs off their leash requires a tremendous amount of focus and courage. Imagine being able to map your bike routes to show not just where you’ve travelled but your state of mind getting there. This is the intent of a wearable project called MindRider.

Read More

Feeling the Beat Through Wearable Tech (Video)
The Make It Wearable Series is back with another stellar video exploring the various ways wearable tech will enhance our lives. In this new part of the series, the Creators Project is exploring the concept of sound and how the music experience can change with the help of body tech.
[[MORE]]The video features SubPac, a wearable audio technology, which allows you to experience the music in its fullness by providing haptic feedback. The SubPac team explains how their audio technology allows people to feel inaudible frequencies and how tactile sound can be used to keep people safe.
Wearable technology is not new to music. LEDs and other wearables are often found on stage to enhance the visual experience of a concert of festival. But this video highlights the other side to this experience, where the concert goer experience can be elevated to a whole new level. 
Watch Make It Wearable - The Concepts: Creating Wearable Sound

Feeling the Beat Through Wearable Tech (Video)

The Make It Wearable Series is back with another stellar video exploring the various ways wearable tech will enhance our lives. In this new part of the series, the Creators Project is exploring the concept of sound and how the music experience can change with the help of body tech.

Read More

Amazon Launches Its Wearable Technology Store
Online e-commerce giant, Amazon, launched its wearable technology store yesterday. The store features available and upcoming wearables from fitness trackers to smartwatches. It also provides a learning center complete with helpful buying guides to help consumers wade through this growing sector of new tech.
[[MORE]]The addition of the wearables store comes soon after Amazon released a 3D Printer category, another new and emerging technology just starting to enter the home. Featured in the wearable tech store are fitness & wellness wearables like Fitbit and Jawbone; wearable cameras like GoPro and smartwatches like Pebble and the Gear 2. They even have a place for pet lovers and new parents to find wearables for their needs.
Amazon has also highlighted some up and coming wearables expected to be released later this year including the Lifelogging wearable camera, Narrative Clip and the heartbeat authentication bracelet, Nymi from Bionym.
On top of creating a consolidated place to discover and purchase wearables, Amazon’s has included a learning center filled with videos and articles to foster adoption and purchase of these new gadgets.
The launch of a wearable app store goes a long way towards substantiating the wearable tech space and more importantly makes it much easier for consumers to find body tech that fits their needs.

Amazon Launches Its Wearable Technology Store

Online e-commerce giant, Amazon, launched its wearable technology store yesterday. The store features available and upcoming wearables from fitness trackers to smartwatches. It also provides a learning center complete with helpful buying guides to help consumers wade through this growing sector of new tech.

Read More

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?

Read More

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