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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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.

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Wearable Tech Accelerator Launches Four New Google Glass Apps
CFC Media Lab’s ideaBOOST & Mind Pirate just wrapped up a 3-month bootcamp for wearable tech focusing on building applications for Google Glass. The accelerator was the first of its kind to focus on developing games and consumer apps for the smart glass market. Last week they celebrated the launch of four apps from its first cohort including a fitness app, two games and a photography app. 
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The four apps are a great example of what can be done using Google’s first wearable tech making good use of the device’s heads-up display and sensors. 
A to B is an app that turns any fitness activity into a race. The app records routes during any activity from walking, running to skateboarding and then lets you race against these results.

Little Bandits is a turn-based duelling game where you and your opponent choose two moves and then watch it all play out. Aim, shoot or dodge each other in this arcade-style Wild West.

SHARD is a camera app that lets you apply live filters to create fun and inspiring pictures with Glass. The app has eight filters including a great zoom feature which is lacking on the default Glass camera.

State of Syn: Singularity is an action packed puzzle that turns you into a hacker who needs to save the lives of an elite teams of freedom fighters. The app combines video storytelling and head-control gameplay to create a challenging strategy game.  

All four apps are available for download for Google Glass Explorers on the ideaBOOST website.
Photos from CFC Media Lab/ideaBOOST

Wearable Tech Accelerator Launches Four New Google Glass Apps

CFC Media Lab’s ideaBOOST & Mind Pirate just wrapped up a 3-month bootcamp for wearable tech focusing on building applications for Google Glass. The accelerator was the first of its kind to focus on developing games and consumer apps for the smart glass market. Last week they celebrated the launch of four apps from its first cohort including a fitness app, two games and a photography app. 

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People Don’t Want to Buy Tech at Tiffanys Just Yet
The line between technology and jewellery may be blurring with smartwatches, smart rings and other wearable technology but consumers aren’t yet ready to buy their tech at jewellery stores. This is one of the findings the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC) found in a recent survey on wearable tech.
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The organization reached out to over 600 participants to better understand what consumer preferences were with this new wave of computing. They found that durability, convenience and ease-of-use were the most important components for any wearable technology. And that, given the choice, they preferred something that looked more like a traditional piece of jewellery rather than something high tech.
Although a high tech look of the device may not be preferred, shopping for a wearable at a tech store was. Almost 50 percent of respondents said they would prefer to buy wearable technology from a store such as Radio Shack or Sharper Image or 47% from an internet only retailer and 46% from a big box store like Target or Walmart. The least preferred retailer were local independent jewellers.
Watches, wristbands and bracelets were the most coveted of wearable tech jewellery according to the study.

People Don’t Want to Buy Tech at Tiffanys Just Yet

The line between technology and jewellery may be blurring with smartwatches, smart rings and other wearable technology but consumers aren’t yet ready to buy their tech at jewellery stores. This is one of the findings the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC) found in a recent survey on wearable tech.

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Bonobos Launches TechStyle: The First Fashionable Shirt That Knows You
New York based men’s eRetailer, Bonobos, may have finally cracked the code when it comes to fashionable wearable tech. The company announced the launch of TechStyle, the first fashionable wearable shirt that fits your life. And we are super impressed with all its features!
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Wearables have been criticized for not being fashionable enough so we are thrilled to see a clothing company jump into this space and hit it out of the ballpark. 
“These days fashion isn’t just about how your favourite shirt fits and looks but what it does,” said Lars Soderquist, Head of Wearables. “That’s why we are excited to annouce Bonobos TechStyle - wearable technology that fits your life”.
TechStyles features Wi-Fiber which keeps you constantly connected to the outside world; smart fabrics which keeps tab on your wellbeing and is integrated with your social networks.
But hands-down our favorite features are the body gestures, especially the one-shake payment method, and the slient alarm.

Introducing Bonobos TechStyles Video
JUST KIDDING »»»»»> APRIL FOOLS!

Bonobos Launches TechStyle: The First Fashionable Shirt That Knows You

New York based men’s eRetailer, Bonobos, may have finally cracked the code when it comes to fashionable wearable tech. The company announced the launch of TechStyle, the first fashionable wearable shirt that fits your life. And we are super impressed with all its features!

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Becoming Superhuman Through Wearable Tech (VIDEO)
It is part of the human condition to always want to improve ourselves. With wearable technology we are able to combine biology with technology to augment ourselves in an almost superhuman fashion. This is the theme of the fourth instalment of the Creator’s Project Make it Wearable video.
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Using wearables to provide capabilities and senses for people who have lost these or were born without is just one of the ways this new technology can really benefit us. 
Craig Hutto suffered a shark attack in Florida when he was a child had to have his leg amputated, He now wears a Vanderbilt powered prosthesis which uses motors in the knee and the ankle. These motors act as the muscles in this replacement limb which give him the power to climb stairs and use his leg in a more natural manner. 
Neil Harbisson began an experiment with wearable cameras back in 2004 when he wanted to augment his inability to see color. Using cameras which then translate each color into sound, Harbisson is able to hear each color as it is presented in front of him. He explains on the video that his hope was to be able to perceive color just as good as everyone around him but it ended up that this machine-enabled color detection now allows him to understand color far better than the average person.
"We are going to have to some serious conversations about when will people elect to include computing inside our bodies,. We should always be looking at wearables in concert as they work together with our bodies and overall are they helping us to be better human beings," Intel Futurist Steve Brown says in this latest video.
This is another great spot on the impact wearables can have on our everyday lives. Check out the full video below.

Becoming Superhuman Through Wearable Tech (VIDEO)

It is part of the human condition to always want to improve ourselves. With wearable technology we are able to combine biology with technology to augment ourselves in an almost superhuman fashion. This is the theme of the fourth instalment of the Creator’s Project Make it Wearable video.

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Augmented and Virtual Reality Market Worth $1.06 Billion by 2018
A new report on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) shows that this space is expected to grow over 15% from 2013 to 2018 reaching over $1 billion dollars by 2018. And this is just for dedicated AR/VR systems.
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The report, by leading global market research and consulting company MarketsandMarkets, describes augmented reality as a thriving technology which has shown growth so far using mobile phone technology, cameras and GPS. It estimates that by 2015, AR will widely be used in the education field for advanced learning and teaching. 
Among the major drivers the report cites for growth are the advancements in technology, such as wearables, internet connectivity and an increased demand for AR/VR applications in the medical field.
North America and Europe are marked as geographic market leaders in the AR/VR space with some of the major companies to watch include Total Immersion (France), Qualcomm (US), Metaio (Germany), Vuzix (US), Layar (The Netherlands) and Wikitude (Germany).

Augmented and Virtual Reality Market Worth $1.06 Billion by 2018

A new report on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) shows that this space is expected to grow over 15% from 2013 to 2018 reaching over $1 billion dollars by 2018. And this is just for dedicated AR/VR systems.

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Turn Anything Into a Toy With A New Wearable for Kids Called “Moff”
Moff is a new wearable wristband that turns everyday objects into toys. The creators developed Moff to cure toy-fatigue and to encourage physical activity through play. This new Kickstarter project from Tokyo is set to prove that anything is possible with a wearable and a little imagination. 
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Moff works by using the device’s accelerometer to detect motion and then creates sound effects for these movements using a companion smartphone app. The device itself is fairly straightforward. Where Moff differentiates itself is in the application for the device which lets children choose different situations through sounds to create a fun and engaging play experience .
Moff has a variety of play scenarios including musical instruments, sword fighting, magical wands and more which can turn a wooden spoon, stick, ruler or any other item into the object they’ve selected in the app. The wristband doesn’t seem to have a speaker itself so an iPhone or iPad will need to be close by to provide the sound.
With only a couple of days in to its Kickstarter campaign, Moff has nearly doubled the $20,000 goal. Backers are able to grab a Moff wristband for $49 with shipping expected to occur this summer. 

Turn Anything Into a Toy With A New Wearable for Kids Called “Moff”

Moff is a new wearable wristband that turns everyday objects into toys. The creators developed Moff to cure toy-fatigue and to encourage physical activity through play. This new Kickstarter project from Tokyo is set to prove that anything is possible with a wearable and a little imagination. 

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Samsung Goes Hands-On with the Gear 2 and Gear Fit
Samsung has released its official hands-on video for the two new wearables they introduced at this year’s Mobile World Congress: the Gear 2 and the Gear Fit. Both devices have been extremely well received since the announcement and it is clear that Samsung has worked quickly to right the wrongs of its first wearable, the Galaxy Gear, which was only released mid-last year. 
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The Gear 2 is one of two new smartwatches that Samsung will be releasing to the market later this year. The Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo are both second generation smartwatches. Both are fairly similar but the Neo is cheaper as it lacks the camera and uses plastic rather than metal in its finishings. 
Outside of the design changes, which we have previously written about, the Gear 2 has some new features which Samsung shows off in this video including more clock options and the ability to select or create wallpapers for the watchface. 
The Gear 2 also has a heart rate monitor which is used to track activity using the Samsung S Health app which comes installed on the watch right out of the box.
Perhaps the most exciting news is that the Gear 2 has standalone features which do not require the device to be paired to a smartphone in order to work. Samsung shows off a music player and a TV remote as examples of this. 

The Gear Fit is the world’s first wearable device with a curved Super AMOLED touchscreen display. Although the Gear Fit is meant to be primarily a fitness device it has similar features to the Gear 2 in that it displays the time and can receive notifications from your smartphone.
Like the Gear 2, the Gear Fit clock and wallpaper can also be customized by the user. Notifications can be received on the Gear Fit but unlike the Gear 2 the ability to respond to messages and calls is limited if not unavailable. 
As the Gear Fit is a fitness device, the Samsung S Health app features are more integrated into the wristband. Like the Gear 2, the device makes use of both the accelerometer and the built-in heart rate monitor to let you track your activity throughout the day.

Samsung’s latest wearables have even more bells and whistles which they feature in the full hands-on video which we have for you below. 

Samsung Goes Hands-On with the Gear 2 and Gear Fit

Samsung has released its official hands-on video for the two new wearables they introduced at this year’s Mobile World Congress: the Gear 2 and the Gear Fit. Both devices have been extremely well received since the announcement and it is clear that Samsung has worked quickly to right the wrongs of its first wearable, the Galaxy Gear, which was only released mid-last year. 

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Ring Wants To Be The One Wearable To Rule Them All
Turning your lights on with the flick of a finger may be something you would expect to read in a Harry Potter novel rather than see on a page in Kickstarter, but a new wearable, Ring, is making it happen. 
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Ring uses ultra-small finger gesture recognition technology to control your smart home, smartphone or any connected thing. Tapping on the ring activates the device to start to identify the gesture you draw with your finger. Gestures are predefined or can be edited or created using the Ring smartphone app. 
Imagine controlling your Phillips Hue lights simply by drawing a lightbulb or changing the song playing on your smartphone by gesturing a music note. Ring’s gesture recognition is so precise that it can even identify letters which means drawing text in mid-air can be used to write a message.
Although the predominant body part for wearables today is still the wrist, we have seen a number of finger-based solutions enter the market. Last week, we saw Fin wrap up its Indiegogo campaign for a wearable ring that turns your palm into a numeric keyboard and gesture interface. And back in August, the NFC ring successfully funded on Kickstarter.
It looks as though Ring has resonated more with users, perhaps due to the simplistic design and its robust feature set it. Ring has already raised over $665,000 on Kickstarter, on course to triple the $250,000 funding goal it has set for the campaign which ends on April 4. 

Ring Wants To Be The One Wearable To Rule Them All

Turning your lights on with the flick of a finger may be something you would expect to read in a Harry Potter novel rather than see on a page in Kickstarter, but a new wearable, Ring, is making it happen. 

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The Google Glass of Helmets Wins at SXSW 
SXSW’s sixth annual accelerator pitch event wrapped up on Sunday with over 500 companies applied, 18 finalists and 6 winners. Taking home the big win in the Wearables category this year was the Google Glass for motorcyclists, the Skully Helmet.
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Skully Helmet is a motorcycle helmet with an integrated heads-up display (HUD) that provides navigational information as well as blind spot data. The helmet has a 180-degree rear view camera so the driver can see what is coming up behind them while keeping their eyes on the road.
The device uses Bluetooth to pair with the driver’s smartphone. This integration enables hands-free access to the smartphone’s music, phone and text messaging features leveraging voice control. 
It’s interesting to see a heads-up display specific for driving in light of the backlash Google Glass has received when used in the car, but this isn’t the first wearable HUD for people on the move. Vancouver’s Recon Instruments has already seen success with its HUD for snowboarders and skiers, the Recon Snow. And Recon’s upcoming wearable for bicyclists, the Recon Jet, is a much anticipated device for later this year.Skully Helmets will be on sale later this year. Pricing has not yet been announced. Beta Skully AR-1 helmets will be made available sooner to select beta testers for Summer 2014. 

The Google Glass of Helmets Wins at SXSW 

SXSW’s sixth annual accelerator pitch event wrapped up on Sunday with over 500 companies applied, 18 finalists and 6 winners. Taking home the big win in the Wearables category this year was the Google Glass for motorcyclists, the Skully Helmet.

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Wearables As A Form of Human Expression [VIDEO]
The Creator’s Project is back with the third episode in its “Make It Wearable” YouTube series which explores the impact of wearable technology from various angles. This video focuses on the intersection of wearable tech and fashion in creating new opportunities for human expression.
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Most of the wearable gadgets on the market today have been criticized for being too disconnected from fashion, making them less wearable. “Wearable technology is going to have to be fashionable and cool to move from being wearable to being worn,” Steve Brown, Futurist at Intel explains.
But it isn’t just the tech startups and giants who are trying to tackle this new space. The fashion industry is also learning how to use technology to unfetter its creativity to make new wares. 
As one designer explains, fashion and technology is going through an “oil and water” moment when it comes to wearables but the separation will need to dissolve and finally disappear in order for wearables to succeed.
The Creator’s Project showcases artists, fashion designers and leading wearable DIY resource, Ada Fruit, on the use of technology in enabling a new form of expression in garments, accessories and even cosmetics. The focus on function as much as comfortability and design makes us excited for the future of tech on the body. 
The full video is below. We dare you to watch it and not want to immediately attach an LED to something you wear. 

Wearables As A Form of Human Expression [VIDEO]

The Creator’s Project is back with the third episode in its “Make It Wearable” YouTube series which explores the impact of wearable technology from various angles. This video focuses on the intersection of wearable tech and fashion in creating new opportunities for human expression.

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Wearable Tech TV: 2 Hours of Back-to-Back Wearables

Happy Friday Future Geeks!

Got some time on your hands this weekend? Sit back and enjoy a YouTube playlist made up of videos highlighting wearables available or are just about to hit the market. With over 64 videos in total, this playlist covers smart glasses, fitness trackers, smartwatches and more.

Wearable Technology’s Impact on Human Health (Video)
Last week we introduced you to a new YouTube series on Wearable Tech from the Creators Project, a partnership between Intel and VICE. The series just published their second episode on Human Health. In this episode, we see how wearables are empowering patients with data to help them better understand themselves and how doctors will become analysts, equipped with the information they need to make more effective prescriptions. 
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The episode showcases many projects. Among them is the Checklist helmet, a partnership between Reebok and sensor firm, mc10. The duo have created a wearable helmet which shows sports players the degree of which they have suffered a hit from other players.
A project from Northeastern University is using wearables to help understand and identify autism within children. A sensor-based device continually captures a chil’s behavior which can then be mapped to a baseline to help identify precursors used in diagnosis.
One of the most powerful quotes from this video is from Dr. Robin Berzin of Health 2.0 who says:
"When somebody comes into my office I get this one minute look into what their life looks like. I get their vital signs and a certain gestalt of what’s going on with them, whether they are doing well or they are doing poorly. But I don’t know what the other 99% of their life looks like. And that’s the most important determinant of health. Patients are going to own this data. They are going to control it. And its going to be delivered to the medical community in a way that doctor’s can actually use to help them live healthier lives".
Wearables are already doing quite well in the health sector with some estimates suggesting that activity trackers or health based wearables make up more than 60% of the market to date. So we are definitely on the path the Creators Project depicts in this series.
Watch the video here:

Wearable Technology’s Impact on Human Health (Video)

Last week we introduced you to a new YouTube series on Wearable Tech from the Creators Project, a partnership between Intel and VICE. The series just published their second episode on Human Health. In this episode, we see how wearables are empowering patients with data to help them better understand themselves and how doctors will become analysts, equipped with the information they need to make more effective prescriptions. 

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Wearable Tech Becoming More Fashionable
One of the biggest barriers for wearable tech is how it looks. Unlike smartphones that can be tucked away in our pocket, wearable technology is outwardly facing all the time and therefore cannot help but be an extension of our style. Up until recent, wearables have been void of fashion, but the tides are turning and fashion is starting to become more of a focus. 
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Most of the new fashion choices we are seeing with wearables are geared towards woman. This is especially the case since most wearables on the market today are jewellery - watches, wristbands, rings and broaches - and the market for these types of accessories is much stronger with the female demographic. 

A good example is the recent announcement of the popular activity tracker company, Fitbit, joining forces with luxury fashion designer, Tory Burch, to create a line of fashionable bracelets, pendants and wristbands to house the health sensor.
But Fitbit isn’t the only wearable trying to pose their tech as jewellery. Netatmo’s UV-measuring bracelet, June, hopes to dazzle potential buyers. This versatile jewel-centric accessory can be worn as a bracelet or broach and offers three different color choices: gold, platinum or gunmetal. The device measures sun intensity in real-time and with the help of an app monitors and alerts you when you’ve had too much for the day.
But Netatmo’s June was the first to focus on the female market. Back in October of last year, a Kickstarter campaign was started for Memi, a chic-iPhone compatible smartbracelet that notifies you of your calls, text messages and calendar alerts. The LED and tactile equipped bangle met their funding goal of $100,000 and is expected to start to ship this summer.

As wearables mature, we should expect more and more companies to take fashion just as seriously as features for their devices. In doing so, it can only help propel the success of this new form of computing much faster into the mainstream.

Wearable Tech Becoming More Fashionable

One of the biggest barriers for wearable tech is how it looks. Unlike smartphones that can be tucked away in our pocket, wearable technology is outwardly facing all the time and therefore cannot help but be an extension of our style. Up until recent, wearables have been void of fashion, but the tides are turning and fashion is starting to become more of a focus. 

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