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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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. 

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. 

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

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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Table Zombies Is One AR Game We Wish Was On Google Glass
A new game by SRG United Solutions called Table Zombies places you inside a helicopter and turns your table into a zombie battlefield. This augmented realty game uses a PDF marker and a mobile device to create the perfect zombie apocalypse gaming experience. 
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The objective of Table Zombies is to shoot the zombies below before they reach your survivor base. You do this by aiming your crossfire at the zombies and hover to shoot.
Augmented reality games using a mobile or tablet can be incredibly immersive but holding an iPad for a prolonged period of time can get incredibly tiring. So we couldn’t help but think how amazing this game would be on Google Glass. 
Glass and other smart glasses like them (like Vuzix’s M100) removes a major barrier for AR. By moving the screen from something we need to hold in our hand to something that is readily available in our field of view hands-free, an AR experience becomes more natural and enjoyable. Or in the case of Table Zombies, we expect can also extend game play. 
Right now a demo of the game is on the Google Play store but the team are raising funds on Kickstarter to complete game development to bring the full version to the masses. The developers have not mentioned a Glass version but we hope they see this so that they can consider putting in on their roadmap.

Table Zombies Is One AR Game We Wish Was On Google Glass

A new game by SRG United Solutions called Table Zombies places you inside a helicopter and turns your table into a zombie battlefield. This augmented realty game uses a PDF marker and a mobile device to create the perfect zombie apocalypse gaming experience. 

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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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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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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.

Intel’s MAKE IT WEARABLE Visionary Round Now Accepting Submissions
Intel wants to make the future of tech wearable and they are looking for your help to do it. As part of their MAKE IT WEARABLE campaign, Intel is running a contest to let visionaries and builders voice their ideas. Yesterday, they opened up submissions to their Visionary Track. 
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The Visionary Track is designed to let people dream big and come up with ideas for wearables which could potentially change the the world. To enter, you’ll need a killer idea and a 1-minute video submission describing what it is all about. Concepts will be reviewed and judged in five waves based on how inventive it is and it’s potential impact.  
Winners will have their personal story featured online and will be invited to the Final Gala event along with $5,000. Five winners will be selected as part of this track.
Intel has created a new video in the MAKE IT WEARABLE series to promote the contest and get you inspired to submit your own ideas.

Intel’s MAKE IT WEARABLE Visionary Round Now Accepting Submissions

Intel wants to make the future of tech wearable and they are looking for your help to do it. As part of their MAKE IT WEARABLE campaign, Intel is running a contest to let visionaries and builders voice their ideas. Yesterday, they opened up submissions to their Visionary Track. 

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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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Making Computing More Human With Wearable Tech [VIDEO]
We have always augmented our human experience. From furs, to swords and shields, to reading glasses and pocket watches - we have made things that make us do more than we could naturally. A new webisode from Intel in partnership with Vice looks at how the next wave of computing, wearable technology, will augment our human communication.
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"We are increasingly reliant on our digital devices for nearly every aspect of our lives," Patti Maes MIT Media Lab explains in the video. “The only natural future for this is that these digital devices become almost a part of us. So we try to design devices that can be used while you are…doing other things”.
The video highlights projects from MIT Media Lab’s “SixthSense”, the Buddy Cup and a mobile journalist who sees wearables as a critical piece in covering breaking news.  
This five-minute spot will leave you more informed and excited about where we are headed with wearables.  Human Communication is the first of a series called “Make It Wearable” developed by the Creators Project, a partnership between Intel and VICE.
You can watch it here: 

Making Computing More Human With Wearable Tech [VIDEO]

We have always augmented our human experience. From furs, to swords and shields, to reading glasses and pocket watches - we have made things that make us do more than we could naturally. A new webisode from Intel in partnership with Vice looks at how the next wave of computing, wearable technology, will augment our human communication.

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iWatch Rumour Round-up
It wouldn’t be another year without another round of rumours for the much coveted yet never confirmed iWatch. Apple has yet to get into the wearable tech space despite the fact that HTC, Acer and Asus have confirmed they will be joining Sony, Samsung and Google in tech that people wear. But that hasn’t stopped the internet from surmising what the iWatch could be all about. Here are some of the latest rumours floating around about Apple’s possible next big thing.
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Current rumoured specs are 1.5 or 2-inch display, Curved form factor, Full iOS, Biometrics and others sensors, 4-5 day battery life
Todd Ham envisions an iOS meets Nike FuelBand touch screen bracelet that we just wish would be here already (pictured above or video below)
Apple projected to ship 65M iWatch units priced at $199 for an estimated $17.5 Billion dollar business in 12 months (this is as much as the iPad and iPhone’s first year combined)
Apple will be using Stepped Battery technology from LG
Apple is testing solar, motion and induction charging 
Healthbook iOS 8 app will be linked to the iWatch will have a huge focus on health and fitness
New hires point to use of iWatch for health and fitness, possibly including heart rate monitoring in the device

iWatch Rumour Round-up

It wouldn’t be another year without another round of rumours for the much coveted yet never confirmed iWatch. Apple has yet to get into the wearable tech space despite the fact that HTC, Acer and Asus have confirmed they will be joining Sony, Samsung and Google in tech that people wear. But that hasn’t stopped the internet from surmising what the iWatch could be all about. Here are some of the latest rumours floating around about Apple’s possible next big thing.

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Goodbye Pedometers! Activity Trackers Get Heart
The majority of wearable devices on the arms of consumers today are used for fitness and health. Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike and Lumobody are all seeing success with sensors that track steps, monitor your sleep and try to motivate you to get up and move.
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Up until now, fitness wearables have mostly only measured motion using an accelerometer and gyroscope making them arguably just modern-day pedometers. But the days of solely counting steps may soon be over. This year’s CES unveiled a new breed of health wearables which go beyond measuring our external behavior and start to look inside to gauge our health.
LG, Intel and Epson all showed off new activity tracking wearables which had the ability to measure heart rate. Both LG and Intel announced a set of heart rate monitoring earbuds. LG’s headset will have the ability to interact with their new OLED display wristband, Lifeband Touch. Epson also stepped into the heart rate measurement game with the launch of Pulsense, a line of optical heart rate sensor devices including a smartwatch and wristband.
But heart rate wasn’t the only physiological activity wearables were detecting in Vegas. InteraXon was demoing their Muse, a brain-sensing headband which uses EEG sensors to monitor and measure your brain activity. The data gathered from your brain was then used in an app called Calm which walks users through exercises aimed to quiet the mind in a form of futuristic meditation.

Heapsylon’s Sensoria Smart Socks were being used to tell runners how well their feet were doing by tracking things like balance, landing position and cadence.
A focus on more accurate data sets of wearables for quantified selfers is a very exciting and necessary step in the right direction. Giving consumers access to medical-grade data will only continue to increase the value of these devices and the wearable tech sector as a whole.

Goodbye Pedometers! Activity Trackers Get Heart

The majority of wearable devices on the arms of consumers today are used for fitness and health. Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike and Lumobody are all seeing success with sensors that track steps, monitor your sleep and try to motivate you to get up and move.

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