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 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. 

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

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.

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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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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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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.