Google Opens Google Glass Basecamps
Google has setup three basecamps to help long term Explorers, those new to the program and those just interested in learning more about its first wearable tech. 
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The basecamps have been set up in LA, New York and San Francisco. The locations are places where Glass users can go for fittings or support. And where newcomers can go to get a demo and try Glass on for the first time.
Those interested in visiting a basecamp can head on over to the Google Basecamp page to schedule an appointment which is necessary. Google does state that you are able to bring one guest to your visit but they need to be over 13 years of age.

Google Opens Google Glass Basecamps

Google has setup three basecamps to help long term Explorers, those new to the program and those just interested in learning more about its first wearable tech. 

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Metaio Brings Augmented Reality to the Smartwatch
Leading augmented reality software developer, Metaio, is bringing its visual search capabilities to the smartwatch. It’s object recognition software transforms the smartwatch camera from a nice-to-have feature to a must-have tool. 
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Metaio’s solution uses photos taken by a user to match up results in its object library. When a match exists the app takes action like providing the user with glanceable information about the object. In a recent video posted on its YouTube channel, Metaio shows the app in action on a Galaxy Gear smartwatch where pictures of advertisements in a paper come to life on the watch and snapshots of items eaten at breakfast are added to a food journal.
For Metaio, the smartwatch offers a way for users to quickly and conveniently discover more about the world around them. They state in the video description:

“There exist millions of objects in our environment that can be scanned by a smart device, but it is not always convenient for users to be constantly removing their smart phones from pockets or purses. Placing object recognition capabilities on the wrist allows for convenient access to visual search and augmented reality applications that already exist today”. 

Metaio Brings Augmented Reality to the Smartwatch

Leading augmented reality software developer, Metaio, is bringing its visual search capabilities to the smartwatch. It’s object recognition software transforms the smartwatch camera from a nice-to-have feature to a must-have tool. 

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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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Celebrate the First Moonwalk with 25% Off DoT 2014
The 2014 Designers of Things conference – taking place September 23 & 24 in San Francisco – is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing! Register here before July 26, 2014 and save 25% on VIP and Tech passes.
[[MORE]]The conference schedule continues to grow. Check out a few recently added sessions:
Designing for Quantified OtherSteven Eidelman | Co-founder, Whistle
Challenges of a 3D Printing StartupMarcus Foley, Aaron Rowley, Joseph White | Co-founders, Electroloom
Identification, Authentication and Customization with BiometricsKarl Martin | CO-founder & CEO, Bionym
View the latest conference agenda.

Celebrate the First Moonwalk with 25% Off DoT 2014

The 2014 Designers of Things conference – taking place September 23 & 24 in San Francisco – is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing! Register here before July 26, 2014 and save 25% on VIP and Tech passes.

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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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Extending the Body with Wearable Tech: Featured Speaker Chris Goodine
Technology has done a great job at augmenting our mental capabilities. We now have an infinite ability to know and remember things thanks to the internet and services like Google, IMDB, Wikipedia and the like. But when it comes to our physical skills like walking, seeing, touching and so on, technology hasn’t really played a part…until now. Integrating the tech with our body through wearable technology is starting to show us the potential of extending our physicality beyond our natural capabilities. One of these devices is the gesture control armband, Myo.
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Created by Canadian startup, Thalmic Labs, the Myo armband uses the kinetic energy in your arm to identify hand gestures and is also equipped with motions sensors to detect the movement of your arms. When connected to any smart “thing” using Bluetooth, like your tablet or Smart TV, the Myo turns your hand into a controller letting users swipe through pages, or turn up the volume with just a flick of the hand.
Thalmic Labs is getting ready to release the final production unit of the Myo to its developer community in the next month. A select few of the over 10,000 developer applicants currently have an alpha unit of the Myo to help create some initial applications for the device. The Thalmic team have released videos on its YouTube channel giving a sneak peek of the types of apps that are being worked on including the use of the Myo to control robotics, play games, fly a drone and enhance the Oculus Rift virtual reality experience.
Chris Goodine, Developer Evangelist at Thalmic Labs, told Designers of Things that one of the biggest learnings from the initial developer access was how the developer community started to create developer tools for the device. This inspired the Thalmic Team to create more support for its SDK for the official developer roll-out.
Goodine told us that the first step developers usually take with the Myo is to implement gestures into their existing software in lieu of touch or a mouse. For Goodine this is a great start but often the value proposition in using gesture within the app isn’t exactly clear. He believes that once developers get the hang of using gesture, they will start to think outside the box to create net new experiences for the Myo. 
As gesture is a new input, Goodine explained that the Myo is expected to come with a tutorial to help users understand the basics. The Myo will also come equipped with only a handful of gestures to start which should help reduce any confusion. He is also seeing developers include a command screen or guided help in their own apps to help the user orient themselves. 
The Myo is currently in pre-orders and is expected to ship later this Fall after the developer units are in the hands of the developer community. It will be quite exciting to see what apps will be available for users at that time and how the developers utilized gesture to take there experiences to the next level. 
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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.

Extending the Body with Wearable Tech: Featured Speaker Chris Goodine

Technology has done a great job at augmenting our mental capabilities. We now have an infinite ability to know and remember things thanks to the internet and services like Google, IMDB, Wikipedia and the like. But when it comes to our physical skills like walking, seeing, touching and so on, technology hasn’t really played a part…until now. Integrating the tech with our body through wearable technology is starting to show us the potential of extending our physicality beyond our natural capabilities. One of these devices is the gesture control armband, Myo.

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Making Wearables Personal: Featured Speaker Adam Adelman
What you wear when you walk out of the house says a lot about who you are, and how you feel that day. We don’t wear the same shirt and pants everyday but yet when it comes to putting on our wearables we don’t have that choice. Empowering users to express themselves with wearable tech is at the core of the NEX Band, a wrist-worn device from Montreal-based Mighty Cast. 
[[MORE]]The NEX Band is a modular wearable device which changes its look and functionality based on the charms selected by the user. On the outside, the charms, or “Mods” as Mighty Cast calls them, will let users customize how the NEX band looks so that its unique to them rather than the same band for everyone. On the inside, the Mods offer different functionality which means that the NEX band isn’t just an activity tracker or notification device, it is many things depending on the Mod connected to the device at the time.
Mighty Cast intends to release mods that will light up when your friends are close by, will act as gaming pieces that will unlock levels or score power-ups and can be swapped and tracked so that a Mod can start to tell a story of where its travelled. Users can use up to five Mods at one time and the Mods themselves will be customized using the NEX Band smartphone app.  
Mighty Cast President, Adam Adelman, told us that it was always the companies mission to make the NEX Band modular. “It was really only a year ago that we added sensors directly into the Mods themselves”, he told us. “The concept started as a modular solution aesthetically on the outside and evolved to a modular approach on the inside”. 
For Adelman, personalization is a key challenge that wearables are facing today. “One of the big disappointments has been the lack of customization on the outside which means that, on the outside, people are locked into the same style”, he said. “On the inside, there has been a lot of progress on the miniaturization of sensors but its impossible to pack all sensors into one device so I think that we are going to see a lot more demand for customization on the side of the consumer. For the most part, a lot of wearables today lock you into one application or a small handful of sensors”.
The NEX band Mods use Mighty Cast’s proprietary and patent pending base and token technology. This technology connects physical, low-cost collectibles to Bluetooth bases to bring them alive. The company is currently working on using this technology in more than just the NEX Band including the toy space with some big brands.
Pre-orders for the NEX Band just recently closed after seeing some great success according to Adelman. The team is currently working with focus groups to help shape the style and functionality of the mods that they will go out to market with. A beta launch is expected later this year.
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T 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.

Making Wearables Personal: Featured Speaker Adam Adelman

What you wear when you walk out of the house says a lot about who you are, and how you feel that day. We don’t wear the same shirt and pants everyday but yet when it comes to putting on our wearables we don’t have that choice. Empowering users to express themselves with wearable tech is at the core of the NEX Band, a wrist-worn device from Montreal-based Mighty Cast

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Samsung and Oculus Teaming Up to Create VR Headset
Samsung already has your wrist covered when it comes to wearables with a watch and an activity tracker in the market but it looks like they want to get on your face too. An exclusive report from SamMobile confirmed rumors that Samsung is indeed getting into the virtual reality headset space with a collaborative product with Oculus Rift called Gear VR.
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The VR headset will not be a standalone device like the Oculus Rift but instead will allow users to dock their Samsung smartphone into the headset using USB 3.0. VR effects are done through head tracking and the headset uses the smartphones onboard sensors like accelerometer and gyroscope to follow the head movements.
This design may sound very familiar. Google recently gave out cardboard virtual reality kits to all of its I/O event attendees which accomplished similar functionality. According to SamMobile, the concept behind the Gear VR headset is the same but they indicate that “Gear VR is much more comfortable to wear, thanks to the elastic head band and soft padded cushions on each side of the device, and Samsung’s implementation is also much better than that of Google’s Cardboard.”
Samsung is expected to announce Gear VR at IFA 2014, the world leading tradeshow in consumer electronics and home appliances in September. But for now SamMobile has released a pic of the device to wet your appetite.   

Gear VR image source SamMobile

Samsung and Oculus Teaming Up to Create VR Headset

Samsung already has your wrist covered when it comes to wearables with a watch and an activity tracker in the market but it looks like they want to get on your face too. An exclusive report from SamMobile confirmed rumors that Samsung is indeed getting into the virtual reality headset space with a collaborative product with Oculus Rift called Gear VR.

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Power Your Life with Solar Powered Clothing (Video)

You wear clothing every day. It keeps you warm, keeps you from being naked and expresses your style. But what if your dress, shirt or shoes could also keep your devices powered. Solar powered clothing is the latest wearable technology explored in the most recent video from the “Make It Wearable” series by the Creators Project.

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Make Music With Your Body Wearing the MIDI Controller Jacket (Video)
When a great song comes on at the club, it often seems as though you can feel the music straight through your body. But what if an artist could use their body to create that track in the first place. Machina, a wearable technology brand geared towards geeks, designers and artists, have created at jacket that connects to a MIDI controller to do just that.
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The MIDI controller jacket has six sensors that use your body to create commands interpreted by the computer. The left sleeve includes an altimeter, a sensor that measures the distance between your body and the ground and a magnetometer, which is like a compass. The jacket is also equipped with a gyroscope and an accelerometer which are used to detect the motions and the speed of these motions to be used as inputs. 

The jacket comes with preset and initial configurations but are all highly configurable by the user. The designers at Machina have created the jacket in such a way that the sensors remain visible so that the jacket looks like a jacket rather than a device. 
The Creators Project featured Machina’s MIDI Controller jacket in a five-minute documentary. In it, one artist explained, “As a dancer, you always wonder what sound do your moves create?” Not only does Machina’s jacket answer that, but it allows you to turn your motions into music. It offers every inch you budge a bit more texture, and a lot more sensory input”.
You can check out the documentary on Machina’s MIDI controller below or via the link. AND they are giving you a chance to win one! For a chance to win, follow the three easy steps on their contest page here. 

Image source: Creators Project

Make Music With Your Body Wearing the MIDI Controller Jacket (Video)

When a great song comes on at the club, it often seems as though you can feel the music straight through your body. But what if an artist could use their body to create that track in the first place. Machina, a wearable technology brand geared towards geeks, designers and artists, have created at jacket that connects to a MIDI controller to do just that.

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DoT 2014’s Early Bird Rates End on Friday
The Early Bird rates for Designers of Things 2014 – taking place September 23 & 24 in San Francisco – are expiring this Friday, June 27.  If you register now, you can save up to $250 on your VIP Pass and get access to all the sessions.
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Sessions include: 
3D IP: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ISSUES FOR INNOVATORS, Patience Jones (Graphicmachine)
CREATIVITY MEETS TECH: REDEFINING FASHION IN THE DIGITAL AGE, Mary Huang (Continuum Fashion)
BE KIND TO YOUR USERS: SECURITY AND ETHICS IN WEARABLES DESIGN, Jen Costillo (Rebelbot)
CHALLENGES OF A 3D PRINTING STARTUP, Marcus Foley (Electroloom), Aaron Rowley (Electroloom), Joseph White (Electroloom)
GETTING STARTED WITH iBEACONS, Daniel Luxemburg (Bandwagon)
View the conference agenda.

DoT 2014’s Early Bird Rates End on Friday

The Early Bird rates for Designers of Things 2014 – taking place September 23 & 24 in San Francisco – are expiring this Friday, June 27.  If you register now, you can save up to $250 on your VIP Pass and get access to all the sessions.

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Android Wear Unveiled at Google’s 2014 Developer Conference
Yesterday was a big day for wearable tech as Google focused a large part of its developer conference on a new wearable SDK and the launch of three new smartwatches which will run its Android Wear operating system. 
[[MORE]]Google first announced Android Wear back in March, but at its developer conference yesterday, the company gave us our first full look at what it has to offer. As part of Google’s “any screen” strategy, the Android Wear SDK equips developers with the ability to create custom user experiences, control sensors and voice actions and send data to devices that are running it. For users, the OS offers a much cleaner, intuitive and simpler way to interact with a device like a smartwatch. 
Android Wear boasts a minimalistic UI with a focus on “glanceable” information. The operating system could really help give the smartwatch space a boost in a time when this space is struggling to gain its footing. Google demoed notifications and voice activated commands on stage noting how notifications are able to stack and easily be dismissed with a horizontal swipe. The “OK Google” voice activation lets users ask their smartwatch anything freeing them up from having to find an app icon to tap to perform an action.  
Other features of Android Wear include real-time sync with your smartphone so that if you interact with a notification on your watch you don’t need to repeat it on your phone as well as using your smartwatch to authenticate you on your phone in lieu of a pin or passcode on a lock screen. 
Along with the operating system, Google announced that two of the three first smartwatches to run this software are now ready to order on Google Play. The LG G watch and the rumored Samsung Gear Live were confirmed at the event and are starting to ship as early as July 7th in the USA. The much anticipated Moto 360 was confirmed at I/O yesterday but the launch date for this device was not announced to the groans of the audience and the internet. 
Outside of wearables, Google also make some big announcements on the connected TV, connected car and even the health space with the launch of an aggregate for activity tracking data called Google Fit. 

Android Wear Unveiled at Google’s 2014 Developer Conference

Yesterday was a big day for wearable tech as Google focused a large part of its developer conference on a new wearable SDK and the launch of three new smartwatches which will run its Android Wear operating system. 

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London Calling! Google Glass Now Available in the UK

Google has opened the flood gates and is now allowing early adopters in the UK to purchase its first wearable Google Glass. This is the first country Glass has branched out to since its launch in the USA nearly two years ago.

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Love Your Timex? Turn It Into a Smartwatch with Glance
One of the challenges of smartwatches is that many existing watch wearers don’t want to part with their favorite timepiece. If you are someone who wishes your Tag, Michael Kors or Rolex would let you get notifications on your wrist, a new wearable called Glance can make that happen.
[[MORE]]Glance is a small device that fits nicely under the strap of any watch turning your watch into a smartwatch. Like a smartwatch, Glance connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to make things happen. When you get a call or incoming message, Glance vibrates and displays details on the small OLED display and users can reply using canned responses with the press of a button.
Glance also offers some neat extras on top of the communication features you would expect from a smartwatch. It can track your activity including sitting, sleeping and step levels. And can serve as an air mouse to let you use motion to control your connected TV or other connected devices.
Your canned responses, activity levels and air mouse configurations are controlled in the Glance smartphone app which will be available for Android and iOS. Kiwi is currently crowdfunding Glance on Kickstarter. If they receive enough funds they will also make Glance compatible with Blackberry and Windows devices.
As smartwatches range around the $250-$350 mark, Glance is a pretty affordable alternative. Kiwi Wearables is giving backers the change to get this smart accessory for as little as $70 with a ship date of October of this year. 
If you aren’t a watch wearer either because you don’t have one or just don’t like them, Glance can also be used with bracelets and other wrist jewellery. In fact, Kiwi is also offering Glance with a leather strap as an alternative. If you love this idea, you better act quick as the Glance campaign only has 8 days on the clock.

Love Your Timex? Turn It Into a Smartwatch with Glance

One of the challenges of smartwatches is that many existing watch wearers don’t want to part with their favorite timepiece. If you are someone who wishes your Tag, Michael Kors or Rolex would let you get notifications on your wrist, a new wearable called Glance can make that happen.

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DVF Sits Down With Glass Lead Designer To Talk Fashion
Diane Von Furstenberg has had a long history with Google Glass. She debuted Google’s first wearable device on the runway of 2012’s Fashion Week followed by some exclusive videos shot of the event using the device. DVF is back with Glass now as a designer, joining forces with Glass’ lead designer, Isabelle Olsson, to create some fashionable frames for female Explorers. 
[[MORE]]DVF and Olsson sit down in the latest YouTube video from Glass to talk about how far the device has come since launch. Olsson describes the earlier prototypes of Glass as a “scuba mask with a phone attached to it and a cable running down to a back pack” and says that Glass really transformed over the course of the last year and a half beginning with the unisex frames Google launched at the start of 2013. 
The Google + DVF partnership is an important step for Glass as they try to make Glass more fashionable and wearable especially for women. You can catch the entire conversation including DVF showing off a couple of her designs in the video below. 

DVF Sits Down With Glass Lead Designer To Talk Fashion

Diane Von Furstenberg has had a long history with Google Glass. She debuted Google’s first wearable device on the runway of 2012’s Fashion Week followed by some exclusive videos shot of the event using the device. DVF is back with Glass now as a designer, joining forces with Glass’ lead designer, Isabelle Olsson, to create some fashionable frames for female Explorers. 

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