Wearables Market Expected to Explode by 2018
Some promising numbers for wearables have been published recently by CCS Insight’s global forecast. Smart wearable devices are expected to grow from the 9.7 million sold in 2013 to 135 million by the time we hit 2018. And by end of the year CCS predicts we will see 129% year-over-year growth of wearables to 22 million sold, most of these sold in the upcoming holiday cycle.  
[[MORE]]Like an IDC report published earlier this year, CCS forecasts that the most successful type of wearable within the next five years will be wrist-worn devices, especially those that give users the ability to track things about themselves including their health. In fact, CCS’s research indicates that by 2018 nearly 7% of the developed world will own a quantified self device.
The report further hypothesizes that smartwatches will eventually replace fitness bands within the next five years as the price goes down and their capabilities expand. In the next year, CCS expects that independent wearables that have their own SIM cards will be more readily available but will face some challenges in adoption, especially the need to take on additional data plans.
Also similar to the IDC report, CCS agrees that wearables like Google Glass will have the toughest time in its growth journey, stating aesthetic and privacy concerns as the biggest barriers to adoption.

Wearables Market Expected to Explode by 2018

Some promising numbers for wearables have been published recently by CCS Insight’s global forecast. Smart wearable devices are expected to grow from the 9.7 million sold in 2013 to 135 million by the time we hit 2018. And by end of the year CCS predicts we will see 129% year-over-year growth of wearables to 22 million sold, most of these sold in the upcoming holiday cycle.  

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Wearable Tech Hits the Runway at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week
Wearables lit up the runway in Toronto this past Thursday as brain-sensing headbands and LED clothing walked the catwalk in a wearable tech fashion show at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week.
[[MORE]]The fashion show, curated by We Are Wearables, was presented at Toronto’s first Men’s Fashion Week and highlighted the fashionable side of wearable tech by pairing wearables with designer clothing by David C. Wigley and Sons of Odin.
Wearables included the brain-sensing headband, Muse, which acts as a brain-fitness tool to help you be more calm and focused as well as LED panels by MeU which showed off some custom animations for the fashion event include pulsing hearts on the front and scrolling TOM* at the back which was the fashion week’s logo.

Many of the wearables used LEDs to give greater visibility especially in bike safety. These included UTOPE’s Sporty Supaheroe Jacket, Vega’s Bomber Jacket and Vega Edge clips which use magnets to attach blinking or stable LEDs to any piece of clothing or accessory.

The show also included a Tech Tie which had individual LED panels light up in patterns and an avant guard LED helmet made of paper linen.
All photos credited to Billy Lee / @MakingSenses

Wearable Tech Hits the Runway at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week

Wearables lit up the runway in Toronto this past Thursday as brain-sensing headbands and LED clothing walked the catwalk in a wearable tech fashion show at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week.

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Wearable Baby Monitor Sproutling Is Like an Egg Timer For Your Kid
A new baby wearable has hit the scene and this one intends to deliver valuable insights to help parents of newborns not just know there little one is safe but also tell them when he’ll wake up and even if he’ll be cranky when he does.
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Sproutling is a smart baby monitor that consists of a baby wearable band, smart charger and a mobile app. The band is equipped with sensors which track your baby’s movement, position, heart rate and skin temperature. The system communicates via a mobile app to let parents monitor their baby’s sleeping habits, predict sleeping conditions and know when something is wrong.
The wearable not just senses the baby but also its surroundings. If the baby room is getting too loud from ambient noise the parent will get an alert to let them know to turn things down. Over time Sproutling learns and can begin to estimate how long the baby will be asleep for and even the type of mood the little one is expected to be in when they awake.
The company is currently accepting pre-orders for the preview release of its baby wearable and have already sold out of over 50% of its stock. Preview buyers are able to grab this smart system for $249 with it expected to ship in March of next year. So great for expecting moms. Perhaps a little too late for those that are already thinking of getting a new bed for little Johnny. 

Wearable Baby Monitor Sproutling Is Like an Egg Timer For Your Kid

A new baby wearable has hit the scene and this one intends to deliver valuable insights to help parents of newborns not just know there little one is safe but also tell them when he’ll wake up and even if he’ll be cranky when he does.

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Standalone Smartwatch, Neptune Pine, Now Shipping to Backers
Smartwatches are all the rage today but one of the complaints of this wrist-worn wearable is that it relies too much on your smartphone. Neptune Computer’s Pine is here to solve that. Like the Omate watch before it, the Pine is a standalone smartwatch which means that it can function fully without being dependent on a bluetooth connection to a smartphone in your pocket. Neptune smashed its Kickstarter goal back in December of last year and is now starting to ship to backers. 
[[MORE]]Neptune raised over $800,000 for what they are calling the “definitive all-in-one smartwatch”. The watch can do anything from taking voice calls, texting with a full keyboard, use of maps with GPS and even video chatting. It does this all without the need of a smartphone. All it needs is its own micro-SIM card and you are good to go. The watch even has a front facing and 5MP rear-facing camera to boot!
Late in July, Neptune sent an update out to its backers announcing that the first Wave of shipments were being sent. The first batch of Pines will be on the wrists of those in the US who indicated they wanted the device first and didn’t care if it had been treated for water resistance. Neptune indicated that all go-forward Pines outside of Wave 1 will be water resistant.
Late last week, Neptune announced that Wave 2 was on its way to fulfillment centres to send smartwatches to US, Canada and E.U. backers. Backers in this wave are expected to be sent tracking numbers over the next two weeks as they are being processed. 
Neptune is now accepting pre-orders for the Pine on its website for $349. Those who order Pine after January 1, 2014 are expected to receive their unit in October of this year. 

Standalone Smartwatch, Neptune Pine, Now Shipping to Backers

Smartwatches are all the rage today but one of the complaints of this wrist-worn wearable is that it relies too much on your smartphone. Neptune Computer’s Pine is here to solve that. Like the Omate watch before it, the Pine is a standalone smartwatch which means that it can function fully without being dependent on a bluetooth connection to a smartphone in your pocket. Neptune smashed its Kickstarter goal back in December of last year and is now starting to ship to backers. 

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Making Wearable Tech Tactile
The Creators Project is back with its Concept Video Series for wearables and this one is all about haptic feedback. This video features Wearable Experiments, a socially driven wearable technology company that is doing some incredible things with haptics to create new and meaningful experiences with wearables. The company is making clothing which not only expresses a sense of style but performs a particular function to enhance the experience. 
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One of these designs is the Navigate jacket. The jacket uses haptic feedback to indicate when the wearer should turn right, left or has arrived at their destination.  To the outside world, the jacket looks like a fashionable garment, but to the user its also a tool to help them make their way to a destination. 
Moving the tech into the background is important for Wearable Experiments. "Our message is that the tech always needs to be invisible. And you have to put the elegance of the garment first. And that means making it as human as possible," co-founder Billie Whitehouse explains in the video.
Wearable Experiments has also worked on projects which are taking the sports and music experience to the next level. Its Alert Shirt, for example, is a fan jersey which uses haptic feedback to let the wearer feel what their sports team is feeling. This example of wearable technology is aimed at taking the experience off the screen and into the physical environment to take everything to a whole new and extremely tactile level. 
Whitehouse goes into her design challenges and showcases some other work from Wearable Experiments in the complete video which we have for you below or you can hit the link here.

Making Wearable Tech Tactile

The Creators Project is back with its Concept Video Series for wearables and this one is all about haptic feedback. This video features Wearable Experiments, a socially driven wearable technology company that is doing some incredible things with haptics to create new and meaningful experiences with wearables. The company is making clothing which not only expresses a sense of style but performs a particular function to enhance the experience. 

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Google Glass Goes to the Opera
Italy’s Teatro Lirico di Cagliar will become the first in the world to hold an interactive opera using Google Glass. The opera company will be holding a trial performance with Google’s first wearable July 30 of Giacomo Puccini’s Turnadot.
[[MORE]]The Glass experience uses a system developed by TSC Labs and lets the audience view the performance through the eyes of the performers or backstage access from the view point of a stage hand.
This is not the first innovation coming out of this theatre. Teatro Lirico di Cagliar proudly hosts a Research and Technology centre and along with the Google Glass experience, the theatre will also be offering live streams on its social media, sending real-time photos and videos to those that follow.

Google Glass Goes to the Opera

Italy’s Teatro Lirico di Cagliar will become the first in the world to hold an interactive opera using Google Glass. The opera company will be holding a trial performance with Google’s first wearable July 30 of Giacomo Puccini’s Turnadot.

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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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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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Amazon UK Launches Wearable Tech Store
Wearables are getting a new home for those in the UK as e-retailer giant Amazon launched an official wearables store yesterday. The wearable section of the ecommece site offers more than 150 wearable devices including activity trackers, smartwatches and wearable cameras.
[[MORE]]The UK store opened just two months after the North American Amazon site opened its own wearable tech section. Like the American store, the UK wearable section offers not just devices for sale but an educational section complete with videos and articles about the wearable tech space. Users can find information about smartwatches and activity trackers in this area to help them with their purchase decisions.
The UK version does seem less robust than its American counterpart. Missing from the UK version is a coming soon section which on the American page is currently featuring devices like Bionym’s Nymi and the Razer Nabu. As well, Amazon UK has also yet to update its Electronics menu to add Wearable Tech to the mix.   
Amazon’s focus on wearables bodes well for this nascent space which is just starting to get its footing. It will be interesting to see if more complex devices like Google Glass, which also just recently launched in the UK, will be added to this catalogue.

Amazon UK Launches Wearable Tech Store

Wearables are getting a new home for those in the UK as e-retailer giant Amazon launched an official wearables store yesterday. The wearable section of the ecommece site offers more than 150 wearable devices including activity trackers, smartwatches and wearable cameras.

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

Unlocking Your Potential Through Dreams with Aurora Headband

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

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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.

Read More

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.

Read More