In this article we are specific to smart textiles that contain electronics. There has been extreme progress in the chemical side of manufacturing textiles that can repel odors, stains, as well asprotect against impact, and even change color and shape. These new findings have affected the global progress of smart textiles evolution; yet do not fall into the category of wearables -unless stimulated with the power of electrons.
Before CES 2016 began, I was expecting wearable technology to occupy less space on the floor than in 2015. I'd reasoned that the industry's failure to make the...
Richard Platt's insight:
What all of these devices show is that maybe crafting a smartwatch that does as many things as a smartphone is the wrong goal. The most interesting devices that I saw at this show were all designed to do a single thing, and do it well. Maybe the idea of a general-purpose device that acts as an analog or companion to your phone is simply not the way to appeal to the masses. There were plenty of smartwatches on the floor, but none of them do anything new that we haven't already seen. Wearables are still a niche proposition but this year has made me think that it's not actually a bad thing. As companies and startups move away from just making a second, smaller screen for your phone, the less inessential they become. We're still a long way away from everyone in the world owning or desiring one of these things, but maybe it's time to admit that a Swiss Army Knife isn't the way forward.
Smart bracelets focus on functionality whereas smartwatches rely on brand names Smartwatch vendors so far have only been able to leverage their brand names to sell their devices. The market positioning of smartwatches is still unclear and provides too few reasons for consumers to buy them. Apple Watch is currently the only smartwatch that has exceeded 10 million sets shipped this year. Nonetheless, Tsai noted that sales of Apple Watch have fallen short of expectations since its launch over six months ago. TrendForce therefore has lowered the projected annual shipments of Apple Watch for 2015 from 15 million to 12 million sets. Next year’s annual shipments are expected to reach 20 million sets. “Smartwatches will become more appealing if vendors can aggressively market two or three device-specific features that consumers would find valuable,” Tsai pointed out. “Apple, for instance, has successfully used its brand name to build an initial user base for its smartwatch. The next step is to capture consumers who want value for their money, or else Apple’s smartwatches will remain only as collectibles for Apple fans.”
Speaking to CNBC on the sidelines of London's unBound startup conference, Misfit founder and director Sridhar Iyenga, said that his company's sale to Texas-based clothing and accessory firm Fossil Group is part of a larger trend sweeping the wearable technology sector. "What you're seeing is that the audience that the new technology companies can address and garner is very different than what the traditional companies can actually get a hold of,"He pointed to the exercise app company MapMyFitness, which clinched a $150 million takeover by sports group Under Armour back in 2013.
But it's Fitbit's successful flotation that's had the biggest impact on the wearables market, with shares soaring in the wake of its New York Stock Exchange debut in June. The company is now worth around $4.1 billion."What they've done for the industry has been really good for us. They've actually legitimized the fitness tracker market and because of that all of us have benefitted,"
In its first foray into wearable tech, the Swiss watchmaker strikes a deal with Visa. The Swatch Bellamy will sport an NFC chip, enabling contactless payments.
Richard Platt's insight:
Swatch has partnered with Visa on a watch capable of making smartphone payments with the swipe of your wrist. The Swatch Bellamy, scheduled to launch in early 2016, can be used anywhere contactless Visa payments are accepted, the companies jointly announced Monday. It looks much like any other Swatch watch, but has an NFC (near-field communications) chip inside, giving it its payments power. Unlike other smartphones, the Bellamy doesn't connect to the Internet and makes payments without using the watch's battery. Switzerland-based Swatch is the world's largest watchmaker by revenue. It's one of several traditional watchmakers collaborating with companies outside of their industry to make connected timepieces. Watchmaking for many years had seen little innovation, but partnerships that have sprung up in 2015 show the industry's biggest names are now embracing change.
Disney in Wearable Tech? Disney's smartwatch knows your heart rate, and your location — and what appliance you're using, or what door you're opening. The system, called EM-Sense, works by carefully monitoring for the minute electromagnetic signals that propagate through your body whenever you touch anything — every object produces a different pattern, and the computer can be trained to recognize it. Combined with other information, it can guess that you're on your way to work, fixing a specific meal or working on a certain project in the shop. This electromagnetic detection of objects is a keen way to figure out what people are doing and using it as a feedback mechanism within the device, and presents the opportunity for a full range of practical daily use.
Apple's idea for a smart ring, may have some traction, but it will likely play into the fashion side of people, the functionality will of course need to be of benefit. Lots of opportunities for measuring biological measurements.
The cognitive computing IBM Watson is pairing its artificial intelligence with the mobile sensing power of Apple’s smartwatch to create a health platform that can interact and adapt to each individual user.
It’s the first time Watson’s super computing power will be used with the Apple Watch to transform how people manage their wellbeing.
It all happens within an app called CaféWell Concierge, Powered by Watson, and developed by Welltok of Denver.
Fossil's Q Founder, the first smartwatch made available for purchase by the Texan clothier, might come off as a bit heavy — but this classic-looking wearable packs a real sartorial and functional punch.
Richard Platt's insight:
Fossil revealed its plan to release a line of smartwatches and wearables, the company's first brand line, the Fossil Android Wear Q Founder, is priced at $295, is not only compatible with iOS and Android and functional, but it is also touted as a much more stylish option to the wider array of more Spartan wearables out there — and a lot more affordable than TAG Heuer's $1,500 smartwatch, which was more or less created with the same mission in mind. The Intel chip-powered wearable contains 4 GB of storage and 24-hour battery life before it needs a recharge. The Q Founder has all of the heft of a traditional class act timepiece, weighing in a at 71 grams (the Apple Watch Sport, one of its more direct competitors, clocks in at about 50 grams), with a face that is 46 mm long and 13 mm thick. While the Q Founder might be the first in the Fossil Q line to be made available for purchase, it's certainly not the last; as per Fossil's October announcement, we'll be sure to see Fossil's other smartwatch, the Q Grant, as well as the company's smart bands the Q Reveler and the Q Dreamer, come out just in time for the rest of the holiday shopping season.
No, it's not another attempt at high-tech eyewear. This one-of-a-kind prototype draws its inspiration from the communicator worn on a stylish shirt.
Richard Platt's insight:
Inspired by the sci-fi ingenuity of Star Trek, engineers at Google have worked up a one-of-a-kind prototype wearable device to test out the possibilities of a real-life communicator. It doesn't connect to any starships, though. Instead, it's meant to suggest new ways to tap into the vast knowledge banks of Google search. The device, about the diameter of a casino chip but somewhat thicker. It's designed to be activated with a tap, and an embedded microphone would pick up your spoken query to relay via Bluetooth to a nearby smartphone and from there on to Google. The answer could come back through speakers or headphones. "The destiny of search,"by Google senior vice president Amit Singh wrote at the time, "is to become the Star Trek computer, a perfect assistant by my side whenever I need it."
The tech in the Star Trek-like prototype, which remains in testing, apparently isn't all that far removed from today's average Bluetooth headset, but it does give Google a way to play around with how we might continue to use its search tools in the future.
The new version of Android Wear has support for many more wrist gestures... although you're going to look silly doing them.
Richard Platt's insight:
That big Android Wear update isn't just about allowing cellular data on smartwatches -- it's also really helpful if you don't have a hand free. Google has quietly revealed that Android Wear 1.4 has a ton of new wrist gestures beyond the usual flicks to navigate cards. You can take action on a card by pushing your arm down, for instance, or go back to your watch face by wriggling your wrist. You're probably going to look silly if you use nothing but wrist gestures, but this beats dropping a bag (or freezing your hands) just to touch your watch for a brief moment.
SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwired - October 20, 2015) - Compass Intelligence (www.compassintelligence.com), a market analytics and consulting firm specializing in metrics-driven intelligence and insights, has released a series of wearable technology studies highlighting various aspects of the consumer wearables market within its “Emerging Technologies” research track. The reports combine market size...
Within the U.S. market, revenues from the sale of wearable devices are expected to reach $9.7 billion by 2019. Revenue growth in this market is largely driven by rising adoption of smart watches, as well as higher-end wrist band and fitness devices. Key findings of the study include:
a)Adoption of wearable technology continues to gain momentum as nearly 30% of U.S. consumers now own/use such devices.
b)Fitness and health tracking devices including bands and smart watches remain the most popular among consumers.
c)While consumers perceive various benefits from using wearable devices, nearly 60% of those surveyed by Compass Intelligence perceive wearable devices as “too expensive.”
d)An overwhelming majority of those surveyed also stated their desire to have some homogeneity between wearable device and smartphone interfaces.
Biophone is exploring the possibility of using commercially available phones to monitor your heart and breathing rates, even if the devices are in your pockets or bags.
The idea is to rely on a phone's accelerometer and gyroscope to pick up even small vibrations and body movements that come from your heart beating and from the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe.
For the past two weeks, I ditched my Apple Watch for the new Activité Steel, which is available exclusively through the Withings website. The $170 device, like the Activité Pop and Activité before it, is a 24/7 smartwatch that tracks physical activities during the day and sleep patterns at night.
Very comprehensive review of pretty good wearable design, particularly since they've differentiated along user profiles for what each of the Activité versions do. The Activité Pop ($150), Activité Steel ($170), and Activité ($450) each target a different audience. At the same time, the Health Mate app guarantees that no one is missing out on the many features each watch offers. This is a brilliant move on Withings’ part and one that Apple is currently lacking with its Watch line, which starts at a pricey $349 for its entry-level model.
A February 2015 Salesforce.com survey of 500 business professionals found that 79% believe that wearable technology will be a key to future success. Already, 76% report improvements in business performance for wearable devices in the enterprise. The appeal? Real-time access to customer data, hands-free instruction for guides in field service, access to business analytics and alerts, and "see-what-I-see" coaching with a live remote tech or trainer. In addition, wearables will generate new and valuable data that will feed analytics. Meanwhile, Google Glass is being redesigned for the enterprise. Other wearables fall into the same general category of not-quite-ready-for-prime-time business. But expect things to begin tilting toward the enterprise when Apple releases the next version of Apple Watch in 2016. Also expect to see a greater use of smart cameras, embedded apparel or accessories as well as an array of clip-on or wrist-based devices.
Consumable electronics are on the way to you via Jawbone, albeit this is likely to infringe on big Pharma's move into this space, interesting vision presented on where this technology is going and how it can help us.
The project — described as a "hearable" — is a small device that can either be worn or used as an earpiece. The final implementation is unknown, and Microsoft is currently testing how people react to different prototypes, the report says. Just as with the Moto Hint, Microsoft's wearable would allow for quick interactions, such as reminders, making it ideal for a parent. According to Wareable, the target audience would be on-the-go women.
Johns Hopkins EpiWatch™ is an app for Apple Watch™ and research study. EpiWatch helps you manage your epilepsy by tracking your seizures and possible triggers, medications and side effects. You can view this information at any time, and a dashboard lets you share a summary of the data with your doctor or caregiver if you want. With EpiWatch, you can also send a message to family members or caregivers to let them know when you are having a seizure.
EpiWatch helps you manage your epilepsy by tracking your seizures and possible triggers, medications and side effects. You can view this information at any time, and a dashboard lets you share a summary of the data with your doctor or caregiver if you want. With EpiWatch, you can also send a message to family members or caregivers to let them know when you are having a seizure.
Austin-based tech company Chaotic Moon is engineering a "smart" stick-on gadget: Tech Tats, they're called. They're applied just like the temporary tattoos of your childhood—stick on and wash off—except these high-tech tats can monitor vital signs, track GPS location, even hold credit card information.
The Tech Tattoos are compelling for their low-cost approach (this needs to be verified). The challenge is how to deliver power to their components ? Classic micro-batteries ? Piezo resistances? Energy harvesting from the human body itself. Short time wearable devices, is there a market for that, likely yes, but Use Cases will need to be defined. More work to be done on the viability of this technology to be proven.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve asked every major maker of virtual reality headsets and content what their stance is on children in the VR realm. The answer is (almost) always the same: …
Richard Platt's insight:
The Samsung Gear VR appears to be sold out online, tiny and all is well in the VR universe. Why, you might wonder, would anyone suggest that using a virtual reality headset is bad for your kids? Maybe because their eyes are still developing. Perhaps because their brains are still learning what to attach to as real, and deciding what's to be believed in their universe. You might also find that after wearing a VR headset for several minutes will result in slightly blurred vision once you take the headset off - but only for a moment. The real reason any one of the companies we've spoken with would have said "no comment" with regard to children is the relative lack of research done with this specific application of displays and magnifying glasses. If your kids want to use your VR headset, feel free to let them - but do so at your own risk. You'll find every VR headset released with a warning that suggests you and your loved ones take caution when wearing.
The new Activite Steel has the high-end feel of the original wearable with the price of the Activite Pop.
Richard Platt's insight:
Withings today announced the latest member of its Activité line of activity trackers. The new Activité Steel has the high-end feel of the original Swiss-made wearable. "While the tracker market is booming we see growing demand from health conscious people who are not willing to compromise their style," Withings CEO Cédric Hutchings said in a statement. "Steel is the perfect Christmas gift for those demanding trendsetters." It also resembles its predecessors, with dual dials—one showing the time, the other highlighting how much of your daily activity goal has been achieved. That target can be set in the free Withings Health Mate iOS or Android app—which, along with the wearable, keeps users in-the-know about their progress. Also known for its smart home products, Withings in September upgraded The Auraconnected alarm clock to integrate with Spotify, allowing users with a Spotify Premium account to fall asleep or wake up to their favorite tunes. The Aura Connected Alarm Clock and sleep sensor accessory retail for $299.95, or $189.95 without the sleep sensor.
One of the biggest criticisms leveled at the current generation of smartwatches, be they from Apple or one of the many companies supporting Google's Android Wear, is that without a connection to a phone, they're little more than glorified MP3 players that can tell the time. However, that is all about to change.
Richard Platt's insight:
One of the biggest criticisms leveled at the current generation of smartwatches, be they from Apple or one of the many companies supporting Google's Android Wear, is that without a connection to a phone, they're little more than glorified MP3 players that can tell the time. However, that is all about to change. From now on, with the latest update to the Android Wear operating system, smartwatches will support cellular connection via the LTE/4G network so that many of the apps function as will the ability to send and receive messages and even take or make calls, with or without a smartphone. As Android Wear's product manager, Peter Ludwig, explains: "No more worrying about Bluetooth or WiFi – your watch will automatically switch to a cellular connection when you're out of range." "The wearable category is still in its infancy and we plan to continue introducing exciting devices that appeal to a diverse audience," said Juno Cho, president and chief executive officer of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, about LG's approach to the segment. The inbuilt obsolescence of anything that uses silicon was a fundamental issue for TAG Heuer, a brand renowned for products that last a lifetime. Its solution is to offer owners regular upgrades (for a fee) so that their watches stay up to date as the technology supporting them evolves. Better still, for those who decide a smartwatch isn't for them, they can trade in the Connected for a mechanical Tag Heuer Carrera instead.
Healthcare systems around the world are facing a ‘perfect storm’, contending with rising costs, changing demographics and growing consumer expectations. In a recent report on healthcare in the UK, PA Consulting concluded that a vital component in helping to solve these problems could be the use of ultra-low-power wearable technology. Wearable technology, increasingly enabled by miniaturised ultra-low-power electronics, is said to be used by 8million people in the UK already, with many of those devices being healthcare related.
Here it comes folks, wearables as health maintenance devices, like it or not, this tech is coming to you and yours soon enough. Now the questions become how should the data be used, and by whom, make it secure, and not let those who would profit by this data at the expense of our own vulnerabilities.
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