Here at C-Prize HQ, we’re constantly scanning the headlines for news of wearable technologies. Below are a few stories that you might have missed from the past few weeks
THE RETURN OF GOOGLE GLASS
Google’s augmented reality wearable, Glass, was launched in 2013. Despite the fanfare and hype that surrounded it, Glass failed to make an impact on the consumer market, and was declared ‘dead’ by numerous tech journalists. But it’s back, having been redesigned to be a practical workplace tool, and rebranded as Glass Enterprise Edition. Companies such as DHL, GE Aviation, Volkswagen are already using it as a training tool, to access checklists or instruction manuals, as a live transcription service, or to help with order-picking.
Read more here: https://blog.x.company/a-new-chapter-for-glass-c7875d40bf24
getting closer to biodegradable WEARABLES
Our love of gadgets means that we are building an ever-growing mountain of electronic waste – almost 50 million tons was discarded in 2017 alone. So, for wearables to be sustainable, they’ll need to tackle that issue head-on. Stanford University researchers have developed a new, semiconducting plastic that can stretch, self-heal, and dissolve in vinegar when it reaches end-of-life. When combined with ultrathin, flexible electronic circuits, this development could herald a new generation of biodegradable wearables that can keep our data safe.
A real-life babelfish?
If you’re a fan of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, you will be very excited to hear about Pilot – a new earpiece that claims to translate between users speaking different languages, with no more than a few seconds of delay. Noise-cancelling microphones filter out ambient noise so that the speaker’s words can be identified and then translated via a speech recognition and machine learning app on your smartphone. The translation is then returned to another user wearing a matching earpiece. Pilot is in the prototype phase, but is due to hit the market later this year.
Read more here: http://www.waverlylabs.com/pilot-translation-kit/
driver safer with integrated devices
Toyota and the University of Michigan are collaborating on a long-term goal – to design wearable devices that communicate with your car to predict heart attacks and diabetic blackouts, and prevent the accidents that could result. With a study from the US Highways Agency liking medical conditions to at least 26,000 crashes, this tech could have a major role to play in the safety of future drivers and passengers.
TAKING THE MEASURE OF WEARABLES
New Zealand’s national metrology institute, the Measurement Standards Laboratory (MSL), have launched a new industry flyer to highlight the importance of measurement to wearable technology. With numerous studies citing variable results from identical devices, it seems that wearables have a measurement problem. But MSL scientists can help.
To find how, download the flyer here: https://goo.gl/douLw1
‘LEARNING’ EXOSKELETON MAKES IT EASIER TO WALK
Exoskeletons are already in use in the medical and the military world, and they are beginning to find application in the workplace too. But to make them truly wearable, and to help them blend seamlessly into our daily lives, exoskeletons will need to get smarter. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have designed a system that learns from the wearer. Currently based on a unit worn on the ankle, it reacts and adapts, gradually changing its pattern of assistance, as a person walks. Their results, published in the journal Science, show that even with just one device, wearers used 24% (± 7%) less energy while walking.
Read more here ($): http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6344/1280
brain food for THE WEIGHT-LOSS INDUSTRY
And finally, could wearables help us shift pounds? We know that the way our bodies store fat is related to brain activity – chemical triggers from the hypothalamus control our appetite and our metabolism. And it’s this fact that Northern Ireland tech firm Neurovalens is tapping into for their ‘weight-loss wearable’. Founded by a team of doctors and neuroscientists, they have developed a headset called Modius that they say electrically-stimulates key areas in the brain to trick into entering fat-burning mode.