Tag Archives: Wearable technology

Carv is a wearable that helps you ski better


This Atmel-powered system analyzes motion and pressure data to give skiers real-time feedback on how to improve.


Throughout the world, approximately 120 million people will hit the slopes each year. This doesn’t include the countless others who are dying to learn how to ski either. Whether a novice or professional or somewhere in between, how cool would it be to have a coach that could be right there with you trail after trail? Well, UK-based startup MotionMetrics has come up with the perfect solution.

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Meet Carv, a digital ski coach that combines a wearable device and a smartphone app with intuitive analysis algorithms to help you improve your technique. Inspired by Olympic technology, Carv gives you access to the feedback and knowledge that only elite skiers have had access to so far.

Carv itself is comprised of two parts. The first is a wearable that attaches to a ski boot, while the second is a ~1mm insert that’s actually placed inside the boot. All the data is then analyzed through an accompanying mobile app, which allows skiers to receive feedback on their performance either on-screen or in real-time, through earphones or heads-up displays. And for more sophisticated athletes, Carv can automatically synchronize video from your GoPro with the data, enabling instructors and coaches to scrutinize the footage alongside the overlaid information.

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The solution employs a series of sensors, hidden under the boot liners. Each sensor unit packs 48 independent pressure sensors, meant to pick up even the most minute changes in the pressure distribution, along with an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a magnetometer that provides Carv with information related to the motion and orientation of the skis. Communication is handled by Bluetooth Low Energy.

The sensor unit is powered and controlled by the boot-mounted Carv trackers, which serve as the brains of the system. These trackers are responsible for coordinating data collection, performing calculations for pressure and motion at high frequencies (220Hz), and overseeing wireless communication with the smartphone.

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As high-tech of a platform Carv may be, you’ll barely notice that it’s even there. Inspired from current snow sports wear accessories such as customized insoles and boot warmers, the smart insert is super thin and can be slipped in without affecting the way you ski. What’s more, the Carv tracker can be quickly and easily clipped and unclipped whenever it needs to be charged (via USB).

“The idea for Carv began when I was looking at how recording and analysis of data can help people do things better during my PhD. It was an academic problem that got out of hand,” founder Jamie Grant explains. “Coming from a physics background, I was particularly interested in the telemetry side of things – looking at how you can measure movement. Then, whilst studying for a PhD in financial statistics, I worked on the data analysis side – what can you actually do with those measurements once you’ve recorded them? As a keen skier myself, I soon started applying this to my experience on the slopes.”

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Grant and his team had a secured a place at HAX, an exclusive hardware accelerator in Shenzhen. With this mentorship, the MotionMetrics crew was not just able to bring their idea to life, but to further develop their unique pressure and motion sensing system that can now measure metrics like weight distribution. Ultimately, this development helps users spot common mistakes such as leaning too heavily on a turn, an action that can slow the skier down, or even worse, cause cranes.

Sound like the 24/7 coach you’ve been looking for? Race over to Carv’s Kickstrater campaign, where the team of PhD students from the University of Imperial College London is currently seeking $50,000. Delivery is expected to get underway in November 2016, just in time for next year’s snow season.

High school student creates a smart wearable for Parkinson’s patients


OneRing monitors motor distortions and generates patient reports.


After school activities for the average high school student typically entails sports practices, music lessons and homework; but creating a smart medical device for a disease that affects 10 million people seems unlikely. That’s not the case for Cupertino High School sophomore Utkarsh Tandon. Tandon is the founder of OneRing, an intelligent tool for monitoring Parkinson’s disease.

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OneRing is a wearable that captures movement data from a patient, algorithmically identifies Parkinson’s tremor patterns and classifies the severity. Tandon first became interested in studying the disease when he watched a video of Muhammad Ali, who has Parkinson’s, light the Olympic torch in 1996. After volunteering at a local Parkinson’s institute, the 15-year-old decided to build a company that focuses on improving the lives of those affected by this movement disorder. He began working on signal processing and machine learning algorithms, before evolving the concept and founded OneRing.

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OneRing quantifies Parkinson’s disease movements and its mobile app leverages the data collected to generate smart patient reports that physicians can use to better prescribe medication. At the core of the device is its machine learning technology. The OneRing has been trained to model various Parkinson’s motor patterns such as dyskinesia, bradykinesia and tremors. A Bluetooth module encased inside the 3D-printed plastic ring allows it to communicate with its accompanying iOS app to provide time-stamped analytics about the patient’s movement severity during the day.

The ring itself currently comes in three sizes, each varying in diameter: 18mm, 19mm and 20 mm. Tandon and his team hope to develop a “one-size-fits-all” piece in the near future.

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With this Kickstarter campaign, Tandon hopes to deploy OneRing to a local Parkinson’s institute where the device can be used in exams and sent home with patients. Ultimately he wants to bring OneRing to patients all around the world in hopes of suppressing the condition’s rapid progression. Interested in the cause? Head over to the OneRing project page, where Tandon and his team have already doubled their pledged goal of $1,500.

Rewind: 100 wow-worthy wearables from 2015


As 2015 comes to a close, let’s take one more look at the wearable devices that caught our attention over the last 12 months.


At the moment, the wearables landscape is being dominated by brands like Fitbit, Apple, Motorola, Xiaomi, Samsung and a number of other tech giants. Total shipments are expected to reach 214.6 million units by 2019, reflecting a five-year CAGR of 28%. While today’s market may be limited to basic designs such as smartwatches and trackers, we’re on the brink of a wider wider proliferation of wearable gadgetry.

For instance, 2015 saw the rise of several attention-grabbing, homebrew devices and prototypes — some of which boast mainstream appeal, while others could potentially have a lasting impact on our world. Here’s a look back some of the wow-worthy wearables from the last 12 months. (Sorry if we forgot anyone… there were just so many!)

Crowdfunding Stars

Pebble Time

ŌURA Ring

BLOCKS

ShiftWear

UnaliWear

DrumPants

ReVault

FUSAR Mohawk

Lumos

LIVALL

Athena

Soundbrenner Pulse

MYLE TAP

Deus Ex Aria

WellBe

Gest

Eyecatcher

OnCourse Goggles

Futuristic Prototypes

EM-Sense

NailO

KickSoul

iSkin

Belt

Bioamp

Tomo

Hairware

IrukaTact

TagMe

Key Bod

Strike

Health and Wellness

LifeQ

Tech Tats

Doppel

Digitsole

Myoware

Wearable Fluid Status Sensor

TZOA

SMILE

Virtual Reality

GloveOne

Impacto

Salto

UnlimitedHand

Life-Changers

OpenBionics

Pathfinder

BuzzClip

Tact-Tiles

Sunu Band

SixthSense

SignLanguageGlove

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For Our Furry Friends

TailTalk

Buddy Collar

Talking Bluetooth Dog Collar

Disco Dog

As You Sleep

Silent Partner

Napz

Pillow Talk

REMzen

Young Makers

O Watch

Jewelbots

TinyScreen Necklace

Gemio

Bright Ideas

EasyJet Uniforms

Zac Posen Made With Code Dress

BLINKY.SHOES

Firewalker 2.0 Sneakers

Orphe

SMSsenger Bag

CAT Clutch

Anthrolume Trench Coat

Glowing LED Snow Fairy Dress

LED Matrix Bluetooth Snowflake Sweater

Wacky Yet Wonderful

Netflix Socks

JöLLY Tracker

Running Christmas Tree

The Toothbrush Machine

Wearable LEGO Exoskeleton

AJAX Exosuit

Belty Smart Belt

Auto-Drying Jacket

Self-Lacing Nike Mags

Environment Dress

Wearable Beacon

VIDEOBLΛST_R

Personal Space Defense System

FNIE0ROIDU2O0SH.LARGE

Subway Dress

#CHOOSE

Spring Hoodie

Geeky Timepieces

Apple II Watch

DECKO

The Nerd Watch

NerdWatch

Enigma Machine Wristwatch

Homemade Arduino Pedometer Watch

Supercapacitor LED Watch

TinysIt

Watchduino 2

Eyewear

Macetech LED Shades

Pedosa Glass

#Ravespecs

This running Christmas tree is spreading holiday cheer in Tokyo


“An Uber for illuminations.” 


A British inventor living in Japan has decided to spread Christmas cheer in a rather unusual way this year. Dressed up as a Christmas tree, complete with flashing lights and decorations, Joseph Tame is turning more than just a couple heads throughout Tokyo’s streets, sidewalks, stores, train stations, and even in the back of its pulled rickshaws.

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The aptly named Running Christmas Tree costume consists of an aluminum frame wrapped with a pair of backpacks, each stuffed with branches from two fake trees. The attention-grabbing getup — which took two months to build — is equipped with 99 batteries, 1,500 LEDs, 100 feet of wiring, nine microcontrollers (a combination of Arduino and Raspberry Pis), three onboard cameras, as well as a built-in library of 153 Christmas songs. From the looks of the video below, he is even wearing some slick Adafruit Firewalker-like kicks.

Tame says he is taking bookings for personal appearances in the suit, which he is billing as an “Uber for illuminations.”

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“The tree is available on-demand via your smartphone using the links below, and from Dec 26th 2015 via our new iOS app. The tree can come to you wherever you are in the world, but please note that depending on your location it may take a bit of time to reach you; with a combined weight of 93kg (68kg of Joseph + 25kg of Tree) it is currently too heavy for delivery by drone, and is not yet available from Amazon Prime due to there only being one of him,” its creator explains.

See the costume in action below!

Gemio is giving friendship bracelets an IoT makeover


This piece of smart jewelry combines self-expression with the ability to connect with friends in-person.


Friendship bracelets first emerged on the wearable scene in the 1970s, and have remained pretty much the same ever since. In order to evolve with the times, one Seattle startup has unveiled more intelligent and interchangeable jewelry for today’s tech-hungry and fashion-savvy world.

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Whereas most wearable devices have a uniform appearance, Gemio boasts modular Gemsets that can be snapped on and off with ease. These Gemsets can be programmed with various light and special effects from a palette of colors, so you can create an entirely new look each and every day. You can even swap out designs in a matter of seconds via its accompanying mobile app.

Crafted with a social component in mind, Gemio is the first wearable to focus on connecting people rather than the gadgets themselves. The bracelet employs much of the technology commonly found in existing trackers and smartwatches, such as Bluetooth, an accelerometer, a gyroscope and 20 LEDs, but applies them in a different manner.

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Using BLE connectivity and a mesh network, wearers are able to sync their Gemios through gestures like high-fives and handshakes. Once paired, the bands alert its user to their friends’ proximity through the detachable Gemsets. The unit not only recognizes who you’re with and responds to what you are doing, it also illuminates when your friends are nearby, playing a signature “light tone.” (Think of it as a personalized ringtone, but in lights.)

What’s more, the responsive bracelet can detect various gestures and allows users to assign light effects to them. For example, wave hello and Gemio plays a light show, or twist your wrist to make it sparkle.

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The startup was founded in 2014, with some of its earliest backers including Tricia Black, the first vice president of sales at Facebook. Gemio joins the likes of JewelBots and several others in developing wearable products that appeal to girls with hopes of enticing more to pursue STEM-related disciplines.

Hands full? KickSoul lets you answer calls with your feet


KickSoul is an embedded insole that maps natural feet movements into inputs for digital devices.


Have you ever tried to answer a call, respond to a text or look something up on your phone when your hands are full? Thanks to a team of MIT Media Lab researchers, you can try using your feet instead. Introducing KickSoul — an insole that simply slips inside of your shoe and enables you to wirelessly control your mobile devices and appliances with a flick of your foot.

Gesture

“Most of [today’s] devices have visual interfaces that rely on hand gestures and touch interaction, as they are easy and natural for us. However, there are occasions when our hands are busy or it is not acceptable to make use of them, preventing us from interacting with our devices,” the group led by Xavier Benavides writes.

To bring their idea to life, the Media Lab crew sewed several electronic components onto a spongy insole. These included an accelerometer and a gyroscope to track motion, an ATmega328 to help collect data and a Bluetooth module for wireless communication. The six-axis IMU registers the movements and transmits them to the MCU. From there, the information is analyzed by a special algorithm and relayed to an accompanying mobile app.

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The system supports two types of interactions: pushing an imaginary object away with your foot and pulling one closer. The idea is that, with just these two simple foot movements, you can scroll, zoom in and out on a document, turn on a light, accept or reject a phone call, and save or delete a file. Whenever either gesture is detected, KickSoul will search for the nearest compatible device and determine which one the user wants to operate.

“Most of these interactions are short in time and not very complex. As a consequence, feet become a suitable substitute or complement to hands, as they tend to be free when our hands are not,” the researchers conclude.

Intrigued? Check out the project’s official paper here, and see it in action below.

EasyJet staff to sport new smart LED-laden uniforms


Wearable tech, you are now ready for takeoff.


To celebrate its 20th year in operation, European airline EasyJet recently unveiled a first-of-its kind uniform for both cabin crew and aircraft engineers. Not only does the new getup boast a futuristic look, it incorporates wearable technology to enhance communication and passenger safety procedures. (Bet now you’ll pay attention!)

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Unlike other airlines who simply continue to adapt to the latest trends in fashion, EasyJet has decided to take it up a notch. The next-gen uniforms, which were designed in collaboration with London-based fashion house CuteCircuit, are equipped with several LEDs for increased visibility and built-in microphones so that engineers, crew and pilots can all talk to one another.

easyJet wearable tech 3 (photo Nathan Gallagher 3)

The cabin crew outfits feature LEDs on the shoulders and hems to provide additional lighting in the event of an emergency, and on the jacket lapels to display important information like flight numbers and destinations (in case you forget where you’re going?).

Meanwhile, the engineers’ jackets will come with light-up hoods and sleeves that illuminate work areas and keep both hands free for aircraft inspections and maintenance, along with reflective laser-cut decorations to aid visibility on the air field and built-in video cameras for remote diagnose of technical issues. Aside from that, the garment will be embedded with an air quality sensor and barometer to help monitor work environments and create a map of air quality in different cities.

EASYJET 20th ANNIVERSARY NEW FUTURE TECH SUITS UNVEILED

If CuteCircuit sounds familiar, that’s because you may recall the wearable tech pioneers from some of their previous work which includes LED-laden dresses for celebs like Katy Perry and Nicole Scherzinger as well as tshirtOS — the world’s first programmable t-shirt.

EasyJet will begin a pilot (no pun intend) of the uniforms early next year.