All Posts in wearable technology

January 8, 2014Published by: Anton Perreau

Make Your Own Wearable Tech

Image from WaRP

If 2014 is arguably hailed as 'the year of wearable tech' then bringing wearable tech to the masses is the obvious next step. Some of the biggest names in tech have been launching wearable technology products for years; even now we see Garmin producing their own fitness band. But now Freescale Semiconductor has launched the WaRP development kit which lets people create and test their own wearable technology: from glasses to smart watches fitness monitors and more besides.

The device, aimed at the 'maker' generation of those who would rather do it themselves is 'like a miniature version of the Raspberry Pi, an uncased Linux-based computer the size of a credit card' as PCWorld Magazine explains. Despite being about five times the price of the Raspberry Pi it has a few more features, however lacking in Zigbee support. In contrast to the Raspberry Pi, the WaRP is designed to create lightweight devices that require little power but wireless connectivity - wearable tech.

You can read more about WaRP at PCWorld: 'Freescale wants to kickstart DIY wearables with new Warp development kit'

October 20, 2013Published by: Fereshta Amir

Soon you’ll be able to ‘like’ real world objects with Google Glass

glass

When we say Google Glass, you say...? There are mixed reactions to this wearable technology device as it is one of the most talked about and hotly anticipated gadgets of the year. The plans for the most recent update is what got us talking: the Google patent that lets Glass wearers "like" real life objects with a heart-shaped hand gesture:

Google Glass like

These patents aren't necessarily proof that Google intends to roll out this feature, but it shows that the company is experimenting with new ways of controlling Glass that move beyond voice commands, head gestures and the device's swipe bar.

Similar to the 'like' button on Facebook, the Glass user would be able to frame real-world objects with a heart-shaped hand gesture and using its built-in camera, the wearable device would then analyse the framed content and intelligently ‘like’ the highlighted object or location. Google said that the update would also include other gestures including forming a right angle with your thumb and index finger or moving your hand in the shape of a closed loop.

The possibilities for brands could be endless with this feature if we were to future-gaze, but for now all one can do is wait and see whether Google will actually roll this out...


July 17, 2013Published by: Fereshta Amir

Next step: wearable technology for pets

FIDO project

We're only just starting to see early adopters of wearable technology wandering the streets with their Pebble smart watch or Jawbone Up on the wrist and Google Glass on the head. We know that wearable technology is amazing and in the future we'll see it being used for animals, plants and even vehicles. Who's to say that one day you couldn't put a piece of wearable tech on your pet fish to find whether the pH level of the water is right.

We're now seeing wearable technology filter down to animals, as humans and their companions alike can benefit from wearable devices. Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a wearable canine computer that could allow dogs to send messages to handlers. This project, Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations (FIDO), is the brainchild of Thad Starner, the original technical lead of Google Glass.

FIDO works like this: the dog activates a sensor on its vest or collar to transmit a verbal command that the handler hears through an earpiece and view on a head-mounted display similar to Google Glass. Not only could this help disabled people navigate more effectively, FIDO could enable bomb-sniffing dogs to communicate with their handlers remotely and rescue dogs could alert a human team when they've found an injured person. The possibilities are endless! There will be a trial of FIDO of which results will presented at the International Semantic Web Conference in October.

Wearable technology products for animals have been around for a while. Luda offers monitoring products for horses and cows, including horseAlarm, which can monitor wellbeing by analysing sweating and how often the horse is lying down. Another one is an electronic dog collar monitoring your dog's wellbeing by Bio-sense Technologies.

We think that Google Glass is just the beginning for humans, as FIDO is only a starting point for wearable tech for animals, so watch this space!