Designed a few years ago by Korean designer Jeong Yong,
it is the concept of a scanner reader for blind people. The idea was to
allow people to read non-Braille books and to avoid the costs of a
normal desktop scanner.
SXSW’s sixth annual accelerator pitch event wrapped up on Sunday with over 500 companies applied, 18 finalists and 6 winners. Taking home the big win in the Wearables category this year was the Google Glass for motorcyclists, the Skully Helmet.
Engineers have taken another step forward in the quest for wearable, wireless biosensors. This time, a team has assembled miniature sensors, circuits and radios suspended in fluids that act as a wearable, flexible electrocardiogram.
The device, reported on April 4 in the journal Science, is significantly more than a heart-rate monitor users strap on before a jog. It isn’t much thicker than a quarter or bigger than a stamp, yet it opens the door to wirelessly transmitting hospital-quality data after a patient leaves a clinic.
That’s the idea behind a demonstration by John Rogers, a stretchable electronics pioneer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, whose lab created a stretchy skin patch that uses light pulses to monitor heart rate or sun exposure.
But the gadget doesn’t have a battery. Instead, it’s powered by a cell phone or tablet that’s equipped with a near-field communications (NFC) chip, the kind that’s used in apps like Apple Pay or for sharing photos between phones.
Ref: Battery-free, stretchable optoelectronic systems for wireless optical characterization of the skin. Science Advances (3 August 2016) | DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600418
Recent advances in materials, mechanics, and electronic device design are rapidly establishing the foundations for health monitoring technologies that have “skin-like” properties, with options in chronic (weeks) integration with the epidermis. The resulting capabilities in physiological sensing greatly exceed those possible with conventional hard electronic systems, such as those found in wrist-mounted wearables, because of the intimate skin interface. However, most examples of such emerging classes of devices require batteries and/or hard-wired connections to enable operation. The work reported here introduces active optoelectronic systems that function without batteries and in an entirely wireless mode, with examples in thin, stretchable platforms designed for multiwavelength optical characterization of the skin. Magnetic inductive coupling and near-field communication (NFC) schemes deliver power to multicolored light-emitting diodes and extract digital data from integrated photodetectors in ways that are compatible with standard NFC-enabled platforms, such as smartphones and tablet computers. Examples in the monitoring of heart rate and temporal dynamics of arterial blood flow, in quantifying tissue oxygenation and ultraviolet dosimetry, and in performing four-color spectroscopic evaluation of the skin demonstrate the versatility of these concepts. The results have potential relevance in both hospital care and at-home diagnostics.
Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition now available for pre-order
Get your own Pip-Boy along with Fallout 4 with the super duper Pip-Boy Edition. This thing is gonna go fast as hell. The wearable device comes with a companion app that’ll be available on Android and iOS and let you actually mess with your own Pip-Boy in the game. Sure, it’s silly but who the hell cares. It will set you back $120. It’s available for pre-order fromAmazon now.
FingerReader is a wearable ring that scans written text and reads it out loud to visually impaired readers.
The prototype is created by MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group. As readers trace lines of text with their finger, the camera determines the words on the page and translates the text to speech to recite each word out loud to the reader. The ring will vibrate if the user’s finger starts to shift off the correct line of text, or if they’ve reached the end of the line.
When moving to a new line, the device compares the words it’s already processed to make sure it doesn’t repeat a piece of text.
While only in the prototype stage, if successful, this piece of wearable tech could render braille books obsolete. What other types of technology have you see that help those with disabilities?
If you can’t make it to the Wearable Expo happening in Tokyo, these are what you can expect to find: smartglasses, fitness trackers, smartwatches, health monitors and even pet communication devices.
Consumer-electronics companies are turning out wearable gadgets that anyone can buy — and increasingly on the cheap. Health and fitness devices are expected to dominate this market in the next few years.
On second thoughts, would you really want to know what your cat thinks?
Self-Powered: Speculating the Future of Energy-Harvesting Wearables
Taking a cue from both our current obsession with wearables and an increasing anxiety about the future of energy, industrial designer Naomi Kizhner imagined devices that would harvest energy from our own bodies. For her final project, Energy Addicts, at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Academic College Kizhner created a theoretical line of wearables that would store the energy produced by blinks, blood flow, and synaptic pulses from the brain. A video shows how these devices might be used in a fictive, vaguely apocalyptic near future. In one scene, a woman puffs vigorously on a cigarette to raise her blood pressure as a wrist-mounted gadget containing a hydraulic turbine of gold—one of the best conductors—powers what appears to be a ubiquitous energy grid. “I wanted the project to provoke a debate,” Kizhner says. “Technically, there are developments today that can make these devices real, but theoretically speaking, I don’t know if we’re willing to sacrifice our bodies this way to make energy. It kind of dehumanizes us–it uses the body as a vessel.” On the other hand, the notion that we might all contribute—literally and viscerally—to our global energy store appears as a powerful and moving alternative to our current state, in which those who reap the benefits of energy are often not those tasked with creating it.
With trends in wearable technology expected to increase in
the next few years, it is no surprise we are seeing more inventive ways to
incorporate technology into our clothes and accessories.
Oyster card nails
have been made into a legitimate piece of wearable technology. Lucie Davis, a
student from Central Saint Martins in London has invented a set of press-on
nails that double up as a Transport for London (TFL) Oyster card, enabling you to quite literally
touch in and out of the tube.
Davis took the radio-frequency identification tag from an
Oyster card and incorporated it into a set of false acrylic nails. Davis told
WAH Nails, ‘I took the RFID chip from an Oyster card and embedded it within a
full set of acrylic nails to give commuters the ability to pay for their
journeys with a single tap or touch.’
Davis is now believed to be in talks with TFL about
producing them on a bigger scale. The nails were created as part of Davis’ BA
in Jewellery Design to be showcased at the end of the year.
Now all I am thinking is, could we see electronic tap nails
applied to bankcards as well? Only time will tell…
Read more about the latest trends in wearable technology
It wouldn’t be another year without another round of rumours for the much coveted yet never confirmed iWatch. Apple has yet to get into the wearable tech space despite the fact that HTC, Acer and Asus have confirmed they will be joining Sony, Samsung and Google in tech that people wear. But that hasn’t stopped the internet from surmising what the iWatch could be all about. Here are some of the latest rumours floating around about Apple’s possible next big thing.