wearable-technologies

4

Nirvware ‘Cyberdesk’ Headwear & Wrist Computer - Lisa Krohn (1993)

“Lisa Krohn has really embraced the — probably revolting — idea of the computer as an extension of the body.“ This concept incorporates video camera and sound amplification technology, telecommunications and micro-processing within a single system operated by a mouse worn on the chest, and viewed via retinal scanning. The idea is to "extend” the wearer’s powers of sight, hearing and voice, allowing him or her to make telephone or video calls and providing access to various databases. Composed of a network of electronic parts connected by a fiber-optic grid and set in elastomeric polyurethane mucus, the system would run on nickel metal hydride cells charged by body heat and ambient light via photovoltaic cells. Jurors concurred that technology for such a product may well be feasible in the near future.” 

From I.D. Magazine (1993)

Flexible and biodegradable semiconductor for electronics

Credit: Bao lab

A new semiconductor developed by researchers at Stanford University, USA, is as flexible as skin and easily degradable and is hoped to tackle electronic waste.

The team developed a semiconductor polymer that can decompose by adding a weak acid-based vinegar, a degradable electronic circuit and a biodegradable substrate material for mounting the electrical components. This substrate supports the electrical components, flexing and molding to rough and smooth surfaces. When the electronic device is no longer needed it can biodegrade into non-toxic components.

The substrate carries the electronic circuit and the polymer from cellulose fibres to make the material transparent and flexible, while still breaking down easily. The thin film substrate allows the electronics to be worn on the skin or implanted inside the body.

The electronic device could be used in wearable electronics and large-scale environmental surveys with sensor dusts. ‘We envision these soft patches that are very thin and conformable to the skin can measure blood pressure, glucose value, sweat content. A person could wear a specifically designed patch for a day or week, then download the data. According to Bao, this short-term use of disposable electronics seems a perfect fit for a degradable, flexible design,’ said Stanford engineer Zhenan Bao. 

Although the polymer was found to be biocompatible, Bao said that more studies would need to be done before these implants are used.

Diabetic sweatbox

A wearable device that monitors compounds in your sweat for up to a week could help in the early detection of diabetes, according to the University of Texas, USA, research team.

The wearable device, pictured above, can detect cortisol, glucose and interleukin-6 – interconnected compounds linked to diabetes – in perspired sweat. ‘If a person has chronic stress, their cortisol levels increase, and their resulting insulin resistance will gradually drive their glucose levels out of the normal range. At that point, one could become pre-diabetic, which can progress to type 2 diabetes,’ said Dr Shalini Prasad, Professor of Bioengineering.

Not only is the Texas team’s device functional for one week without loss of signal integrity, it requires a far smaller degree of sweat – one to three microlitres, rather than 25 to 50 – to be effective. Prasad said, ‘We spent three years producing that evidence. At those low volumes, the biomolecules expressed are meaningful. We can do these three measurements in a continuous manner with that little sweat.’

The team’s paper, A new paradigm in sweat based wearable diagnostics biosensors using Room Temperature Ionic Liquids (RTILs), can be read on Nature.

Let me tell you a story

Of a society where child education is entirely centered around the child’s fighting ability. This system is so profoundly influential that the entire economy and culture of this world revolves utterly around their battles.

The children who are the most skilled at fighting are rewarded with advanced wearable technology that has transformative powers and greatly enhances their battling ability.

The children who fail to excel under this system are denied all wearable tech and are highly disadvantaged due to it. Some try to rebel against this established order, but they always fail and are largely seen as complete jokes.

But pulling the strings on this society from afar is an elegant yet ominous woman, cloaked in white, obsessed with beauty. She has excellent standing and influence over the outside world, but also has many dark secrets hidden from the public.

She has exactly 2 children, whom she claims to care for but will instantly disown the moment they disobey her. Being able to micromanage the clothes they wear is of particular importance to her, although only 1 child actually keeps the white uniform she forces onto them (the other wears a highly symbolic and rebellious black).

Her single-minded obsession with beauty runs so deep that she aspires to bring a higher, more beautiful lifeform to her world- aliens, in fact. The aliens are dangerous and bringing them to her world threatens the safety of humanity, but she is too far gone to care.

And she’s not just exposing her world to the threat- she’s straight up using innocent lives as a direct sacrifice in order to summon the aliens in the first place.

Now it’s up to her 2 children (along with the help of the many friends they’ve made along the way) to prevent the alien attack and save the world! All in an incredibly dramatic anime fashion, of course.

4

New merchandise featuring Kylo Ren ahead of Force Friday II release:

  • Star Wars Elite Series Die Cast Action Figures: Star Wars Elite Series Die Cast Action Figures inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Available exclusively at Disney Store, DisneyStore.com, and Disney Parks.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi Shirts: Available at various retailers.
  • Itty Bitty Plush: Availiable at Hallmark.
  • Star Wars Force Link Starter Set: Bring the galaxy to life with Force Link! Recreate the adventures of a galaxy far, far away with Force Link, a new interactive play system from Hasbro that gives kids the sound effects and phrases from the Star Wars movies right in the palms of their hands! Wear Force Link wearable technology to activate lights, sounds, and phrases in Force Link-activated figures, accessories, vehicles, and playsets! With Force Link, kids can bring some of their favorite Star Wars adventures to life! When kids wear the included Force Link wearable technology and pick up the included 3.75-inch scale Kylo Ren figure, they can activate authentic sounds and phrases! Kids can imagine sending Kylo Ren into fiery battle with the included Lightsaber accessory, and imagine recreating their favorite scenes and adventures from Star Wars.
Research leads to a golden discovery for wearable technology

Some day, your smartphone might completely conform to your wrist, and when it does, it might be covered in pure gold, thanks to researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Writing in the March 17 issue of the journal Science, the Missouri S&T researchers say they have developed a way to “grow” thin layers of gold on single crystal wafers of silicon, remove the gold foils, and use them as substrates on which to grow other electronic materials.

Keep reading

The ‘flexible’ tracker

Information is transmitted to a mobile application. Credit: Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology.

Tracking health information has become a significant trend over the last few years. However, researchers now believe they have taken it to the next level.

A team from South Korea’s Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology – led by Kyung-In Jang, professor of robotics engineering ¬– worked with John Rogers, director of Northwestern University’s Centre for Bio-Integrated Electronics, USA, on a device that can fit onto a silicone disc of 4cm in diameter.

Researchers claim it is flexible enough to be placed almost anywhere on the body. The microsystem, which incorporates 50 components connected by a network of 250 wire coils embedded in the silicone, tracks heart rate, respiration and muscle movement, as well information about the eyes and brain. This information is wirelessly transmitted to an app on a smartphone.

Professor Jang commented ‘Combining big data and artificial intelligence technologies, the wireless biosensors can be developed into an entire medical system which allows portable access to [the] collection, storage, and analysis of health signals and information.’

The microsystem could, according to researchers, also be used for soft robotics or autonomous navigation.

‘We will continue further studies to develop electronic skins which can support interactive telemedicine and treatment systems for patients in blind areas for medical services, such as rural houses in [a] mountain village,’ Jang added.

Transhumanists tend to talk about how technology will create additional abilities for humans, but what I really want to hear about is how technology will become invaluable to disabled folks and the disenfranchised.

Autistic people sensitive to sound with cochlear implants where they can control sound dampening in different environments. People with muscular dystrophy equipped with exoskeletons. People with PTSD creating customized augmented reality overlays which warn them of possible triggers. People with low incomes 3D printing tools and technology on the cheap….

That’s what I want popularized in the future. Not businessmen being marketed to for wearable computers.

The Google Glass of Helmets Wins at SXSW 

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.

Keep reading