In the event you weren’t able to make it to Wearable World Congress in San Francisco this past week, fret not, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled five interesting topics you ought to catch-up on if you want to have intelligent dinner party conversation this weekend (Assuming you’re dining with fellow wearable tech fanatics. If not, we apologize in advance to your companions…).
Anybody living in an urban area can attest to the trials and tribulations involved in the hunt for a parking space. VoicePark (very ambitiously) seeks to end this dilemma by installing infrared parking-space sensors in every potential street parking spot in a given city to let you know of an upcoming open spot. Better yet, it tracks how long cars on the street have already been parked to best predict when they will be leaving. Fat chance any city government will approve and install the (environmentally friendly!) technology, but here’s to dreaming.
Despite the fact that it only took the Pebble Time a record 20 minutes to hit its Kickstarter goal of $500,000 and an additional 14 minutes to double that goal, the company is allegedly experiencing a bout of financial stress. Considering the company’s main competitor is now Apple, it ought not be surprising that the smartwatch innovators needed to borrow a $5 million loan and additional $5 million credit line.
“We’re a young company. The outlook for Pebble is very positive,” commented an anonymous employee. That sentiment was echoed by CEO Eric Migicovsky during his speech when he noted, “We’re focused on keeping is simple, affordable and useful. Google has put forth a dozen different watches. Apple has put forth a high fashion watch and this is great.”
He added a piece of advice to both companies: Jeep your platforms open or risk crushing innovation. We’re with ya, Eric.
The world’s first 3D pen with cool (both meanings) ink has arrived. Not only can you draw in the palm of your hand, you can smell watermelon while you do it, have it change color, or even glow in the dark.
Drawback? The pen itself is $119 and the ink averages to about 15 cents a foot, pretty pricey if you are planning on creating a Hello Kitty figurine. Not sure there are any (other) practical applications for the gadget, but it is certainly a cool toy.
Ladies in wearable tech
It’s no secret that women are largely underrepresented in the technological realm. But might the advent of wearables be the turning point? Intel executive Ayse Ildeniz seems to think so. Since a wearable gadget is in a sense an extension of oneself (much like clothes, accessories, etc.), the female point of view becomes paramount.
“For women, it’s probably much more important as compared to a man — in the sense that they’d like to carry things that they identify themselves with, that they are proud to wear and that they think are beautiful things,” said Ildeniz. Other trailblazing ladies at the conference include Stephanie Wyper VP at MasterCard Start Path and Flextronics exec Jeannine Sargent, who had some advice of her own for tech entrepreneurs.
IoT and wearables startups garner support from Akamai, WWL
Akamai Technologies announced that it will offer complementary Content Delivery Network (CDN) services to any startups participating in the Wearable World Labs program, a self-proclaimed “incubator” and “accelerator” for entrepreneurs focused on wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT).
In English? Akamai will allow these startups to use their powerful cloud platform as long as they attend WWL classes, consisting of a 3-month program in Silicon Valley designed to bestow tech knowledge on attendees in exchange for a 1-3 percent stake in their company.
It’s always nice to see larger companies supporting startups and just goes to show you that wearables are not going anywhere anytime soon.