This week in wearables: Google Glass, the Moto Hint 2, and a microchip to save life
Aug24

This week in wearables: Google Glass, the Moto Hint 2, and a microchip to save life

In the ever-evolving world of wearables, companies are making some serious power moves in order to keep up. Check out the biggest headlines from the week, as well as some announcements you might have missed. 1. Google Glass is being resurrected from the dead. After a brief stint in the public eye, the tech titan pulled the device in January, leaving many wondering what would happen to such an innovative idea. But most won’t be getting their hands on this new model. Google is planning to redesign the gadget to meet the needs of the workplace, not those of the average consumer. 2. If you weren’t early to the Pebble party, the long-awaited Pebble Time is now available to the public for purchase. The company hit a few snags in production, but it continues to work rapidly to fulfill the 78,000 pre-orders they received from their Kickstarter campaign. If you weren’t a Kickstarter backer, you can find them on big box stores like Amazon — or you can register for the Wearables.com Pebble Time giveaway, and win one for free! 3. Earlier this week, Motorola released the 2nd-gen Moto Hint. The first edition of this bluetooth headset fell flat right out of the gate, so it was no wonder that Motorola brought about some serious upgrades. With better audio, voice controls, and a 70 percent increase in battery life, the Moto Hint 2 has become a serious bluetooth contender in the hearables market. 4. Your dream of becoming Ironman is much closer to reality than you think. Panasonic recently announced the anticipated sales of exoskeletons that will essentially be robotic suits intended to help factory works lift and carry heavy objects. Panasonic spokesperson Mio Yamanaka believes that these “power-assist suits, will be widely used in people’s lives in 15 years.” 5. The Finnish tech powerhouse, Nokia, just might be unveiling a new VR project soon. A company event set for July 28 has many believing that the announcement of a virtual reality device will be the main attraction. Although details remain under wraps, we’ll just have to wait until next week to see how the VR world will fare. 6. NASA’s Adrian Tang and M.C. Frank Chang at the University of California, Los Angeles, have created a new microchip that aims to save the battery life of your wearables. To make a long story short, the chips will reflect wireless signals instead of using regular transmitters and receivers, essentially processing information three times faster than Wifi. This small change could mean faster, stronger devices for everyone in the near...

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The 5 most powerful people in wearables to watch this June
Jun04

The 5 most powerful people in wearables to watch this June

Editor’s note: In this new column, we will watch and report on who is making major moves and/or waves in the wearables industry. Check back at the beginning of each month to see the individuals who are directly impacting and shaping our collective future. From the hands weaving the best looking “smart jeans” you’ve ever seen to the masterminds measuring the extent of damage to professional athletes’ brains, below are the 5 people to watch in June.  Ivan Poupyrev, Technical Program Lead at Google ATAP + Founder of Project Jacquard In founding Google’s brilliant new endeavor Project Jacquard, Poupyrev has created the first gesture-interactive wearable technology. The conductive Jacquard thread can be woven into any cloth and can be used in any existing loom, giving it enormous versatility. The coolest part about it though is that when coupled with a small Bluetooth device, any article of clothing can be paired with any device to operate like a touch screen. Cooler still is the announcement of a partnership with Levi Strauss, with products set to roll out next year.   Jesse Harper, CEO of Biometrics i1 Biometrics first sprung onto the wearables circuit last fall when the company partnered with LSU in a program that equipped football players with the Vector mouthguard (pictured in featured image). Armed with a microchip, accelerometer, gyroscope, battery, and antenna, the device sent real-time data to the athletes’ trainers regarding the location and severity of impact to their players’ heads. At the beginning of June, i1 Biometrics acquired Shockbox, a helmet based technology that sends immediate smartphone alerts in the event of a dangerous head impact. We are interested to see how this revolutionary technology will integrate with professional sports, as well as mainstream consumers and athletes. Denise Gershbein, Executive Creative Director at design firm frog Frog design is far from unknown in the realm of industrial design, software, and brand management, so it should come as no surprise that the global company is venturing into the developing world of wearables. What is so special about this foray into the industry, however, is that it comes as a partnership with UNICEF by the name of Wearables for Good — a competition for a wearable (and simple!) device that somehow greatly improves the lives of people in developing countries. “We really should be looking beyond the walls of the Valley out to other use cases, whether it’s across the U.S. or across the world,” says Gershbein told Fast Company. “I think we also should be getting designers, researchers, anthropologists, and social impact folks all together to share use cases.” We’re with you, Denise. It’s a breath of fresh air to see a kingpin company embarking on a philanthropic pursuit.   Fritz Lanman, Executive Chairman at Doppler...

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