What’s the Latest in Wearable Technology?
Wearables could be one among the most revolutionizing forms of technology for 2018 and beyond. It’s predicted that wearable devices will capture a market size of $100 billion by the year 2023. Wearables will advance a lot of new developments including being able to stay connected.
Let’s the see the latest developments in the field today.
Amazon’s foray into the wearable market
With Amazon already having entered the consumer automation industry with Amazon echo and with peers like Apple and Google establishing themselves as players in wearable glasses, Amazon is set to make its mark in the industry.
The glasses are primarily intended to use together with the Alexa voice assistant along with a security camera that would be linked to Amazon echo connected devices expanding Alexa’s reach throughout the home.
The glasses would power an earbuds free experience for Amazon Alexa, by using a bone conduction audio system so that the user hears Alexa without using a headset.
Again this being done to offset the disadvantage that Amazon inherently suffers from. Both Google and Apple who made their foray into voice recognition have hardware devices like Android powered phones and Apple’s iphones respectively. So, voice AI integration into smartphones gives them a vast and ready customer base.
What Amazon has is its home devices that have been a minor success and hence the retail giant starts there. With glasses, users can call Alexa from anywhere in the home and adds convenience to the box.
MIT’s Wearable Lab
MIT has regularly been at the forefront of wearable technology. One such startup that began as project at the institute is now manufacturing devices that literally measure emotions.
The emotion sensor is based on the fact that we experience diverse emotions in response to products and experiences. We’re overwhelmed by choice and can’t resist loving a few brands. School children can be excited or bored about subjects.
Wearable sensors measure analytics to help understand the exact moments of these responses and find their real triggers. Such market research would be beneficial for companies to say limit choice and work on existing products to make them better.
The company mPath which is an MIT Media Lab spin out manufactures stress sensors that are capable of doing that.
CEO Elliot Hedman, says, “Right now, companies struggle to understand their customers’ emotional needs or wants. But if we listen a little to consumer emotions, there’s a lot of room for innovation.”
These wearable sensors to measure, track and analyze how product engagement works. One of their newest works is a project to discover ways to encourage reading in children.
How does it work?
The sensors are placed on the wrist where it wirelessly measures and tracks any changes in electrical activity across the subcutaneous region. Changes in electrical activity are due to activity in the sympathetic nervous system activity and physiological arousal.
Spikes in electrical activity can mean heightened stress signalling increased frustration or displeasure. Dips in electrical activity could be indicative of disinterest or boredom.
After the measurements each participant is interviewed and asked what they think they felt.
The addition of interview gives interesting insights and builds a complete emotional profile tapping into what drives our behaviors. This emotyping as it’s called gives the complete story about the participant.
Their roster of clients include LEGO Group children’s toy manufacturer, Google the search engine giant, The Blue Man Group, Lowe’s, Hasbro, and Best Buy, governments and hospitals. Their latest project is helping boys and girls read better by discovering ways to encourage the habit of reading.
Self Powered Watches
Watches that run on batteries are old news
Matrix Industries, Swings, LunaR and similar startups are working on a solution that would power your watch either from the heat emanating from your body or from solar power. This will help the watch run longer and independently of any battery.
An almost real-life coach by LifeBeam
In funding LifeBeam raised around $1.7 million to fund its Vi headphones. This provides the wearer with a fitness coach who looks real, measures your heart rate data and more.
The LifeBeam Vi headsets can listen to you and talk back to you providing inputs and feedback from your exercise routine. You can set goals and the Vi would speak to you on how close you’re to achieving them.
How does it work?
The first thing you need is a smartphone which can either be Android or iPhone. The phone has to have biosensors that can track biometrics like heart rate, posture, calorie burning, speed at which you’re running, distance— you get the idea. The output from the sensors is fedback to Vi and it becomes a real life coach. The earbuds can also connect with apps like Google fit to track your physical activity. Consider it the SIRI for physical fitness.
Developments are going on to add voice recognition too. When that happens you will be able to converse back
So what do you think of the world where wearable technology is taking us? Will our future begin to see advances not seen and felt before or will wearable tech be a cuckoo?
Author Bio: George is a versatile tech blogger who loves blogging about everything in tech.
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