Trends in Wearable Tech

Donna Franklin: ‘Fiber Reactive Dress’ (2004)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donna Franklin has created a living dress that you grow and is made from orange bracket fungi from Australia. It is completely organic and has multi-sensory  qualities such as a scent. However, when its dry it becomes a cotton like cellules. This dress is often considered a second skin, but this dress is alive and it grows, it forms itself without a single stitch through biosynthesis, as opposed to hardwired technology.

It begs the question, while wearing this dress, who is more alive? Both the dress and the person are different types of organisms.

 

Jenny Tillotson: Smart Second Skin Dress (2004)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The outfit has its own circulatory system, equipped with sensors, and can emit chemical messages or aromas. It is designed to be a kind of self medicating or self therapeutic interpretation of a dress, while it has the ability to sense skin tempurature and heart rate. In a sense, it has its own artificial nervous system that is based on the delivery system of animals and insects.

There is a sense that the dress addresses your emotional states, as it is mood enhancer/inhibiter. The dress attends to your emotional well-being and supports you in being relaxed. There are potential problems behind this however, where there is fear that the human body may become dependent on these artificial sensory methodologies that essentially are designed to keep you in a constant state of well being; where our own senses are being informed false information from what is actually happening around us.

Humour in the Ineffectiveness of Wearables

One of my favourite tv shows is The Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!

They created this company that creates products such as the following.  Some of these are gross.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

http://video.tvguide.com/Tim+and+Eric+Awesome+Show+Great+Job!/Cinco+Privacy+Helmet/5172412

 

The notion of a company producing wearables in a consumer society is what this is invoking I suppose.  There are so many horrible products and the notion of wearable technology certainly gives another opportunity for companies to make bad products that don’t really work or do but the general idea of it is bad to just make money.

 

Trends

1. Health

a.Printing organs and bones

http://www.fashioningtech.com/profiles/blogs/the-fabbed-body-printing-organs-and-bones

In the near future , 3D printers may have the capability to print replacement organs and bones with materials populated with the patient’s own cells.

b. Zeo Sleep Manager

http://www.electricfoxy.com/2011/12/wearable-bio-metric-accessories-for-health/

a wearable accessory and smartphone app that tracks and improves the quality of your sleep. The headband tracks your actual sleep stages through the night and how much restorative REM and Deep sleep you actually get.

There are a number of bio-metric accessories for health that are hitting the market these days. The accessories read and collect a variety of different types  of bio-metric data (such as your heart rate, movement, and body heat), connect to your smartphone, and visualize the data through an application that helps you make sense of the data and keeps you on track toward better health.

c. Sonar For The Blind

Guide dogs are great, but vision-impaired people sometimes need to find their own way through complex environments.

2. wearable robot

http://www.gizmag.com/go/1604/picture/1510/

 

scene in Avatar

 

 

The human body is unsurpassed in the complexity of its design, performance and efficiency, but there are definite limitations to what we can achieve with a frame that’s around 6ft high - we can only carry so much weight, jump so far or run so fast before we reach our physical boundary. Machines that overcome these limitations have been with us for centuries, but we are only beginning to explore the possibilities of augmentation - extending our existing capabilities through wearable robot exoskeletons to create superhuman strength, speed and stamina.

 

3. social communication / telepresence

http://epubl.ltu.se/1402-1544/2006/60/LTU-DT-0660-SE.pdf

a.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by enabling a wearable computer user to join the e-corridor, the participants
should be able to experience an encompassing form of telepresence. The remote user should
similarly be able to feel the participants as “being with him”, but not necessarily becoming
immersed in the same way as they are.

b.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

c.

http://www.electricfoxy.com/2011/12/glasses-provide-sound-and-scent/

The glasses communicate with your smartphone via Bluetooth. Once the infrared sensors on the glasses detect somebody else wearing a pair of Sound Perfume goggles nearby, a message containing your name, contact number and your unique sound and smell signatures is sent to that person. In response, the recipient’s phone communicates with his or her glasses, which in turn emit your signature sound and odor.

Trends: Camera, Screen, Game

http://gopro.com/ GoPro has been there for a while, not exactly a new trend, but still just as cool! It’s wearable not only by humans but also machines and animals. iPhone is a portable camera held, GoPro is a portable camera worn, big difference. (So it’s a case of Mobile VS Wearable as Kate mentioned in the first class?)

Interesting these wearable cameras all came up today (i didn’t google wearable camera), so this must be a trend!

Eye Contact Sensing Glasses for Attention-Sensitive Wearable Video Blogging http://youtu.be/_0XkWzczRPo

http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/14/look-youtube-no-hands-looxcie-introduces-wearable-camcorder/

And this one uses a GoPro… http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/17/wearable-augmented-reality-system-to-guide-new-workers-remotely-video/

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Flexibility is a natural property of most things we wear. Imagine what kind of boost and opportunities it will bring to the  field of wearable when the holy screen finally turns flexible, and it surely is. Cool project from Queen’s University http://www.hml.queensu.ca/paperphone

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Game is the best friend of every technology! Also from Human Media Lab at Queen’s University http://youtu.be/G_7i-xGztQc (Wearable games?)

 

Trends in Wearable Tech

Bionics

Wearable augmentations for those living with disabilities are pretty astounding. I found both of these videos inspiring, from high tech MIT labs to collaborative start ups, designers are improving the lives of people with physical impediments.

 

Self Tracking

Gathering data about oneself is increasingly popular. My parents bought my older sister Up by Jawbone for Christmas that uses motion sensors and a vibrating motor to interface with your iphone and help you regulate your sleeping and eating habits. I am interested in these glasses as well that record 720p video and send it via bluetooth to your devices. I wonder if they could live stream. They hit the market soon, and for $199 the investment isn’t crazy. Maybe I will join the life logging team one of these days.

 

RFID Tags

These wearable oyster cards interface with London’s transit system. Radio frequency ID tags are already used extensively in our culture; we have passes to enter our workplaces and apartments and “paypass” credit cards. I am also a big fan of the “Deja Vu Bag” that uses RFID tags to recognize if the wearer is forgetting something. I did some preliminary research into the materials but they were seeming prohibitively expensive to order online. However, I saw RFID stuff on the shelves at creatron this week! Maybe I will experiment with these materials this semester.

Trends in Wearables

Technology is rapidly becoming much smaller, smarter and personal. Emerging technology appears to be straight out of a science fiction movie, promising to connect, enable and change the way we live.

 

This is a Haier Brain Wave controller which allow the user to manipulate the TV using nothing but the power of thought, so far the editors of Engadget finds that instead of controlling a TV, they could only “ try to fly a bird through a maze.” Maybe someday we will be able to control our TV just by thinking of doing so.. without the need for that odd looking headset. That technology could enable peoples with a loss of mobility to be able to interact with things previously difficult or impossible to do so.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/13/haier-brain-wave-tv-mind-on

 

 

Another interesting wearable gadget I’ve found isn’t exactly new or recent now, it is Apple’s 5th Generation Ipod Nano. I find it very interesting that it debuted as a very minimalist mp3 player with a conveniently built in clip that made it very appealing to athletes and those that enjoy exercising. But soon after it released, peoples saw it, and thought, that would make a great watch. And so hundreds of different watch straps were made for the clippable Nano to turn it into a watch, Apple even built in watch faces, and added even more choices in their latest revision of the nano. And suddenly we now have a watch with a LCD screen that plays music, and it didn’t look too bad as a watch either. (Yes there were even more capable watches in the past, but they were actual watches)

 

 

Finally, one of the most popular emerging trend today seems to be with Personal 3D displays, which I’ll use Sony’s HMT-Z1 3D Visor as an example. Sony’s Visors are not meant to be used outdoors but for personal use, at home, though the users can try otherwise. They provide the user with a simulated 750inch 3D screen and surrounded sound, so it’s supposedly like having a private movie theater (I tried one, and couldn’t find any focus options, so anyone wearing glasses with no contacts are apparently not advised to buy one). What I hope this trend moves toward is shrinking the computer down to the point where it can fit into a visor or glasses in a wearable, portable form, I see some crossing of technology yanked from smartphones and Goggles with heads up display  coming together to create portable computer visors.

http://www.tqcast.com/2011/08/30/sonys-3d-visor-to-change-3d-forever-750-inch-screen-mounted-on-your-head/

 

Trends

Throughout the blog posts on wearable technology some trends i found were:

-the ‘quantitative self movement’ that kate mentioned in class. These pieces can be found in a lot of sportswear in order to calculate the wearer’s progress, such as the Nike + 26 which is a shoe containing 26 lights embedded within and for every mile ran one of the lights turn on to give the wearer instant feedback or this bicycle speed vest which illuminates a number on the back of the vest indicating the speed the bicycle is going.

-another trend I found are wearables used to put less strain on the body to prevent one from further injuries such as Honda’s wearable device which is a seat that helps to distribute the wearer’s weight when they are in a bent up position or this wearable back device that helps chronic back pain.

-the last trend I will mention in my post I would like to call the ‘illuminating series’ which entails garments with embedded LEDs to make the wearer stand out. I believe these are the most prominent examples of wearable technology in today’s culture as many popular artists are performing in these garments. Artists such as Will. i.am’s LED jacket or Chris Brown’s light performance.