On January 20th 2012 Adafruit Industries, makers of a plethora of educational electronic kits and parts, announced a brand new arduino-compatible wearable technology platform called FLORA. We’ve already covered the showing-its-age Lilypad earlier in the month and FLORA was designed to incorporate many user-suggested changes and issues with the Lilypad. Hit the jump for the full write up on the FLORA…
The nPower PEG (which stands for Personal Energy Generator) is a personal electricity generator that you place inside of a backpack, briefcase, or purse that harvests your kinetic energy as you move to recharge your mobile electronic devices. Every step you take turns into electricity which is stored and can be used to generate your own clean electricity. When it comes to generating electricity on the go, solar charging has always been the only viable solution, but solar charging is finicky at best and downright impossible at worst. After our article on energy harvesting we are always on the lookout for new ways we can keep our smart clothing and wearable technology charged! It looks like the folks over at nPower may have just the thing!
Taking the mouse to the next level of evolution, Dr. Mark Bajramovic, president of Deanmark has developed a wearable mouse that is part glove and part wearable technology. It’s an evolution that is long overdo in our opinion seeing as how the mouse hasn’t changed in form much since it was introduced in the 80s. We all know about repetitive stress injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that cause intense pain and problems for those who sit at a desk most of the day. This new piece of wearable tech may be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to reducing those symptoms and even preventing them.
Wearable technology is being put in the spotlight more and more. From the medical “smart shirt” on the latest episode of Royal Pains to this news report from BBC about the next gen of wearable tech. There’s a lot of cool new things being developed in various labs and design studios right now from GPS compasses in your sleeve, light-up clothing that responds to movement, shirts that virtually grope you, and microsoft phones that let you freak out the kiddies and get all sorts of suspicious glares from parents by activating them through the fabric of your pants (yea… we didn’t say they were all “good” ideas did we?) Check out the short video after the jump!
Since “gamify” was the buzz word for 2011, it’s about time that we started seeing more companies “gamifying” workouts. Up till now, the Striiv fitness tracker has stood alone as the sole device to combine gaming and exercise. Now Nike is stepping up their game and bringing not one but two different smart shoes onto the courts and into the gyms. These shoes are laden with all sorts of sensors and wireless tech. After watching their commercials, let me just say… I want one now!
We couldn’t decide which title we liked best… so we included them both. There was an exciting news bit on medcitynews the other day talking about new applications of the Arduino (an open source microcontroller system) and 3d printers in fields like medical monitoring technology. Seeing this combined 2 of our most favorite things (Arduino and 3d Printers) we just had to report on it! Wearable technology isn’t all about step counters and LED suits dontcha know!
3D printing is on the verge of revolutionizing the way that products are produced and sold. While the technology is not quite ready for prime time, there are hints of its impending impact cropping up in various places. Etsy store Wearable Planters marries organic plants with acrylic plastic through the usage of 3D printing to create a wonderful, mood-brightening product that is sure to bring a smile to your face!
An interview with the core team at WiMM (Wearable Imagination) was posted on 9to5Google detailing the WiMM One Module and the planned ecosystem surrounding it. Designed as a programmable, wearable module, the device is anything you want it to be! WiMM Labs is also rolling out a “Micro-App” store where apps of all kind are sold, similar to the Android Market, and iOS’s App Store. WiMM Labs has released a half dozen or so “Micro-Apps” covering standard usages, including time-based apps (watch, alarm clock, etc.), displaying weather feeds, stock feeds, RSS feeds, you name it! It’s also able to control any cellular phone, iPhone included. Hit the jump for the video!
We just reported on the Google glasses last week. Now, it’s all over the news today that reports have leaked about Google releasing their Google Glasses by the middle to end of 2012. Likely these glasses will be powered by a version of the Android OS and will feature a camera on the front as well as give live heads-up-display information about anything and everything you look at. They will be controlled by a mixture of head tilts and nods, and will be priced somewhere between $250-$600. All very cool news for the world of wearable tech… but do Google’s Glasses spell the beginning of the end for humanity as we know it? Will they spark the Singularity?
As wearable technology gets more popular and smart clothing gets… smarter… one major challenge is going to be how we are going to power all this stuff! Sure, a glow in the dark LED snowboarding suit is cool, but the last thing you’d want to do is have to plug your smart jacket into an outlet to charge it up! Energy harvesting is going to become a much larger industry in the coming years, mark our words. In fact it’s estimated go grow from $605m in 2010 to $4.4bn by 2020! Check out some interesting clothing integrated energy harvesting possibilities for how you will be able to charge your wearable tech using the sun, heat, and good vibrations!