Wearable Technology – Google Glass and Beyond


Wearable technology is the new frontier for startups (3D printers was so last year). What was once in our pocket will now be in the clothes and accessories we wear. So what are some of the cutting edge wearable technologies out there? We’ll skip Google Glass, assuming you haven’t been under a rock for the last year, and explore the emerging world of wearable tech.

Do Jedi Mind Tricks

Thalmic Labs has introduce MYO, a wearable armband that you can program with just about anything with an API or standard control system (PS3 for example), and connect via a Bluetooth-like connection. I’m a huge nerd and already pre-ordered one. The ability control your the world around you with simple arm/finger movements is truly something out of Star Wars/Trek. It will also force me to learn how to program 🙂 . I recommend watching the video to see some of the endless possibilities.

Clothing Technology

The fashion world could be in for one of its biggest overhauls since the thong, or whatever. Fabrican is looking to be the leader in sprayable clothing. The crazy thing about this technology is it’s made out of all natural ingredients, and is washable.  It’s essentially going to be a carrier technology for carbon nanofibres and conductive materials. What does that mean? Well think of the UnderArmour commercial where the girl presses a button on her watch, and her full-body running suit changes colors. That’s the type of technology that we’re headed towards in the next five years.

A feel good wearable technology is the “hands-free” navigation system, so one can “feel their way around”. Right now its in beta, but you put in your destination in its GPS, and pulses will be sent to your body informing you when to turn, how hard to turn, etc. I think this could be a huge game changer for the blind population in America. Being able to “feel” their way around would give them a freedom they’ve probably never had before. We’d just need to update our maps systems to account for poles and more (not to be an asshole).

A few others worth mentioning here are: pockets that recharge your phone and smart socks (which have textile sensors, easily incorporable into Fabrican’s sprayable clothing)

The theme of wearable tech is connecting our movements to the digital world. This could mean two things, either we connect to devices like the MYO, or the device connects us to the outer world. The second viewpoint is an interesting one. Currently we’re collecting all this data to try and understand human actions: purchases, locations, etc. All of this data is being compiled to better understand the human. But what if we’re constantly connected to the cloud which is feeding us unlimited information but is also storing our movements? I believe this wearable tech will begin the creation of the “human cloud”. Essentially databasing all of our movements and getting one step closer truly understanding the human decision making process. All of which piggy-backs nicely off of Obama’s initiative to start funding research to truly understand the human brain and its thought processes.

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