Archive for the ‘Wearables’ Category

RFID Your Life


The Loc8tor is a combination of radio-frequency emitting tags and a cellphone-sized signal decoder. Both tags and handheld transmit and receive radio signals. Each handheld device can monitor up to 24 tags, which can be attached to keys, kids, pets and anything else of value that has a tendency to get lost. When registering new tags, users can specify what they will be attached to: ‘Wallet’, ‘Favourite child’, ‘Prize-winning Poodle’, etc.

The system has a maximum range of 183 meters/600 feet, and the handheld will guide its holder to within 2.5 cm/1 inch of the lost possession, using fully directional signals: left, right, up and down. (Particularly useful when kitty-cat is hiding in the attic.)

Not just for finding things, Loc8tor’s alert mode also makes it easy to prevent them from becoming lost. Attach a tag to a child, and then set a safety zone. If the child strays beyond a specified distance, the Loc8tor sounds an alarm. The panic tag also acts as an alarm button that a tagged child can press to activate an alert on the Loc8tor. Obviously, as stated by Loc8tor, this isn’t a replacement for parental supervision. 😉


Innovation and the T-Shirt

Phillips has always been an innovator in lighting and displays. Now they bring that innovative approach to the lowly T-shirt with their Lumalive light emiting textiles. Phillips is currently targeting promotional companies, “looking for new, high-impact media.” Hopefully, the technology will remain costly enough to keep it out of the mainstream novelty T-shirt channel as the visual noise could be overwhelming.

While the textile innovation is interesting, I think the bigger story is that Phillips has discovered YouTube as a great medium for sharing their innovation work. I had heard about this technology, but it wasn’t until I saw the video that I had an appreciation for what it could do. Have half a million people opted in to learn about your company’s innovations?

Here’s the link to the YouTube LumaLive video.

Here’s a link to more Phillips YouTube demonstrations.

iPod Sport on the Way?

ipod_sport.jpgHere’s another patent application from Apple that has become public, this one filed on November 24, 2004, outlining a “music synchronization arrangement” for a “computing device.” It’s designed to let the iPod pick out music that plays at the same tempo that your feet hit the ground when exercising, measured by a built-in accelerometer. It also lets you adjust the tempo of the music, and lets you group various songs according to their tempo or “other attributes.”

We already know Apple is keenly interested in exercise and iPods, judging from its recent announcement of its partnership with Nike, where magic shoes talk to the iPod, measuring distance and recording performance. Steve Jobs, in his characteristically upbeat manner, mentioned that it’s “90% accurate out-of-the-box, which is huge.” We’re thinking it would be even huge-er if this turned out to be an “iPod SportPhone” with a GPS device inside that was 100% accurate, a music player, and a cellphone—all in one sleek elegant revolutionary Apple-fied package.

iPod Sport coming from Apple soon? [Unwired View]

iPod Nike Training System


We read amazing news every day, – but this one will make you say "Wow!!".  Apple and Nike have got together to create a system where your sneakers talk to your iPod Nano and your iPod Nano talks to a website that monitors your fitness regime.

Not only that but your iPod Nano talks to you as you go for your run to let you know how your progress is – and by the click of a button, you can get your "Power Song" on to make sure you get a personal best on this run.

The system includes an attachment for your iPod Nano, a number of smart sneakers and clothing that integrate your player and phones.  Check out the link to see a video ad for the product…Nikeplus

Myvu Reviewed (Verdict: Better than Geordi’s)

Pretty cool accessory for portable video player owners.  The video is 320×240 on a 4:3 aspect ratio, and feels like watching a 30" screen from a meter or so away. The resolution is perfect for an iPod video, but may not be great when watching higher quality DVDs. The battery life is reported to be round 6 hours.  They are also reported to be fairly comfortable, like wearing sunglasses that take 3 AAA batteries.

Available now for $269.

mvyu – a personal media viewer [Mobility Site]

Warm Watts for Wireless

A tiny new generator that produces electricity from small variations in temperature could turn people into power packs for medical implants and clear the way for complex wireless monitoring systems.

Makers of tiny wireless sensors used for tracking vital signs of people in their homes or watching environmental conditions in large buildings have long faced a power problem: Batteries only last so long. And they can be difficult to replace or recharge in a device implanted, for example, inside a person's thigh.

But a breakthrough in miniaturization promises to tap unlimited power with small, implantable thermoelectric generators capable of producing electricity from ambient heat.

Wired Article  

South Korea outfitting elderly, disabled with bioshirts

Proving that there's more to working in South Korea's Ministry of Information and Communication than just building insect-like robot soldiers for surveillance and killing, the department has initiated a pilot program which was designed to prevent, and not cause, people's deaths. Specifically, the agency is outfitting 100 elderly and disabled folks in Daegu City with so-called bioshirts, which as we've seen before, monitor a patient's vital signs and wirelessly signal for help if anything is awry. Called the "U-Healthcare Service," the $1.4 million program is initially targeting senior citizens who live alone, as well as patients with chronic ailments, and also provides options for running self-diagnostics, enabling remote monitoring, and even rudimentary medical consultations.

[Via Smart Mobs, image courtesy of Sensatex]

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