Wearables

I am always seeking what I call “technology enabled, consumer driven change”. There is growing evidence that health conscious consumers will instigate much of the rapid change in healthcare, rather than organically in the healthcare industry itself. This is effectively where  personal emphasis on wellness and preventative healthcare will emerge rather than from the reactive nature of your relationship with your healthcare provider. So here is one more personal item that could change the dynamics of heart health not just in terms of monitoring vitals, but also in building a very valuable contextual database of clinical data specific to the wearer! Normal Looking, and according to Omron, “Clinically Validated & Accurate”  The HEARTGUIDE Wrist Watch works with a smartphone App and has a long list of vital sign monitoring sensors, but now Omron adds one measurement that has been missing from wrist wearables to date - a Blood Pressure Monitor. It syncs with the Omron app to track and share vital data about your heart health and keeps track of physical activity and sleep as well.Currently undergoing FDA testing, available later this year for about the same price as an Apple Watch.But the real bonus for me came from a discussion…
Pleased to see a very large and action packed Humaneyes booth at CES very much dedicated to AR/VR/3D360º capture and distribution. As with other application sectors, with their prosumer priced camera commercially available, it is now all about relevant content, applications and widespread access to content.  
Was very happy to see the latest Humaneyes VUZE 3D360º camera on show, of course as I covered it in a CES2016 WCME Entry when they also were finalists and then won the Last Gadget Standing award that year. But this year Humaneyes made some big announcements - firstly, an Underwater housing and software needed for their 3D360º camera. This is a mean feat given the difficulties getting full sphere and 3D stitching working underwater. They also announced the selection by the National Geographic Channel of the VUZE camera to capture 3D360º footage inside the International Space Station. European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli will use a Vuze VR camera to document life on the ISS for a VR companion to National Geographic's upcoming series "One Strange Rock." In addition, Humaneyes are also developing a hosting facility (“Humaneyes Zone”) for 3D360º content so VUZE user's content and projects can be stored and made available to others. The Humaneyes…
360º Cinematic Editing  Shoot first, point and create the perfect scene later! Because you can…Insta360 action camera with built-in HDR video capture. HDR mode shoots video that looks natural and vibrant and makes all the scenes in the 360º capture for the post-production work to be done. No need to reshoot a scene, you caught it all!   The HDR video mode shoots 5.7K at 25 FPS. But that is not the full story as a consumer sized and priced 360º camera has a bit of a yawn factor associated with it these days. What caught my eye were the accessories and editing apps associated with Insta360. The real innovation comes in being able to capture in 360º video and then “reshoot” within the 360 sphere captured to catch the action and tell the real story you want to tell by picking and editing the final cut.  And it gets better! There is a throwable Torpedo accessory that the camera can be mounted in and thrown to get genuinely impossible shots! Or when equipped with the “invisible” selfie stick one can swing the camera around while shooting and edit later to keep the camera on the subject in the middle of the scene. Underwater housing and drone mount accessories take the capture possibilities to new heights and…
Wide Field of View is all important fo AR Smartglasses to be valuable to consumers. Nice to see this approach progressing both in technical and user testing areas.The world needs a human friendly digital interface without any trade offs.
Today’s digital life is mostly uncomfortable, unhealthy and reclusive, alienating people from what truly matters: the real world. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are the next digital frontier, but strapping a clunky box to your head isn’t a pleasant way to access the future. AR and VR should be wearable and not just bearable. So it appears that a truly uncompromising wide F0V eyewear solution may be becoming possible: Innovega's emacula Potentially affordable, lightweight and discreet vision enhancement system that lets you enjoy a full field of view while you engage with all your favorite digital content. emacula retina technologies have potential to merge your virtual and real world seamlessly. This approach could finally enable normal looking smart glasses in the consumer sector.   Short video describing Innovega’s Innovative approach to achieving wide Field of View AR This is one to watch! www.innovega-inc.com    
Last Gadget Standing finalist    Modius from Neurovalens - a few short, relaxing sessions a day apparently does the trick! More and more, consumer wearables are making meaningful improvements to people’s well-being. Helping people achieve leaner, healthier bodies improves quality of life and could radically reduce healthcare costs and even save lives. So this one got my attention! This product - Modius, is a non-invasive headset which, through vestibular nerve stimulation claims to do just that. The device was designed to “activate the epicenter in the brain - the hypothalamus - that causes people to struggle with their weight”. Neurovalens, a neuroscience technology company headed up by Dr. Jason McKeown, launched the product last year after a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and secured orders on a global scale. Results from users in 80 countries are now pouring in: they claim 80% of users have experienced significant weight loss from using the device and 1 ton of collective weight has been shed!This one caught my eye and is one to watch in my opinion. I will be watching :-)
A good example of a "connected sensor" becoming a complete and very portable capability when used with a Smartphone App. Third Eye wireless thermal attachment is a smart solution for thermal capability on the go. Paired with Smartphone or Smartglasses, Third Eye delivers lightweight, hands-free thermal imaging - creating a multitude of use cases and putting them into the hands of anyone. The Signal Sensor can also be clipped to normal glasses to capture a first-person point of view on the Smartphone. At CES2018 I met with Ivan Arbouzov, President of RoundConcept, makers of the Signal Thermal Sensing device and “Third Eye” App (iOS and Android)  Third Eye turns smart glasses and mobile devices into advanced thermal vision systems for real time viewing and analysis or to capture a thermal video or still picture. Even capable of Live-video streaming.The precise remote temperature measurements and scanning are ideal for many applications such as in the medical, industrial, environmental sectors plus night vision applications for professional and amateur uses such as hunting and for search and rescue. Accuracy plus small size and simplicity of operation make this an enabler for many applications where thermal sensing would be valuable, but previously impractical or simply not available.
ReSound has upped it's "Smart Hearing" capability with a further link back to your audiologist. GN Hearing’s ReSound LiNX 3D brings telehealth to audiology as the world’s first hearing aid with comprehensive remote fine-tuning capabilities. Had a great briefing on this at CES from ReSound’s Vice President Global Medical Affairs Dave Fabry.  But they are not stopping there.  ReSound LiNX 3D’s advanced Made for iPhone capability also enables users to easily and discreetly personalize settings through an app and stream audio such as phone calls, music, and turn-by-turn directions from their smartphone or Apple Watch to their hearing aids.But most interesting were the discussions about where ReSound is going in this area in terms of taking advantage of the platform to go many steps further to increase the awareness of the users to what is going on around them. And even to start using the ear as a very effective place to monitor various aspects of wellness.  The key is that a hearing aid wearer has them in 100% of the waking hours so all these potential features could make that person actually much more aware and alert than a person with a phone in their pocket or sometimes wearing music…
With the Vuzix Blade Android platform software and applications and all the enabling hardware on board as well, this enterprise application sure thing is now being deployed extensively. Vuzix and Third party developers in the areas shown (right) plus many others are actively building solutions, now that the hardware is a standard platform, a user friendly form factor and fit for purpose.  Could this package priced right, become a prosumer and even consumer lifestyle must have? It’s not just eye wear headset technology anymore! Now that complete AR platforms like this are available and the ecosystem already in place for consumer utility (think Apple watch but with a much bigger screen) could consumer be far behind? Keep going Vuzix (and others) you are getting there!  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Panono is a throwable panoramic ball camera which captures everything in every direction for amazing 108 megapixel, 360° X 360° full-spherical panoramic images. It has an unprecedented 36 cameras that trigger simultaneously in the air to deliver images that capture every detail in every direction with a super-high resolution of 108 megapixels. 11cm in diameter and weighs 480 grams and connects over WiFi with iOS and Andriod Apps.The Panono Camera is available for preorder. 
HumanEyes Technologies introduced their VUZE XR camera to capture two immersive content types with one camera. Push a button and presto, 360º capture becomes 3D180º.  In my 3+ years of taking 360º snapshots, I have come to realise that not all scenes have something interesting to look at everywhere. And besides, sometimes you want the scene, but without yourself in the picture. So what really caught my eye here was the ability to catch everything – up, down and around in a half sphere, but with the added immersiveness of 3D or 2D for normal phone screen viewing. An impressive spec (here) and set of features and Apps and an underwater enclosure accessory to boot. Another place where 3D180º captures the scene very well! Photos and videos can be captured and posted, published and viewed  “native” to social networks, YouTube, etc. and camera works stand alone or under control of available Android and iOS mobile apps, plus the VUZE Studio desktop software suite for more advanced editing at full resolution. Oh yes, and four microphones and 360º sound as well. Impressive little pocket sized camera!  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
MergeVR make some pretty amazing VR Goggles, but it was the Merge Cube that Caught My Eye. It is a Hologram you hold in your hand. A six-sided "virtual screen" for AR content which you can make yourself, or get on the Merge Cube Miniverse website.   The Merge Cube merges the physical and digital worlds using augmented reality technology and the powerful camera and sensors in your mobile device. According to MergeVR, t’s the first object of its kind, and it’s creating new ways for people to interact with technology. Now you can hold a galaxy in the palm of your hand, examine fossils and ancient artifacts like a real archaeologist, watch as a volcano erupts before your eyes, and play games in ways never possible before! The sky is virtually the limit!
One thing for sure, there were plenty of AR headsets and glasses on show this year at CES! I saw 25 or 30, and probably didn’t see all of them. Lots of new ones. This is a good indication to me that AR has now graduated into the “…it’s going to happen and it’s going to be big…” category. This may also be driven by the emphasis that Apple and to some degree Google (and others) are placing on AR. But most that I saw were just the headgear, not the complete operating systems, apps platforms, ecosystem in place that the likes of Vuzix, Hololens and others have labored over for the past 10+ years and have in place.  For the most part the ones I saw were just headgear without the total solution, sectors and applications in the package or even fully understood. This is really where AR was 5 years ago, so I wish these Google Glass copycats the best of luck, but not where I would invest. There were a few that did catch my eye as being behind the leaders, but moving in that direction, and I have highlighted here six that I will be watching for progress over…
Pivo360º turntable for spinning the camera on the phone or turntable accessory to get a 360º image of an object. Clever Accessory for 360º shooting of scenes and objects using either front or back cameras on Smartphones. Or use the smart rotating phone holder to follow you or a specific item around the scene as you move. Select the object or face you want to track and it will automatically move around with the subject.  Also responds to commands so you don’t have to touch the camera - Just snap your fingers or say “cheese” for Pivo to take a picture or start recording. A few of the other clever features in this camera mount and App combination - ManyMe Capture – 360º picture with many appearances of the same person or object. Tiny Planet - Take spherical images that capture the whole scene and then look like tiny globes. Fun, interesting and inexpensive way to do some clever photography.  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Vuzix stole the show with Best in Show AR Glasses at CES this year - the Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses. Also declared so by all the major technology news publications and networks. A full spec, non-tethered pair of glasses which will be targetted for the industrial/enterprise space due to the rich portfolio of applications that will already run on the Blade Smart Glasses (and initial price). They are also real evidence that proper consumer grade (style, price and function) AR glasses are just around the corner. Consumer applications writers, start your engines! These are certainly a potential prosumer “item” now with improvements in price and styling surely coming soon I suspect. Vuzix also upgraded their well established M100 smart glasses now used by in many industrial applications, and showed a better, brighter M300 model complete with a suite of out-of-the-Box applications for industry. Ready to turn on and deploy - as easy as Click - Connect - Collaborate. These two products will now move us rapidly from the Smartglasses technology emphasis of the past to the real world applications and valuable use cases.
Fly like a bird! Birdly is a full-body VR flight experience using your arms, legs and hands as wings and rudder! You are flying through the air and the Virtual environment you are in takes you where you want to go and shows you what's there. That is if you get the knack of flying like a bird. Flapping of your wings takes you up. Lean forward and you glide down. Manipulation of primary feathers for speed, altitude and navigation.Being visually immersed through a head-mounted VR display, fliers are enveloped in an interactive high-resolution virtual landscape charged with navigation challenges  and entertaining surprises! Unfettered flight is normally not possible for humans, but virtual reality (VR), coupled with robotics and simulation technology, can deliver our ultimate dream of flying like a bird. Also key to this experience is the Birdley VR 360º content. From a bird’s-eye view over the world’s great cities and monuments, to a bee’s-eye view of the inner workings of a combustion engine, to a pterosaur’s-eye view of a Jurassic landscape. Lots of interactive storytelling possibilities, both entertaining and educational It appears that he sky’s the limit!  Oh, by the way, our muscles are not developed in the…
The Lumus display continues to look better each year and wins the prize for the best (currently available) display in my opinion, but yet to find its way into a finished and commercially available products. This display may be destined for consumer Smartglasses, but seems to be relegated to one eye industrial applications so far. Manufacturing cost seems to have been the the major problem to date. They showed me lenses with 40º and 55º FoV. and both were bright and vivid displays with quite good, clear see through as well.Perhaps the Quanta Computer investment and their manufacturing expertise will yield a viable component for lower cost smartglasses? Also the potential of link up with Apple looks interesting.  I will be monitoring progress...
FITT360, one of the two "First Person Shooter" 360º cameras I saw at CES. Both claim to be the first and only!  Very interesting and encouraging to see this new category of 360º photography emerge at this time. This whole sector will depend on content, storytelling and distribution posibilities, but devices and apps like this really turn things on.  A very wearable design, around the neck so handsfree water/heatproof, with three cameras on board and fixing/steadying/stitching in the Smartphone App. For taking "selfless" situational selfies (without you in them).  Great idea and I am excited, but a Crowdfunded/preorder product, not yet fully baked so I will let them make the claims! (I have added a few points in brackets)      Connected to the Cloud, the FITT360 automatically saves all of your footage with a single tap on the mobile application.With shareable VR-Ready contents, your loved ones at home can enjoy your point of view in real time.Smart Camera – Connected System – VR ReadyFull HD 360° Recording – Up to 90 Minutes3 Full HD Cameras surrounding the (neck worn) FITT360 captures surroundings of each user in the True First Person View (FPV) with up to 90 minutes of recording time.Companion…
ORBI 360 Sometimes products appear just because they can - in other words the technology is there, but so often the appliications and valuable use cases are not. A sad sight for me to see as someone doing due diligence on consumer targetted products being developed for a (IMHO) non-viable market. Two bits of good news here - the technology exists to support the application, and I believe there is a real market for this. This is another one of the two "First Person Shooter" 360º cameras I saw at CES. Both claim to be the first and only! Very interesting and encouraging to see this new category of 360º photography emerge at this time.  This whole sector will depend on content, storytelling and distribution posibilities, but devices and apps like will this really turn things on. A very wearable design, a pair of glasses with four cameras on board and Smartphone App. For taking "selfless" situational selfies (without you in them). Great idea and I am excited, but another Crowdfunded/preorder product, not yet fully baked so I will let them make the claims!         ORBI specializes in developing innovative hardware and software that unlocks extraordinary new ways…
I am sometimes a skeptic about VR/AR gaming. Seems to be rather too techy and even often quite low resolution for my liking. And the storytelling and educational aspects often seem a bit lacking. But I would say that, being one who is always looking for the bigger story and valuable use cases rather than just for killing time.  The Lenovo STAR WARS:Jedi Challenges technology and Smartphone games Application is of a different breed. Very clever how they use the smartphone at 45º in the headset in a way that lets you see the room you are in (visual see-through, not video) and then lets you play Star Wars Chess or challenge the various Star Wars charactors to Light Sabre duels. But first, to qualify to fight, you need to learn how to use a light sabre! Light Sabre Training also done well, and fun. The light sabre itself is stunning to look at and hold and in your virtual vision and hearing pops out just like in the movie. Lots of virtual charactors and action in your living room or kitchen. Virtual Star Wars charactors and in fact everything in your line of sight is life-sized and lifelike and…
Nice to see combinations of existing technology and innovative development and integration exploited to create a highly valuable aid for the partially sighted.  Whether reading use-by dates on products, magazines and books or anything in between. Also recognising everyday things and people. The product was a finalist in the Last Gadget Standing event at CES (I was one of the judges) and the MC handed the presenter his stage script, and OrCam MyEye read it flawlessly! Very impressive! But OrCam MyEye is not just about reading. It also assists with Identifying products, money notes, colours and recognising faces and other everyday encounters that sighted people take for granted OrCam MyEye 2.0 is an advanced artificial vision device for people who have vision and reading disabilities. The breakthrough device instantly and discreetly communicates vital visual information: printed and digital text – from any surface, faces, products, colors, and money.The headset is designed with the needs of these users in mind. Many innovative technologies have been deployed in the design, this revolutionary wearable device is small, comfortable, and easy to use.The newly-designed OrCam MyEye 2.0 exemplifies a revolution in wearable artificial vision technology for people who are blind, visually impaired or have…
Looxid Labs explores the user's mind and their unspoken emotions! Using human physiological signal sensors, their VR Headset monitors your eyes and brainwaves to determine your emotion, attention and interest while watching VR content. Two eye tracking cameras and six brain-wave sensors are built into the specialised VR headset. Theoretically allows the tracking of what the user themselves can't describe. Potentially valuable use cases! Similar to well established MyndPlay VR in the UK who have been doing this for a few years, but the MyndPlay brain sensors can be worn and user response analysed in conjunction with most existing VR headsets and the actual VR content can be triggered to change depending on user's emotion and reactions. A very interesting area, so carry on Looxid and Myndplay!
I have noted Bebop's sensing fabric for a few years now and knew that it would find it's way into some valuable applications spaces soon. Princpally being applied to wearables such as shoe insoles, sleeve control, etc. But it was this year's featured product that Caught My Eye - an interactive input glove for VR. The fabric specification was impressive, but it's the Touch and Haptics AI that make this a potential component for many applications.  So I was very pleased to see the BeBop Sensors Forte Wireless Data Glove system, a fully featured affordable data glove to incorporate haptics and super accurate, rapid sensing for gaming and AR/VR environments for a more realistic VR experience. The hand tracking system tracks fingers and fingertips with haptics, the Forte Glove is an ultra-comfortable one-size-fits-all glove, conducive to lengthy Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality sessions due to its light weight and open airy design. Light and simple looking, it also can be worn inside a glove, for example. Sensing speed and accurately sensing finger movements are key features along with tactile feedback to the fingertips.   The glove provides Super Accurate Rapid Sensing with data rates at 150 frames per second. With lag time eliminated,…
Why medical hypnosis?HYPNOVR claims it has s a software and reduced or drug free solution to anesthesiology. It uses virtual reality (VR) technology to perform anesthesia under hypnosis in order to decrease patients’ stress and anxiety during painful medical procedures. Over the last two years, HYPNOVR has established the technical feasabilty of medical hypnosis through virtual reality and it's benefits to patients, health professionals and institutions. They claim that up to a half of anesthesia procedures could benefit from hypnosedation via VR and they claim there are numerous fields of applications for HYPNOVR’s solutions. Patients who have been anaesthesized during a medical procedure suffered side effects (nausea, sore throat, vomiting) or sometimes serious medical complications (allergies, cardio-respiratory risks). Medical hypnosis offers an efficient and reliable drug-free alternative, as proven by over 300 scientific studies.  Interesting and potentially very beneficial, but appears to me to still in the formative stages. Worth watching. Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Why prick when you can click? The FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system is designed to liberate patients from the hassles of glucose monitoring. A small sensor automatically measures and continuously stores glucose readings day and night. Glucose readings with a painless 1 second scan even through clothing. With every scan you get your current glucose reading, the last 8 hours of glucose data and an arrow showing the direction your glucose is heading. Swim, shower or exercise — the Free Style Libre system is designed to be water-resistant and worn while bathing, showering, swimming and exercising. Not clear if this is yet available from the UK National Health Service, but Teresa May, UK Prime Minister is a user! Article here.Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Spotted this on the UK Pavilion. WIREWAX’s  interactive video technology has tools to help you design, build and deliver interactive video and take it to a new level of engagement by including clickable hotspots that perform an action when your audience clicks on them. Take them to the "buy" page or gather up their "wishlist".  Storytelling tools allow you to immerse viewers and inspire them to take action across mobile, tablet and desktop devices. And then monitor and measure level of interaction.Turns static video into interactive video for online experiences – quickly produces video hotspots, program branching, 360º interactive videos, in-video navigation. It’s a tool or a service, depending on your needs and expertise. Many possibilities, but caught my eye because of the ability to take existing video advertisements one step further and turn them into interactive shopping experiences. Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
See what it looks like in your room and then bring your “virtual plan” to reality. Design in AR and end up with real world dimensions, levelling and even exactly where to put the nails!  Basically, with PLOTT you can capture the real world and bring it into the app so visualization and design can be done.  After you’re done with how you want it to look, select the specific points to make the changes (make a cut, drill a hole, hang a nail, etc.) and then send those points to the Cubit device which then uses multidimensional lasers to bring you to the exact spots in the real world, without you having to do any calculations.  Carta is a new addition to the PLOTT family of tools and Apps which brings the same kind of visualising and planning into the outdoors around your home. Carta enables you to create a canvas where visual design yields dimensional data. By bringing together pictures, notes, maps, links etc, and putting it all in dimensional context; it enables you to see how your plan will look, as well as how it will fit. Once you’re done with design, Carta will help you bring that design to reality.  Well done again PLOTT for innovation. I’ve got a…
MIXXTAPE - Looks like a cassette, except…  Plays and displays stand alone with smartphone or stick it in your cassette loading blaster. The new MIXXTAPE is an awesomely nostalgic HiFi digital music player with the form factor of an old-school cassette tape packed with technology of today. Use the USB-C cable to load audio files from your music library (iTunes, FLAC, MP3, M4A, WMA, OGG, APE, WAV, AAC-LC, & ACELP). Navigate thru your music using the OLED display and touch control panel. Listen using the headphone jack, Bluetooth, or even in a tape deck. Yes way! The rechargeable battery provides over 5 hours of continuous playback. Caught my eye because of what it was, inpressed me because of what it is!
There are lots of Dash Cams out there and they are getting more technologically advanced, but Owl Car Cam is focussed on peace of mind, safety and security. Of course it will catch the fun things too, but the focus is on protecting you and your car at all times.  It's a quiet sentinal, but when something happens you’ll have the video - crashes, traffic stops, break-ins – and for all the OMG moments you see while driving. There’s never been an easier way to edit a quick clip and post to your favorite social platform or send a video to your insurance company.  Owl Car Cam features: Dual-facing HD cameras, 14-day video loop, Instant video access from anywhere with voice capture as well. Automatic emergency crash response.  Your video is 100% private. Only you can see, share, or delete it. Constantly connected via 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.  Live view your car in real time and video alerts for dents, break-ins, & crashes. Even has anti-theft floodlights. Judges at the Last Gadget Standing Event thought it was innovative, useful and unique enough to make it a finalist.
Context is King! Lifefuels is a smart bottle that mixes drinks on the go - with nutrients and to your taste and situation. Personalidsed drinks designed to keep you at your best. Just add water, select your "fuel pods" and go!  Smartphone App, Hydration & Nutrient Tracking Syncs with Wearables. Why shouldn't we have great-tasting, personalized, tasty, nutritianally functional beverages to compliment our busy lifestyles? According to Jonathon Perrelli, CEO, the Lifefuels waterbottle delivers personalised drinks designed to keep you at your best. Their simple mission: to help people thrive and keep them on track by letting them make beverages on the go that are tailored to fit their day. 
The Barisieur is an automatic coffee or tea brewer that just simply caught my eye as I was browsing the UK Pavilion at CES.  The intriguing beauty however was not just skin deep. Lots of features, bells and whistles, but above all, makes great coffee!  It is quite simply a premium alarm clock that eases you into your morning with the soothing sounds of bubbling water along with the smell of the freshly brewed coffee or loose leaf tea. Design is inspired by a combination of the modern ritual of filter coffee with the iconic vinyl record player, encouraging a nostalgic experience for the user. The design was born with a digital detox in mind, where the design language balances between simplicity and mystified alchemy; watch how the water magically transports from one vessel to other due to steam pressure some what resembling a serious chemical laboratory device. The boiling vessel on the left is sealed with a bung, which is essential for transporting the water. The Water boils due to the induction hob, heating up the stainless steel base. Steam pressure is produced, forcing the water out of the vessel and into the stainless steel filter, brewing the user a perfect beverage.    There is a milk vessel which lifts out from the tray, Is…
Went to BETT yesterday in London (Europe’s largest Technology in Education exhibition). Past years have been all about interactive whiteboards, then large touch screens (basically blackboard replacements and teaching aids) This year was much more about “Interactive Learning” and student involvement. BETT2018 was all about Robots and learning how to code and having fun doing it. And being introduced into classrooms at and early age. I am 100% behind this and at CES2018 (Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) saw some really good examples of this too (for example ROOT). I have captured only some of the “Learning Coding through fun with Robots” examples here, but not sure how a teacher or an educational curriculum decision maker, can chose from these. Lots of early stage stuff. This will no doubt mature a bit and become more focussed by next year. Four other significant findings that also caught my eye at BETT:1. If you follow the wearable technology, IoT, IoMe, IoCar, IoHome and AI areas as I do, you will have noticed the innovation in the Smartphone + Sensor’s area. Saw some interesting education tools in this area from Vernier and IDS Education (their distributor in the UK) at BETT2018. “Go…
Between these three you can figure out what to plant, when and where to plant it and how to keep it watered and healthy. Varying amounts of expertise has been applied in each case plus some sensor tech, AI, AR and companion smartphone apps. Lots of Garden Tech that caught my eye in this category, but here’s three that deal with getting the most from your garden.   Connected Garden uses a device you stick in the ground and leave for 24 hours and through the connected app, it then tells you what will grow best. Clever sensors, a bit of GPS, AI and even an AR aspect that can show you what the plants will look like in your garden space.       Orbit b-hyve then takes over and does some “smart watering” for you - Keeps the soil just right for the plants you have.       SeedSheet tailors your plantings to your palette. providing selections of plants that when ready and ripe are all you need to prepare your favourite recipes.       I expect to see more and more innovations in this area next year, so will be looking out for it.   Select "Read More" for the weblinks  
Two that have Caught My Eye (so far) in terms of portability coupled with innovations that produce quality sound and party level volume when you want it. Libratone “TOO” and POW Audio “MO” Don’t let their size fool you, both can fill a room with big, reasonably rich, authentic sound. Both not exactly cheap, but affordable. My experience with both of these confirmed their claims.   In their words:  Libratone “TOO” is a wireless speaker made for adventure. You can take it with you wherever you go, indoors or out, and never compromise on sound quality with its 360 FullRoom® technology. The TOO comes ready for action, with 12+ hours of battery time, splash proof design and slim, yet sturdy, frame, meaning it can keep going long after the party stops.  POW Audio “MO” is reimagining speaker construction with the ultra compact Mo, the first expression in a family of expandable, portable Bluetooth speakers. Using POW Audio’s patented WaveBloom™ technology, which expands to create a voluminous wave chamber, Mo brings listeners enhanced bass, loudness, and improved overall sound quality within a super portable, affordable package. When not in use, Mo folds down flat and listeners can pop up Mo and expand…
CES did great job of laying out specific "Tech Zone" sectors for all the companies innovating with technology in emerging areas of consumer lifestyle to be grouped together so one could visit and see many products and products all together. This helped me with discovery of many types of eye-opening tech, but also showed how crowded some product categories were as well as helping to find gaps in what is available, or that the pieces are in place but for example, the ecosystem or end user value propositions are not.
The Shure MV88+ Video Kit caught my eye because it provides content creators with an all-in-one solution to transform their smartphone devices into a personal audio and video rig – designed for capturing professional-quality recordings whenever, wherever. The digital stereo condenser microphone is the latest addition to the Shure MOTIV™ line and includes a headphone jack for real-time monitoring as well as lightning. Along with the MV88+ microphone, the kit includes a tripod phone stand and smartphone clamp, ensuring a stable picture when recording video on-the-go. The additional accessories give users the utmost flexibility to capture mounted, handheld or field recording. Compatible with iOS and other selected devices, the MV88+ allows users to capture high-quality audio, and livestream anywhere they desire. The ShureMOTIV Video & Audio and Recording applications work directly with the MV88+ to deliver superior audio quality. Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
So everyone reported on Wearables as the feature of CES 2014, but I just couldn't believe how little variety there was in the functionality and also noted how ugly they all were! this picture is of the showcase of an Asian manufacturer who manufactures a large number of the step counters and Smart Watches for brands that I saw and tried on their booths too. How many companies can survive, all marketing a single sensor device? Especially since Fitbit and Nike seem to have captured 2/3 of the sales so far. i was personally wearing four different step countersa CES and all of them were telling me that the eight miles a day I was averaging cruising the exhibition halls was making me healthy. Not taking into account other factors like what my body was actually telling me, not to mention what I was eating and drinking. The user experience, ease of use, and interpretation of what it all means is still lacking for the average consumer to get interested IMHO. So I am not going to list and review a lot of wearable devices. But a few did stand out as being innovative and better equipped to serve mankind…
Technology should be used to facilitate people’s life in every aspect, help people embrace their belief and dream more closely and track their daily physical activity as well! This is the main use case and objectives of Rosary Beads.    According to them: able to simultaneously record bead action & step detection, 2 days prayer and health history storage, Dustproof and waterproof for daily usage, Light weight, easy to wear all around, Low power consumption, Wireless Charging.                   AI and relevant design being applied to wearable technology. Nice to see today’s portfolio of core technologies being used to enhance the everyday routines of all sorts of new lifestyle segments!
As I said lots of devices - over a hundred that can be considered to be called products and almost all are step counters of some description (accelerometers). The focus on lifestyle, fitness and medical is important to note as these are the areas which have potential to have real value to consumers.
Another Gem that caught my eye at the UK Pavilion at CES! Don’t get caught short on a long day. Carry one or use the App to find the closest place to buy one. When used, drop it in a Post box as is for recycling. London based startup Quick Energy showcased its Quick-e Charge concept at CES, a single-use battery pack that can be purchased from convenience stores or coffee shops, offering charging on-demand. Once the device has charged, the battery packs can be posted free of charge back to the company, to be recycled for use again.   The QUICK-E APP features a live map pinpointing all the locations the Quick-E is stocked. Allowing the customer to find the most coveniant vendor to purchase the product. Could have used one or two of these at CES!
Well what about watches?I didn't have time to see all the watches! They are all trying to jam too much Tech into a package that looks ugly and is too big. Not to mention the problem of battery life. it took 15 years to see enough utility in the mobile phone to learn that it should be religiously charged every night.  Watch batteries last  four or five years. How can people get their hands around charging a watch every three to six days. when I see so much technology and features jam packed into something called a watch, it gives me nightmares of the past working with tech companies just putting in everything because they could. And they didn't exactly know what people would find useful, so didn't want to take chances! Seeing big companies like Qualcomm in the game though, and producing software platforms rather than science projects tells me that this is going to start coming good this year.  I have been wearing a Pebble watch for about three months and found it large, difficult to keep charged and buggy (e.g. Notifications seem to go in and out of operation). But lately now that there are third party…
Moasure - Another mobile phone accessory that caught my eye on the UK Pavilion! Motion Measuring is the simplest and most natural way to measure.  It puts in your hands one tool that can measure any distance, height, width, level, angle or incline. All you need to do is move and tap.  You can use a smartphone or one of our more specialist Moasure tools, the principle is the same, tap to begin measuring and touch down and hold to finish and let Moasure do the rest.  It is that simple, you no longer need a box of tools, one measure, lots of easy measurements. And a small tool at that, Moasure will fit into the tightest spaces and works just as easily in the dark as in very bright light.  As you touch down from one point to another Moasureplots each position and calculates all the relevant measurements at the same time.  So, if you take a straight-line measurement from one wall to another, Moasurewill calculate the A to B measurement, but it will also be able to calculate the difference in height, level or angle between the two points.
There was a well produced and very entertaining fashion show at CES this year focused on wearable technology. Many things caught my eye, but the emphasis was much more on fashion than than utility and consumer technology for my liking. Of course all the clothing that sparkled and garments with screens built in so that they could be whatever they wanted to be fit the occasion very well and was entertaining.  Next year I would like to see business and lifestyle enhancing technology blending in or invisibly being worn on the catwalk with descriptions of super powers and augmentations that happen without it being glaringly obvious. And where were all the Smart Glasses? Well, I just don't think Smart Glasses are ready for the catwalk yet. Maybe next year? This is the year of industrial and professional applications for these. Small enough to wear, but still a bit too big to wear out.
Keeping an eye on things around the home so that you can be somewhere else. And being able to watch, listen and talk back is being more important now to our "virtually There" lifestyles. A very nice and versatile device to keep an eye on your home, inside and out, regardless of the conditions. Unfazed by tough weather, Canary Flex is designed to withstand rain, snow, heat, or cold. Canary Flex keeps a record or let’s you Watch Live what’s happening inside and outside of your home, whether it’s catching a burglar approaching your front door, seeing special moments of your children, or witnessing your pet getting into mischief. Alerts, real time video, and two way conversation with whoever is at your door, or anywhere around the house, inside or out. Easy to deploy and connect. Also an optional casing for use away from home with long battery life and connectivity via cellular. Great for keeping an eye on your boat, vacation home, etc. Reported by: Juan Picazo, EANA Marketing
More can be less! We have evolved from once functional but basic kitchen appliances to more complex ones (many more features, same knobs, thick manuals!) so unfortunately, we tend to stick to the basics and leave the manuals in the drawer. Fact is though that it is usually possible in one sentance or less to describe what we want our kitchen or utility room appliances to do. My stated Mantra: "The role of complex technology is to create simplicity." There is now more evidence that technology is coming to the rescue in this area too to making it possible to easily take advantage of all the new appliance features at our disposal. So one thing that caught my eye and interest at CES2018 was Whirlpool's Smart Home appliances that now have Smartphone and voice command control to break through the usability barrier. A very informed discussion with Whirlpool's corporate brand Manager, Poncho Eddie filled me in on the transformation that Whirlpool has made in this regard. Amazon Alexa, Google Home (and Apple Siri coming soon). In the utility room for example Voice Control lets consumers simply ask to pause and to start the washer and dryer; tell the dryer to run certain cycles…
As usual, Apple was both absent from the CES Exhibition floor, but at the same time had one of the largest footprints of any via third party companies making iPhone accessories, applications and content. But Apple did appear this year on the side of a building in Las Vegas with a 13 story advert take off of the Las Vegas slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. A very timely message as we move into the era of Internet of Me, contextual technologies, personal wellness/healthcare, wearable sensors gathering data and the Artificial Intelligence that learns enough to have impact on anindividual's wellness and quality of life. Problem is, there are entities out there that want this information to be able to advertise and sell products. It's their revenue model! An individual's contextual information and data must be kept close to that person and not be gatherable. To progress in some of these areas will require a trusted brand and a mechanism for keeping info private. Looks like Apple is marking out this space... 
The FlexPai Foldable Smartphone is interesting, but it’s the flexible screen technology from Royole that really Caught My Eye! Screens as “Thin as a Butterfly’s Wing” they claim. Their overview of Flexible Display Technology:   “Flexible displays offer many advantages over conventional display technology. They are ultra-thin, light weight, bendable, portable, shatter-proof, unbreakable and low energy”.  Flexibledisplays such as these could profoundly affect the next generation of personal, even wearable products. Potentially enabling technology for brand new form factors and applications. I will be watching this space.  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
Many, many examples at CES this year of life enhancing automation, but these three caught my eye. Hops and Wheat to Beer and Bread plus some welcome relief coming for menial household tasks!PicoBrew - Fresh Pico-brewed beer has all the nuanced flavors and aromas of the beers produced by the pro brewmaster. Pico Model C brings the taproom to your home by letting you brew celebrated, award-winning beers with recipies and ingredients from over 170 brewery partners around the world. You can also craft your own custom creations.  Wilkinson Baking Company’s Breadbot- The BreadBot, the first of its kind, is pioneering a fully automated way to bake bread. It mixes, forms, proofs, bakes and cools bread all on its own. Aimed at supermarkets, convenience stores, schools, and the military, and can crank out 10 freshly baked loaves per hour as it handles all the steps from flour to finished loaf without any human intervention.  Foldimate– Robotic laundry folder folds your clothes and puts into neat piles ready to put away. Automatically adapts to the clothing item type and size. Now, folding a full load of laundry, of around 25 items, takes less than 5 minutes!  Users simply feed each item into the FoldiMate machine and FoldiMate neatly folds towels, shirts, tops,…
The Syndiant 4K UHD 0.55” LCOS Light Modulation Panel caught my eye! In more ways than one. The SYL2341 manages to provide excellent image quality with vivid colors while meeting the cost and power requirements of portable applicationsThis Ultra small yet High Definition technology enables a bright and rich large screen experience in both near-eye and high brightness projection projects. The eyewear and projector demos on their booth at CES were very impressive indeed! Using small display panels plus optics to create video eyewear has been around for a while. But given their display architecture which integrates all-digital smart electronics onto the display panel, and the brightness and resolution they have achieved, it is worth watching this space for all sorts of potential portable immersive experiences. I will be on the lookout!  Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.
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