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 the next year or two.
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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.
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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 :-)
Couch potatoes are a dying breed. People are just not sitting in one place long enough to view content these days.
At the Innovation City exhibition at Mobile World Congress this year there certainly were a lot of Swivel Chairs and there was a queue to sit in them. Mostly to view 3D360º content of all types. Everything from games, roller coaster rides to real live video content shot in 3D360º.
An unbelievable Interactive Entertainment experience!
The technology is now with us and very cheap if you add your own Smartphone as the screen.
Unlike couch potatoes and movie goers, they were not all looking in the same direction! Up, down and all around. The swivel chair is a must as without it, a sore neck results!
So my new term for viewers of virtual and real 3D360º content is "Swivel Chair Potatoes".
Pay attention Broadcast, TV and movie industry players! This is a new kind of compelling content for you to monetise. Think news, sports, travel, documentaries, reality shows and lots more...
13 March 2015 - I have been an outspoken advocate of Augmented Reality needing to be a Five Senses experience simply because our 'reality' experience involves all five, 24/7. I have been working with a stealth start up in the process of bringing context driven fragrance and scent dispensing into the wearable technology space. More on that sometime soon :-)
As a followup to the Wearable Technology Show this past week, I met with Adrian David Cheok, Professor of Pervasive Computing at City University London and Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore.
He introduced me to Scentee, a scent spraying APPessory to iOS and Android Smartphones. A bit large to fit in your pocket, but not bad for a first pass at producing smells on demand or remotely over long distances.
Scentee also is the technology for an Oscar Meyer Bacon campaign that made the technology and an APP called "Wake Up and Smell the Bacon" available to lucky contest winners.
Basically when your alarm on your phone goes off, it makes the sizzling sound and produces a puff of the smell of Bacon to get you interested in actually getting up and cooking some!
This all Caught My Eye and my Olfactories!
It's a start...
More to come! Watch this space!
Starting now (March 2015), the "Connected Watch" (aka, Smart Watch) sector will be dominated by existing watch brands that know their customers well and they will now add appropriate features and applications in their next models. Partly because it's the next value add they can make to their products and simply because they can - the electronics fit in without changing the profile of their products, they know what features would turn on their brand fans next and their consumer base all have smartphones.
These brands, plus a precious few - Apple, Pebble, Martian and a few other "Smart Watch" pioneers will be the dominant players in this category going forward. (R.I.P. to most of the others)
Other notable evidence - Guess Watches with Martian inside. Swarovski Shine with Misfit Shine hiding inside their latest jewellery collection.
Another example of a Fashion Brand with a strong market following partnering with one of the leading wearable technology companies. I wrote this up last year as the Martian Notifier because of it's styling and functionality and have been wearing it for quite a while because it looks like a normal watch, but has valuable functionality hiding inside.
Adding the Guess styling and brand to the equation could be a winner.
GUESS CONNECT, Powered by Martian. Looking forward to trying one of these!
It was inevitable - connected marital aids. I can't really expand on this too much, but I think if I describe some of the functions, you will be able to take it from there. I must admit, the person at the booth certainly understood the use cases!
Stimulation in cadence to heart rate, music, various settings, etc. etc. etc.
Plus remote control stimulation. The world is your oyster! This is definitely a notable step up from the CuteCircuit Hug Shirt!