Like many professional women, Christina Mercando keeps her smartphone in her purse, which meant she was constantly digging it out to check for important notifications. But what if she could get that info from something she was already wearing, much as pants-wearing men can feel a phone buzz in their pocket? That’s the thinking behind Ringly, a line of rings that can be programmed to glow when wearers get an email from their boss, a text from their Uber driver or any number of other can’t-miss communications. Mercando, a former product and design manager at eBay, raised more than $1 million to realize her vision. So far, the concept is working: the first 1,000 Ringly rings, which debuted in June, sold out within 24 hours.
That’s why Perko is building a central command center to preserve his company’s institutional knowledge. The idea? Assemble that brain trust of gray-haired experts to help, with the aid of technology, less experienced employees in the field. The younger workers wear special safety glasses equipped with a camera, microphone, speaker, detachable flash drive, and wireless antenna. Through a Bluetooth connection to their phone, the fieldworkers transmit a live video feed of their actions back to the command center. A veteran watches and gives further instruction.
The “smart” safety glasses, made by a Nashville startup called XOEye Technologies, are a “game-changer,” Perko says. Problems get fixed faster, the younger workers learn faster, and reports can be sent to clients to verify that a job has been completed. Pleased with the results of a pilot, Perko plans to expand his use of the $499 glasses and potentially put them on the faces of 300 of his 800 employees.
The Microsoft Health platform includes a cloud service for consumers and the industry to store and combine health and fitness data to create powerful insights. Microsoft Health will be available for consumers from the new Microsoft Health app which launches today on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Also launching today is the Microsoft Band, a smart band designed for Microsoft Health, for people who want to live healthier and be more productive.
First, let’s talk about how Microsoft Health will make tracking personal fitness easier, more insightful and more holistic. Microsoft Health will unite data from different health and fitness devices and services in a single, secure location. Once stored in Microsoft Health, you can combine the data you generate from different devices and services – steps, calories, heart rate and more – to receive powerful insights from our Intelligence Engine.
Like Google or Xerox, “GoPro” is one of those branded proper nouns that has been so successful that it has become a verb. With 6,000 or more new tagged videos uploaded to YouTube each day, GoPro-ing is now a legitimate phenomenon. The cameras are sturdy, cheap and small enough to sit in the palm of your hand; they can be attached to almost anything, from a surfboard to a tripod to a recalcitrant labrador. They are easy to use and produce remarkably high-quality video, which you can post online right away. To Hennessy’s disappointment, though, that formula was not enough to gain the pair’s films any online traction.
Sports science is becoming increasingly sophisticated. AtSeattle Sounders FC, (an MLS team) David Tenney the team’s fitness coach explains how its use of wearable technology, GPS data and data from triangulated video shoots are used to build fitness profiles that are visualized in Tableau and then used to optimize training and fitness plans for the star players.
“Imagine a digital tattoo that transmits skin temperature; a transparent sensor on a contact lens that tests for glaucoma; a pliable pacemaker wrapped around a beating heart; and an implant that controls pain after surgery, then dissolves harmlessly when it is no longer needed.
Each one is an experiment under way today in the biophysics of personal medicine.
At laboratories in the U.S., Switzerland, and Korea, bioengineers are developing unusually flexible ultrathin electronics that promise to free medical diagnostics from the clinical tethers of cables and power cords, to make measuring vital signs more intimate and effective.”
Designer Gadi Amit on the challenges in designing wearables in Bloomberg
“The variability is astounding. We have an office of 30 to 35 people, and with a simple measurement like the circumference of the wrist, we have a variability of 100 percent. The largest wrist is twice as large as the smallest wrist. The other element which is very difficult is that the technology pieces are still quite cumbersome. Batteries come in boxy shapes, screens come with sharp corners. Wielding these elements is an art.”
A "cognitive activity tracker" developed by Kai Kunze at Osaka Prefecture University in Japan can tell how many words we read, how often and how fast we read, and even whether we are skim reading or actually concentrating on the content. It could also generate summaries of documents as you read them by logging which passages your eyes dwell on.
Such detail about what we look at, whether on a screen or on paper, is being made possible by the emergence of gaze-trackers – devices that monitor our eyes to analyse where we are looking. Swedish firm Tobii Technology is leading the way in commercialising the technology. It has developed a $99 system that uses infrared cameras trained on the cornea to watch for the eyeball's movements. These cameras can be built into a headset, such as Google Glass, or clipped to the top of a computer screen or tablet.