The Wearable Technology Conference that has just concluded in New York City, brought together leaders in healthcare, fashion, sports, and technology to discuss recent technological advancements and showcase cutting edge wearable devices. Below are examples of some of the most interesting ones:
miCoach Elite System -- Adidas
Qaizar Hassonjee, VP Innovation, Wearable Sports Electronics, Adidas presented the miCoach Elite System, a monitoring system that can track physiological measures and player performance for an entire team in real-time. Measurements include heart rate, speed, distance, acceleration, field position, power, and player efficiency and are instantly sent to a coach's tablet. This cutting-edge innovation consists of small sensors that fit in each player's base layer and wirelessly transmit physiological data to a portable central base station for analysis. The system provides a coach with key insights during games and training to help teams to attain and maintain peak physical performance.
Cynaps Enhance -- Max Virtual
Mike Freeman, CEO and Product Developer, Max Virtual presented Cynaps Enhance that was described as a far superior and low-cost solution for conductive hearing loss. Designed to fit into a hat, it amplifies and directs sound to the inner ear through vibration. The ear-free operation includes dual microphones that provide stereo sound and allow for location awareness. Cynaps Enhance was the Winner of the "Best in Show" and the "Audience Choice" Awards at the 2013 Wearable Tech Expo.
Shine -- Misfit Wearables
Sonny Vu, CEO, Misfit Wearables Corporation introduced Shine, "the world's most elegant physical activity monitor." The Shine is designed to encourage people to set activity goals and complete them. A user can see how active s/he has been throughout the day with a simple tap. It is carved out of aircraft-grade aluminum, slightly larger than a quarter, battery-powered, and can be worn with a variety of accessories such as a clasp, a sport band, a leather band, or a necklace. The Shine physical activity monitor received the "Best Device Award" at the 2013 Wearable Tech Expo.
HC1 Headset Computer -- Motorola Solutions
Nicole Tricoukes, Senior Maverick, Motorola Solutions, demonstrated the HC1 Headset Computer. This hands-free wearable computer allows users to access virtually any information and leverages advanced voice recognition, head gestures and video streaming to allow users to access and view documents and schematics, watch instructional videos, and record and/or send real-time still images or video. Designed for environments where accessing information from a laptop is not safe or feasible, the device targets industrial users such as field technicians who can receive expert assistance on-site almost instantly or public safety teams who can practice crisis scenarios and get real-time trainer feedback.
PLT labs -- Plantronics
Cary Bran, Senior Director of Innovation, New Ventures, Plantronics described a context-aware wearable, software platform for smart headsets with applications in a range of industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and financial services. Plantronics' smart headsets use a variety of sensors with head tracking, gyro, and compass capabilities, to create new user experiences. Plantronics received the "Best Application Award" at the 2013 Wearable Tech Expo.
While wearable devices are still in their early phase of development, it is clear that the success of these devices will depend on three important factors: (1) Behavioral changes required from the user to interact with a wearable device, (2) Advantages of the interface of wearable devices, e.g., smart headset, smart watch, over existing interfaces such as smart phones or tablets, and (3) Identification of the best applications for the consumer and the enterprise market.