Posted By Simon Montford on March 10, 2017
The Wearable Technology Show is Europe’s biggest event for wearables, AR/VR, and the Internet of Things. According to the organisers around 6,000 people attended the fourth incarnation of this esteemed event. Leading names across almost every aspect of connected technology were present to show their wares and share their insights. The Wearable Technology Show was co-located with the "AR, VR & MXR Show", and "IOT Connect".
For many in the industry, WTS is a welcome detox after the madness that is MWC. Although the two shows are very different in scale and atmosphere, they increasingly share many similarities as the overlap between smartphones and other categories of connected device becomes more obvious.
New for 2017, the Digital Health Technology Show is where delegates get to see the future of healthcare, and learn about the latest disruptive technologies that are transforming the medical sector. Examples include a demonstration of a virtual medical emergency procedure that took place in a virtual hospital compliments of an HTC Vive™ headset. The simulation was developed in partnership with the Centre for Medical Simulation of the University Hospital in Nice, France, and built in collaboration with Harvard Medical International.
A kiosk developed by BeWell Innovations, enables patients to independently measure their own vital health indicators at the point of care. It can also send test results and health questions directly to the hospital’s software interface, eliminating any third party access to patient information. Results can be printed and are automatically added to the patient’s health record for immediate use in consultation.
Sleep technology continues to be a trend, because an increasing number of sleep-deprived people are clamouring to gain access to the growing number of products that promise to increase the quality and quantity of sleep. One example is Dreem, that claims to have achieved a breakthrough in wearable technology using proprietary hardware and software. Their headband uses customised and advanced sensors to monitor brain waves in a way that is precise, non-invasive and safe. The Dreem headband works in tandem with sophisticated algorithms to track and analyse brain activity in real-time. It then stimulates the brain through sound (pink noise), which is transmitted through bone conduction technology to optimise and enhance the quality of deep sleep.
With all the recent talk of air pollution in the capital city, it seems apt that we give Vybra a mention. It was apparently the first wearable air purifier to appear at the show. It not only looks stylish but is comfortable and light to wear. It works by destroying particles of pollution in the air, preventing contaminants from being inhaled.
Not surprisingly there were loads of AR and VR wearables on display. Some of the highlights included the following. The Moverio BT-350, Epson's newest product to join the Moverio family, aims to bring museums and other visitor attractions to life. The promise is that by wearing the device, visitors no longer need to imagine how a long-extinct dinosaur or an ancient artefact may have looked. Instead they can now view them as 3D virtual objects.
UNO smart eyewear uses AR to give the wearer access to incoming e-mails, texts and social media updates, enabling the user to keep track of what is going on at all times. Notifications are discreetly displayed just outside the field of vision, to avoid annoying or distracting the user.
Kopin demonstrated the Scott Sight firefighter’s helmet; a revolutionary system that provides firefighters with hands-free access to thermal imaging data via a near-eye augmented display unit affixed to a safety mask. It offers firefighters a way to operate more safely by providing a thermal image to highlight hidden dangers such as fire behind closed doors.
VRnet aims to offer value added services to real estate developers. During the early construction stage, there is little to show potential clients except for 2D images. Most people find it difficult to imagine, much less feel, a 3D space based on 2D images. The company developed VR showroom to address this problem, enabling virtual buildings and interiors to be created using existing software tools used by architects.
Like last year, the show was packed full of wearable health, wellbeing and fitness technology. Although some reports have indicated that there has been a sharp decline in demand for fitness trackers and smartwatches, there was no sign of this at the show. Here are a few that we thought deserved a mention.
Nimb is a ring that's also a personal security system. It features a panic button that sends emergency alerts to a pre-set list of contacts including friends, family members, carers, first responders, people nearby and other members of the community.
In a similar vein, Inshoerance uses proprietary motion analysis to send alarms and to calculate health related parameters. The owner can secretly transmit a discrete and private alarm in the event that their personal safety is threatened.
AIQ Smart Clothing showcased their updated BioMan 100 heart rate monitoring fitness shirt. It now features smaller sensors that monitor heart rate and activity.
MYZONE introduced a subscription service of exercise classes that can be downloaded to your smart device. It has been designed to work best with MYZONE smart clothing, heart rate monitor, and app. Users can monitor their effort levels, receive suggestions to improve workouts, and obtain real-time expert feedback.
Cognisess has developed a device that can transmit the brain waves of racing drivers in real-time to the pit crew and race team. When used with Cognisess Deep Learn™ it can spot patterns of processing that are not in line with the drivers’ best performance on the track. Emotional responses have been known in the past to cause drivers to misjudge risks, so this technology could potentially increase performance, and improve driver safety.
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