Wearable wristbands, smartwatches and eyewear-technology are sprouting. Last month, Nissan announced it'll be the first car manufacturer to create a smartwatch designed specifically for drivers of the Nissan Nismo cars. The Nissan Nismo Concept Smart Watch will connect the driver to the car, providing real-time biometric data to improve on-road safety, convenience, and more.Wearables are not replacing smartphone, but provide a continuous and integral way to have a device available at all times. Being worn on the ‘skin’, these devices have a variety of applications in healthcare, fitness, nutrition, commerce, transporation, and entertainment.
Wristband fitness tracker devices have already penetrated the global market today and include products by Nike+ Fuel, Jawbone, FitBit, and others. The fitness wristbands are highly evolved versions of the previous decade pedometers; they are smarter, more accurate, have many features, and help wearers be proactive in managing their health or fitness goals. The wearable activity trackers capture various physical body statistics, activities, calorie consumption, nutrition, etc. Coupled with a mobile app or an online account, the information collected can give users insights into their lifestyle activities and choices.
Smartwatches are also getting a buzz from proponents and opponents alike. Apple has focused their strategy on such watches. While Apple's mobile devices (iPhone and iPad) are well designed and easy to use, they tend to work seamlessly, flawlessly, and right out of the box and that the Some claim that the smartwatch concept is too complicated and is an unnecessary device and cannot replace the smartphone or tablet. The smartwatch tiny screen has limited capability and it's hard to comfortably see content on it. Other claim a tight competition with Google Glass.
Several applications of wearable technologies were showcased at DEMO Fall 2013 in Santa Clara in CA this week. The following innovators and game changers from various fields - vehicles, health, shopping, and productivity, were selected by the DEMO staff. For more information about wearables, check ‘Wearable technology as a key criteria on the dating scene?’
1. Skully Helmets - A GPS-based helmet for motorcycle riders was one of five award winning “DEMOgods”.
Skully Helmets created an advanced technology motorcycle helmet that was engineered with a human-centered approach. Skully P1 is the first vertically integrated smart tech helmet, which enhances awareness of its wearers by linking advanced optics to an intelligent network of cameras, sensors, and microprocessors.
2. People+ by Pro Populi Inc. - A curated directory of people and companies, providing preliminary information about prospects in the work environment. People+ gets the information about people and companies from contributors and publicly available sources (and it shows where the information came from). The idea is a sort of hybrid of LinkedIn and Wikipedia. Prior to a meeting, in early in-person or teleconference or phone engagements - the People+ user can get information about attendees. The app was presented as a sort of productivity tool for professionals, saving them time on Internet searches or sifting through other public information sources.
The app looks at public available databases and resources, public available social media profiles, and information the user 'approved' - i.e. the app gives the user the ability to confirm any part of the data. Therefore, the information People+ saves is user-validated and, hopefully, more accurate.
People+ is available on smartphones (iOS) and will be available to Google Glass users soon. The team also promised to provide an Android version soon, although the app is not available on desktops.
How do you handle the creepy feeling this may entice?
People+ creators said that privacy is a top priority for the startup. The information stored is limited to professional context only. Phone numbers, personal likes and preferences, etc. are not located or shared. The team reassured that only publicly available data is fetched, which can be found through an ordinary internet search. The underlying trust is that people will use ethical business conduct when using the app.
3. GlassPay - Enhancing the shopping experience through the use of Google Glass. Developed by RedBottle Design, the GlassPay app is designed to work at retailers, restaurants, supermarkets, and other stores that accept bitcoins as currency. Bitcoins is an innovative type of currency that has no central government authority or banks. Bitcoins offer a secure payment network and a new kind of money that uses peer-to-peer technology to operate. Bitcoins have no associated fees and their real value is determined by supply and demand.
The location-sensitive GlassPay allows you to buy merchandize even if it is not on shelves at the local stores. Once in a store, the app connects the shopper to the store’s inventory system, locates a sale price, signals the merchant to prepare the package for pick up, and notifies the buyer. The system also allows shoppers to prepare a wish-list at home and later, when shopping, draw from it.
To utilize GlassPay, stores need to connect their inventory management systems to the device and also their pricing models, promotions and sales. Data security is an issue for most merchants. This solution may be suitable for small merchants who do not have inventory tracking and may use a spread-sheet or a stand-alone outdated software on a personal computer.
GlassPay raises a few questions:
To utilize this app, people will need to invest in a $ 1500 Google Glass device. What is the difference between the GlassPay app and other mobile-based shopping and payment apps on our smartphones? Why would we need another mode of mobile wallets? Further, shopping is a social experience. What would be the advantage of the Google Glass-based app in the store when you go shopping with a friend?
Wearable technologies are fast becoming the 'next big thing' and many entrepreneurs have already entered this innovative sector. As with any emerging tech, time will tell which offerings 'caught on'.
1. NISSAN enters the wearable technology space with a new product - the NISMO watch. Read more here: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/62417-nissan-nismo-smartwatch-concept
2. DEMO and DEMOgods - www.demo.com
Produced by the IDG Enterprise events group, the worldwide DEMO conferences focus on emerging technologies and new products innovations, which are hand selected from across the spectrum of the technology marketplace. The DEMO conferences have a strong global reputation for consistently identifying cutting-edge technologies and promising companies in enterprise, consumer, mobile, social, health and hardware. DEMO helps entrepreneurs secure venture funding and establish critical business.
DEMO conferences: http://www.demo.com/ehome/DEMO/events