WEAR­ABLES: FROM SMART SHIRTS TO PET TRACK­ERS

The year where one can prob­a­bly find a smart tracker in ev­ery­thing.

HWM (Singapore) - - THINK - by JamesLu

When it comes to wear­ables, for now, the hottest piece of real es­tate is un­doubt­edly your wrist, but af­ter CES 2015, that might start to change. Among the In­no­va­tion Award win­ners at this year’s CES was a shirt that uses fiber op­tic ca­bling to track and model your body’s move­ment, a heart-rate-mon­i­tor­ing strip that sticks to a user’s torso, and a hel­met that can mea­sure and soothe your stress lev­els. Some ex­hibitors even de­buted wear­ables for pets.

Smart shirts that can track your ac­tiv­ity are noth­ing new, but shirts made out of a rev­o­lu­tion­ary new ma­te­rial called XelfleX could com­pletely change smart cloth­ing. The ma­te­rial makes use of fiber op­tic ca­bling and ad­vanced data al­go­rithms to track your body’s move­ment in in­cred­i­ble de­tail. It works through backscat­ter data cre­ated when­ever fiber op­tic ca­bling is bent or twisted. This data can then be used to cre­ate a real-time, per­fect 3D model of what the users arm is do­ing. The pos­si­bil­i­ties for fit­ness or sports coach­ing are end­less, but we might also see XelfleX paired with gear like Ocu­lus Rift to fur­ther en­hance the VR ex­pe­ri­ence.

One area show­ing great in­ter­est in new wear­ables is health­care. Rather than hook­ing pa­tients up to bulky ma­chines to mon­i­tor their vi­tals, a de­vice such as the Am­pStrip, an ad­he­sive patch with a built-in elec­tro­car­dio­gram sen­sor could be stuck to your chest like a band-aid, and used to mon­i­tor your heart-rate and ac­tiv­ity, sync­ing that data in real time di­rectly with the hos­pi­tal’s com­put­ers. CES also saw the de­but of the Melo­mind hel­met, which uses elec­trodes to mea­sure lev­els of stress via brain ac­tiv­ity and then plays ap­pro­pri­ately sooth­ing mu­si­cal tones to put wear­ers in a more re­laxed state. Chronic pain suf­fer­ers may also be in­ter­ested in the Quell band, which uses elec­trodes to stim­u­late nerves for pain re­lief.

Pets are now a tar­get mar­ket for wear­ables too, with the in­tro­duc­tion of prod­ucts like Won­derWoof, a Wi-Fi en­abled bow-tie with a built-in ac­celerom­e­ter that you can at­tach to your pet’s col­lar. The de­vice will track where your pet is, and give feed­back about his ac­tiv­ity. The app also sup­ports a sched­uler which pro­vides users with a ‘doggy di­ary’ for daily ac­tiv­i­ties. Won­derwoof’s cre­ator, Betsy Fore, cre­ated the de­vice af­ter re­al­iz­ing that her dog was fat, and then re­al­iz­ing that she had no idea why her pet was pack­ing

on the pounds.

"SMART SHIRTS THAT CAN TRACK YOUR AC­TIV­ITY ARE NOTH­ING NEW, BUT SHIRTS MADE OUT OF A REV­O­LU­TION­ARY NEW MA­TE­RIAL CALLED XELFLEX COULD COM­PLETELY CHANGE SMART CLOTH­ING.”

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