CES SHOW : Wearable Tech Roundup
Listen, people, let’s talk wearables (again) !
It is now 2019 and wearables seem to be being announced and denounced as we all know, leaked and launched as we are all doubtful, adored and scorned left right and centre; BUT I dare you to name one that isn’t an Apple Watch? – Can you do that?
In fact, I’ll go one further, I bet you couldn’t name a wearable that isn’t a smart watch? Alright that’s a lot of hyperbole but seriously wearable tech has been more of a slow burn rather than an explosive entry into the market. So fortunately, Detekt visited CES Show this year in Las Vegas and we’d like to share with you not necessarily the best wearables that we have seen at the show, but the ones that grab our attention the most; just so you know that some of wearables we like, they had never been showcasing at CES before
First up, wearable airbag. More specifically, a wearable hip protecting belt that deploys when it detects a fall. The elderly are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and the likelihood of falling increases drastically as you go over the age of 65.
In fact per year, in the US, there are 3,000,000 million people treated in emergency rooms for falls. Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures, 95% of which are caused by falling and usually sideways (Centre for Disease Control). Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities. When a person is less active, they become weaker and this increases their chances of falling. So at first glance, a wearable Airbag may seem like a strange product but actually could be one with huge benefit to people who are vulnerable and could provide them the confidence to stay independent.
The airbag contained within a belt and has accelerometers that can detect when the wearer is falling. Once a fall is detected the airbag is deployed firing a cushioning skirt that extends around the hips, and onto the seat of the wearer. The airbag provides protection and dampening when the wearer falls but also sends a warning alert to ensure that help is never too far away.
Next up is the strangest but maybe best thing I have ever seen in my life. One of the oldest avenues of development is the human machine interface. Creating a user interface that is intuitive, and natural is one of the hardest challenges that faces a designer. For those of us who have gone through the frustration of using an unfamiliar washing machine, you’ll know what the pain of poor user interface design can feel like. So if there is a way to make the human machine interface more natural, easier or intuitive then designers will also try to integrate that. Well, what if there was no interface?
No, I’m not talking about voice control via smart assistants like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. What I am talking about is Eyelashes. Not just any eyelashes, but smart eyelashes with an infrared-transmitting module mounted on the user’s necklace that uses the eyelashes as an input device.
Katie Vega a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Pontifical Catholic University, Rio de Janeiro and founder of Beauty Technology, has created eyelashes literally turn the user into an input device https://www.wired.co.uk/article/motion-control-makeup. The eyelashes use natural gestures and motion to control devices around them. Granted, right now it only controls a TV, however, it allows 33-year-old quadriplegic Felipe Esteves to control that TV. After a devastating injury Esteves, the six times Brazilian champion and twice world champion in Ju Jitsu, Esteves was devastated without the ability to carry out even basic day to day functions like talking. Esteves relies on a computer that he blinks at to do his talking for him. A device like this give him the ability to control his TV without assistance gaining some needed independence. If Vega can extend this technology to other parts of the body, gestural control could be a more natural way for us to control the world around us. TV too loud? Mute it by covering your ears. Lights too bright causing you to squint? Sensors detect squinting and dim the lights. Endless possibIlities, for an amazing product.
Finally a technology straight out of TRON, smart apparel called e-skin. At least, it looks like it’s straight out of TRON. E-skin is a wearable technology that is integrated into the very fabric of your clothing. E-skin is a collection of sensors that gather data all about your body. How it moves, your heart rate, breathing rate, positional data, skin temperature, hydration, stress levels and tons more. By integrating multiple sensors into the fabric it’s possible to tell precisely where your limbs are. If you can tell precisely where your limbs are then it opens up a whole realm of possibilities. For instance, if you are a runner, a connected app could measure your gait, and provide live coaching to perfect your technique, or a VR game could sense where your body is and use that as the game controller. If you are an athlete having a complete picture of your health is paramount in order to deliver peak performance. Sensors capable of continuously measuring your blood sugar, heart rate, breathing and hydration you could identify indicators that could inhibit performance. Pretty nifty, and potentially game changing for the sports world for sure, and potentially for the games industry.
Every year at CES, it is always a place for another smorgasbord of amazing technology showcasing. Everyday at Detekt, we love seeing what the world has to offer and we love the inspiration it gives us. Staying ahead of the trend and designing amazing wearable tech is something we here at Detekt pride ourselves on. If you are looking for expertise in developing and designing wearable technology then we’d love to have a chat. If you’d like to find out how we can help you with your latest project of dream, please get in touch with us today.