The Week in Wearables: Fresh Startups, Innovation, New Enterprise Uses, Market Insights

The Week in Wearables

Fresh Startups and Funding Announcements:

  • ParaShoot 2.0, a wireless wearable and customizable HD camera, recently led a massively successful Kickstarter campaign achieving its funding goal on the first day itself. With an assortment of clips, mounts, skins and usability options, extensive customizability is touted as the key selling point of the device by its creator, Matt Sandy. More coverage on the product here.
  • Another successful Kickstarter campaign has been led by Smartwatch 2.0 by Omate TrueSmart. The Smartwatch 2.0 claims to be the first ‘complete’ watch in that it doesn’t require any access to a smartphone although it is compatible with one. According to its Kickstarter page, Omate assembled a team of professionally competent experts across 8 nationalities and 3 continents to deliver the water resistant, Android 4.2 Smartwatch 2.0.
  • Sesame Ring, a new 3D printed product developed by two undergraduate engineering and design students at MIT, hopes to replace the traditional public transport metro cards with an uber-stylish highly customizable ring. The device currently works with Boston’s mass transit system. The company’s Kickstarter campaign achieved its goal within just one day of the launch.
  • Telepathy recently secured $5 million in its initial round of funding. The company’s upcoming devices will attempt to rival Google Glass. CEO Takahito Iguchi stated funds would be utilized to bring in more engineers. Read more about the announcement here. Also see an interesting article on GigaOM analyzing the importance of software and services, which discusses challenges for Telepathy and recent entrants in the wearables space.

New Innovations and Enterprise Uses:

  • Researchers at Virginia Tech have proposed the production of new pulse oximetry sensor utilizing helmets for construction workers in order to warn them against the onset of carbon monoxide poisoning. A prestigious scientific and engineering community has awarded them the Best Paper Award for their groundbreaking work. Read more about this technology here.
  • CrowdOptic partner with Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley researchers in an attempt to revolutionize the navigation industry by creating a trail of visual breadcrumbs using devices such as the Google Glass, to be used in conjunction with navigation apps like Maps. Users will be able to follow a visual trail within their line of sight through the viewer of a wearable smart device. Eventually, CrowdOptic envision the product to lead people to locations where groups are congregating, news is breaking, or friends are meeting. More about this here.
  • In the basketball world, eight NBA teams are using wearable devices from Catapult Sports to track athletes during practices. Some teams also have used the devices during preseason games. Read more about this announcement and Catapult’s technology on the NBA blogs. Also, a new startup Vibrado is developing a sensor packed sleeve that can monitor the form of players shots—learn more about the company on UPI.
  • Wearable technology for cows: MooMonitor helps UK dairy farmers improve yields by 5%. More on Telegraph.

Other Wearable Tech In The News

  • Body worn video technology has been recently put to use in providing law enforcement agencies with wearable cameras in order to monitor activty, ensure accountability, and capture evidence. Wearable cameras have been controversial in relation to New York City’s stop and frisk policy. Taser, an already well-established company, has released its line of ‘Axon’ cameras for this purpose. In addition, VIEVU has launched a new line of its own military grade VIEVU squared cameras along with an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds.
  • Google purchased heads-up display patents from Hon Hai (Foxconn). Read more on Businessweek. Other Google Glass news and articles: release date pushed to 2014, new voice and other updates, and field trip revolutionizes the tourism experience.

Market Insights:

  • Jack Gold talks about creating valuable sensor networks through wearable devices in an article on VentureBeat entitled “Smartwatches may fail — but wearables won’t.” Read the article here.
  • Broadcom CEO Scott McGregor thinks that wearables will be less dominated by big-brands than phones. Read more on All Things D. Earlier this week, his company expanded its Wireless Connectivity for Embedded Device Offerings, which will help wearables and other consumer devices seamlessly connect to the Internet. Read more about the announcement.
  • Fort Mill Times featured some figures from a market analysis report by Research and Markets outlining the growth prospects of the wearable technology market in the 2013-2018 period. The report also details the geographical areas that are expected to lead the growth.
  • Carl Weinschnek of the IT Business Edge posts about the potential of the wearable technology space beyond the traditional watch and glass forms, directing to useful links supporting his argument.
  • An article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal shows categorization of the roughly 100 million wearable devices sold at present. The article goes on to list the current obstacles faced by wearable technology developers.
  • In a post, UPI.com reports the privacy concerns evoked by wearable devices such as the Google Glass, and the consequent review carried out by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington.
  • A post on Information Week argues wearable devices could be a security threat and analyzes options for safe BYOD policies and protocols in enterprise.

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