stay perfectly hydrated with gatorade gx…

Gatorade introduced a prototype product it’s calling “Gatorade Gx”. It’s a combination of a patch you wear while working out, training, or whatever you call your physical/athletic activity, and a connected water bottle. It basically monitors how you’re sweating as you train, “capturing fluid, electrolyte, and sodium loss”.  Based on this, it lets you know when you should drink more, and if what you should drink is something specific based on your unique needs. That something specific being a “Pod” that has certain formula of electrolytes or nutrients you are losing as you sweat (your “electrolyte and carbohydrate needs”).

Why it’s hot:

As we see more uses of technologies like AI, biometrics, and connected sensors, products and services are becoming ultra personal. This is a personal hydration coach, filling a knowledge gap that otherwise only cues from your body might indicate you need. We should be keeping an eye on how brands are taking the old idea of “personalization” to its truest form, creating new ways to give them more than just a basic product or service.


create connected 3D printed objects…

3D printers helped us make a great leap into autonomous making with the ability to create our own physical “products”. But in a world where increasingly physical objects and products are connected, it’s frustrating not to be able to create 3D things that can be connected to digital devices. Enter researchers from University of Washington, who have “developed a way to 3D print plastic objects and sensors capable of communicating wirelessly with other smart devices, without the need for batteries or other electronics”.

As they say:

“The key idea behind our design is to communicate by reflections. The way that we do this is by reflecting Wi-Fi signals in the environment, similar to how you can use a mirror to reflect light. We 3D print antennas and switches that allow us to reflect radio signals. Using these components, we can build sensors that can detect mechanical motion, like water flow sensors and wind speed sensors. These sensors can then translate mechanical motion into reflections of Wi-Fi signals. As a result, we can create printable objects that can communicate wirelessly with Wi-Fi- enabled devices.”

Why It’s Hot:
It’s a primitive solution, but at least it’s an attempt to start enabling us to create our own “smart” products. In a world where soon almost all products will be connected, this is a promising step towards a true maker economy.


the internet of graphene…

[image and subject matter courtesy of digital trends]

Scientists/researchers from Trinity College of Dublin recently published a concept of printed, 2D transistors made of graphene that could instantly turn “dumb” physical objects into connected/”living” products.

According to them…

“You could imagine the possibility of one day having printed circuitry on food packaging, so that rather than having a barcode, you have a circuit that can communicate information to the user…That could mean a carton of milk that sends you a text message when your milk is about to go off. Another possible usage, Coleman said, is the concept of paper-thin displays, which could be embedded into newspapers or magazines, or slung up on the wall like a moving poster.


Why it’s hot:

I don’t profess to understand all the history and intricacies of circuits and transistors in the slightest, but I do see how the breakthrough idea of using a low-cost material that would make large scale implementation could have massive implications for the future of products. All of a sudden everything with a physical surface could become digitally-enabled, able to “come alive” in a sense and communicate, or even entertain us, opening up a whole new layer in the physical world.