get in the game digitally, by getting in the game physically…

Addidas just announced “GMR” – a digital insole that connects to FIFA Mobile. So, when people play football in real life, it scores them points in the game.

Why It’s Hot:

Clearly at least part of the appeal of games like FIFA is to feel like you’re truly making moves and scoring. What’s even better is to be able to be the one making those moves and scoring, but getting digital points for it. It’s an interesting example of the digital transformation of physical things around us, especially with all the talk about e-Sports being a big part of sporting future.


Move Over, Alexa

Voice command devices, like Alexa and Siri, enable humans to engage, operate, and interact with technology thanks to the power of voice, but these technologies fail to account for the voiceless among us. Many people— including those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, paralysis, or traumatic brain injuries— are unable to take advantage of such voice-user interface (VUI) devices. That’s where Facebook Reality Labs (FBR) comes in.

Image result for brain computer interface facebook

FBR has partnered with neuroscience professionals at UCSF to give a voice back to the voiceless by attempting to create the first non-invasive, wearable brain-computer interface (BCI) device for speech. This device would marry “the hands-free convenience and speed of voice with the discreteness of typing.” Although BCI technology is not new, the creation of BCI technology capable of converting imagined speech into text, without requiring implanted electrodes, would be.

Image result for brain computer interface gif

In a recently successful—albeit limited—study, UCSF researchers demonstrated that brain activity (recorded while people speak) could be used to decode what people were saying into text on a computer screen in real-time. However, at this time, the algorithm can only decode a small set of words.

Although promising, such results are preliminary, and researchers have a long way to go until the power of this silent speech interface technology can be harnessed non-invasively and in wearable form. What is more, researchers believe this BCI technology “could one day be a powerful input for all-day wearable [augmented reality (AR)] glasses.”

Why it’s hot

Such a radical innovation would not only help those who can’t speak, it could alter how all people interact with today’s digital devices.


Read your EKG Instantly on your Phone with KARDIA

The world knows no deadlier assassin than heart disease. It accounts for one in four fatalities in the US. Early detection remains the key to saving lives, but catching problems at the right time too often relies upon dumb luck. The most effective way of identifying problems involves an EKG machine, a bulky device with electrodes and wires.

Most people visit a doctor for an electrocardiogram. That, too, is no guarantee, because the best detection means being tested when a potential problem reveals itself. Otherwise, early signs of heart disease might go undetected.

At-risk patients might find a compact, easy to use EKG machine a good option. Like so many other gadgets, portable EKG machines are getting ever smaller—just look at products like Zio, HeartCheck, and QuardioCore.

The Kardia from AliveCor is about the width of two sticks of gum. Stick the $100 device on the back of your phone or slip it into your wallet, place a few fingers on it for 30 seconds, and you’ve got a medical-grade EKG reading on your phone.












But the bigger story is not in the gadget’s size, but in what happens with the heart data it collects. The company uses neural networks and algorithms to identify signs of heart disease, an approach it hopes might change how cardiologists diagnose patients.

The company was successful at convincing FDA, MayoClinic and the investors that devices’ ease of use will lead to more frequent testing and increase the likelihood of early detection. About a month of use builds a heart profile and then Kardia’s data-driven algorithm can detect if something goes amiss. Your doctor receives a message only when the anomaly is detected.

Why it is hot: Future of diagnostics is in data-driven approach. With IBM Watson and other innovations in machine learning, we are up for a healthier future!!!


The Magic Touch

Because touching isn’t exciting enough already, now Panasonic has unveiled a prototype that transmits data via skin contact. When wearing a transmitter, data is sent through a radio field that is transmitted through human skin. The technology is safe, as the currents flow on the surface of the body, not on the inside.

Currently, the tech can do simple things like change the color light of a lamp, but it can potentially have more practical uses like exchanging business information (the business cards of the future!) with a handshake or open locked doors by touching the door handle. The use cases are pretty infinite – Think, paying for your seamless order, providing medical history, starting your car, IDing yourself to an officer when you get pulled over, changing the thermostat temperature, all with a touch. Magic.

It does raise the question of how easily this can make it to steal personal data, but that’s for another post.

As of now, the technology is too big for practical use, but Panasonic is able to make the device as small as needed if there is demand for the system.

Why It’s Hot:

  • It turns the entire human body into wearable tech hardware
  • It’s the ultimate seamless digital experience
  • Makes it wonderfully easy to exchange numbers with people at bars

Tweets Powered By Your Feet #GetCharged

AMPY MOVE™ is a portable smartphone battery charger that charges itself as you move (from kinetic energy) encouraging a fit lifestyle through a “smarter way to stay charged.”

AMPY MOVE™ is a portable smartphone battery charger that charges itself as you move (from kinetic energy)

The founders of AMPY MOVE portable battery charger and AMPY+ mobile app explored the possibilities of capturing their own energy from daily activities to charge their smartphones, then engineered a solution to do just that and so the AMPY MOVE was born; a motion-charger, a portable smartphone battery that charges from kinetic energy.

AMPY MOVE™ is a portable smartphone battery charger that charges itself as you move

AMPY MOVE, “The World’s First Wearable Motion-Charger,”  also has a free app available, AMPY+, “A Smarter Way to Live Charged.”

The AMPY+ smartphone app helps you stay charged and stay fit. Review your personal Battery Life Forecast with predictions and insights, track the calories you burn and power you generate, and compete with your friends.

AMPY+ App // FREE to Download

It’s free, and you don’t need an AMPY MOVE to use it. Sending a shout out to the founders of this cool new kinetic energy capturing wearable. Your team nailed the seeding for the December Release of AMPY MOVE with the free AMPY+ app.

Why It’s HOT: Preventive health and wellness are at the forefront of our lives; driving insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and employers to encourage taking ownership of your health and long term wellness. Enabling a healthy and fit lifestyle through a wearable like AMPY MOVE provides great utility and it could influence positive lifestyle changes in those that use it. It’s green energy, it’s good for your health and it makes you sound really smart when you say “I utilize my kinetic energy to charge my smartphone while getting fit for bathing suit season. What do you do?”


Form Following Function in Wearables…


“One-touch/tap/swipe” payment systems obviously are far from new. The combination of Apple Pay with the Apple Watch has made it easy for those who own one to pay for things quickly and easily, as has Google Wallet. But while you might argue the style appeal of the fluorescent Apple Watch band, it’s really designed more to be functional than beautiful.

Now, the UK fashion brand Lyle & Scott has partnered with Barclaycard to bring more form to the function of “one-touch/tap/swip” payment. It has designed a jacket with a built-in “bPay” chip that makes it easy to pay for things with a swipe of the right sleeve (anything under £30 at the moment, that is). The Barclaycard-developed chip can also make “almost anything into a contactless way to pay.”

Why It’s Hot

The promise of digital is more functional, but ultimately, we don’t want function to always dictate form factor, especially when it’s something you have to wear. Technology like the Apple Watch, and even Google Glass is cool in what it does, but especially in the latter case, it may not exactly project any kind of sense of style. Now that the function is there, the form seems not far off into the future, even if this still feels a bit ahead of the times.

Color-Changing Helmets Won’t Just Minimize Trauma, They’ll Detect It



Soldiers’ lives are always on the line. Athletes also suffer many life-threatening blows for the love of the game. Accidents can happen anytime. How would one know if he or she is already suffering from a brain injury if there are no other obvious symptoms? A team from the University of Pennsylvania developed a polymer that changes color upon impact to determine whether a person has suffered head trauma, as reported by the American Chemical Society.

The team used holographic lithography to equip the photonic crystals with specific design structures. When force is applied to this material, the force deforms the crystals and therefore, changes the crystals’ internal structures. As a result, the color of the crystal changes.

This color-changing polymer is lightweight and will not require anything else to function. The eventual goal of this study is to be able to use the polymer in the helmets of athletes and soldiers, who are more prone to suffering from brain injuries. Furthermore, this polymer aims to help save lives through early detection. Medical personnel can immediately check if victims of a bomb blast suffered trauma to the head, too.

Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot

This has promise to be a really useful technology — not just for the reasons described currently. What if our shoes could tell us why our foot hurts? What if our glasses could diagnose eye disease. The possibilities are really interesting.


Smart Conference Badge Does the Networking for You

Attending a conference can be an exercise in sensory overload—back-to-back speakers, new technology demonstrations, and ongoing networking makes it difficult to keep track of important information or contacts. Loopd is a new wearable technology meant to simplify conference attendance, unobtrusively collecting data as users enjoy the experience, stress free.

Beacons are placed around the event location and establish a network that communicates with individual wearers’ Loopd chips. These chips, worn around attendees’ necks like lanyards, receive data from the beacons and track users’ movements within the space. At any point during the conference, attendees can sync their chips with a mobile app, which displays the booths and presentations they visited, the people they interacted with, and the locations where they spent the most time. Users can also access additional information and links about the events’ vendors and speakers.

Loopd also provides a trove of data for marketers and conference organizers. Sponsors can configure their devices to collect data about the attendees who interacted with their booths and provided means for follow-up communication. Organizers can collect data to measure traffic flow and demographics; collected information can be transferred to office software for post-conference analysis and improvement.

To protect the privacy of users, Loopd allows each individual user to customize how much information can be shared, from contact information to demographic data. The system is also prepared for technical complications: if an event’s wireless network goes down (which the system of beacons relies on), the badges continue to collect data, and update once the connection is restored.

loopd-700x383 loopd-700x386Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot

We’ve seen beacon technology take hold in retail and now we are seeing another interesting use in person to person interaction. This also brings to light the willingness and also hesitation of people to give away their personal data – a hot issue as capabilities become endless. Is Trying Really Hard at this Wearables Thing of the hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas has announced that his company a new wearable device called Puls designed to replace the mobile phone.

Aptly described as a “smart cuff,” Puls enables users to make calls, text, check social media, connect to Wi-Fi and bluetooth networks, play music, check calories burned, and more–all without a smartphone tethered. Puls is a standalone device. It also features a Siri competitor named “Aneeda” and runs on Android mobile OS.

Accompanying the launch announcement is an “anthem” video narrated by, which tries to become a “call to arms” for “alternative” thinkers and “leaders” to stand up against the smartphone world and rethink our relationship to technology.

Why It’s [Not] Hot

I applaud Puls for daring to take on the Apples, Samsungs and Microsofts of the world. Competition is a healthy thing. But Will, why do you have to make it so cheesy?’s video screams “trying too hard” to me. But more than that, it’s the marketing decisions themselves that have me scratching my head.

  1. “Puls” is an existing company
  2. Upon Google search, only news stories are out there for those who want information on the product.
  3. While every article talks about how’s 35-engineer strong venture is backed by, nowhere do users actually hear the company name! So they can’t find a site for Puls or read about by searching the company.

Seriously, what year are we in?  And with all that venture capital, why didn’t hire a marketing consultant (or agency, cough cough) to design a release strategy?!? I wish you all the best, but you’ve got me scratching my head.

Source: DesignTaxi

Ralph Lauren Goes Tech

Ralph Lauren unveiled a high-performance Polo Tech shirt at the start of the 2014 U.S. Open. The Polo Tech shirt merges biometrics into active lifestyle apparel, marking a revolution in advanced technology designed to improve general wellness and increase personal fitness. The shirt features sensors knitted into the core of the product to read biological and physiological information. The data collected by the shirt is stored by a “black box,” which includes an accelerometer and gyroscope, which capture movement and direction. That ”black box” transmits the data into the cloud, where it is plugged into a number of algorithms that gauge important performance-oriented biometrics, including heartbeat and respiration, as well as some psychometrics such as stress level and energy output.

Why It’s Hot:

Our vision is that this will transcend sports to help us at every age and in every aspect of life. Reaching far beyond just the needs of elite athletes, Polo Tech will offer innovative technology for all ages and lifestyles to promote general wellness and quality of life.” David Lauren Senior Vice President of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations

As wearable technology continues to emerge as a hot trend moving forward, many more luxury brands will be jumping for a chance to take a slice of the pie. Ralph Lauren is getting ahead of the game by creating a useful garment to appeal to the affluent tennis/golf/fitness audience that the brand tends to attract.

Ralph Lauren Launches Wearable Tech Apparel at U.S. Open

In the past few years, the wearable tech market has come to encompass an array of new consumer-friendly accessories, but some brands are thinking bigger.

To coincide with the start of the U.S. Open on Monday, Ralph Lauren is launching a wearable tech apparel collection, beginning with a “Polo Tech” shirt that gives biometric feedback to the wearer. A variety of sensors knitted into garment allow it to measure heart rate (and the variability thereof), breathing rates, breathing depth, steps and calories burned. (If you’re interested, those sensors include an ECG, a breathing sensor and, to clock movement, an accelerometer and gyroscope.) All of that data is recorded in a little black box attached at the wearer’s ribcage and transmitted via Bluetooth to an accompanying iPhone app.

Oh, and as for the fabric itself, it’s also anti-microbial and moisture-wicking. Obviously.


Why it’s hot:

While this shirt marks a break from the accessories we’ve seen so much of recently, tech-enabled fabric is a field that’s actually been heating up for quite a while. To handle the actual technical stuff, Ralph Lauren turned to the Canadian company OMsignal, which makes that little black tracker and has been developing its own, very similar-looking range of fitness shirts, now available for pre-order.