A company named Astride Bionix has Kickstarted a “wearable chair” they call Lex that lets you drag around a bulky thing around the city for those few minutes of the day when you’d rather be sitting. The Lex will retail north of the $300 rate on Kickstarter.
“The lightweight, 2.2-pound exoskeleton legs retract when they’re not in use, giving you the ability to move around easily and without any restrictions.” (Digital Trends)
John Hancock is putting an end to traditional life insurance and plans to exclusively start selling interactive policies. Policyholders will be prompted to use wearable devices (or their phones) to track health data and are incentivized to pursue healthy habits with the promise of lower premiums.
To run the new program, Hancock partnered with Vitality Group, a platform that already operates widely in South Africa and the UK. Vitality claims policyholders using wearables live 13 to 21 years longer than “normally” insured couch potatoes.
Seemingly, this approach is a win-win: consumers pay less while insurers reduce their risk. And, while the company has sold such policies since 2015, a move to fundamentally change their business model poses a stark contrast against the norms of an antiquated industry.
Why its hot: When data collection is mutually beneficial, we’re okay with it
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
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.”
The founders of AMPY MOVEportable battery charger and AMPY+ mobileappexplored 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, “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.
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?”
Nymi, MasterCard and TD Bank Group have kicked off a pilot program for a wearable device that is able to authenticate payments using the wearer’s heartbeat. The Nymi Band utilizes HeartID, which leverages a person’s unique cardiac signature (or ECG) as a biometric identifier. It is the world’s first biometrically authenticated wearable, in the form of a stylish wristband that lets you pay for items and prove your identity using your heartbeat.
This closed payment pilot is taking place over the summer to test the Nymi Band’s contactless payment functionality. Over 100 TD users in Toronto, Ottawa and Regina will be trying out the new technology, with other participating Canadian banks scheduled to launch similar pilots later this year.
An NFC-enabled prototype of the Nymi Band has been developed for the pilots, which is linked to a user’s MasterCard to enable them to make contactless payments using the Tap & Go terminals found at lots of retailers. The Nymi Band is a reliable and continuous wearable authenticator that combines convenience and security. Karl Martin, Nymi’s founder and CEO said:
Nymi’s goal is to fundamentally change the way authentication is treated and to move industries towards a more secure and convenient identity model. By working with partners like TD and MasterCard, we are effectively demonstrating that continuous authentication can be a more secure and convenient way to make retail payments.
Wearables and payment innovation are 2 hot topics that are coming together more and more often. Another hot topic is data security, privacy and reassurance associated with wearables and contactless payments. I like this wearable because the ultimate goal is seamlessness, and it’s charting new territory to achieve that. It’s also taking us to a “screenless” place, which is where the SXSW panelists predicted this year at the event.
Will.i.am 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 Will.i.am, 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? Will.i.am’s video screams “trying too hard” to me. But more than that, it’s the marketing decisions themselves that have me scratching my head.
“Puls” is an existing company
Upon Google search, only news stories are out there for those who want information on the product.
While every article talks about how Will.i.am’s 35-engineer strong venture is backed by Salesforce.com, 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 Will.i.am hire a marketing consultant (or agency, cough cough) to design a release strategy?!? Will.i.am I wish you all the best, but you’ve got me scratching my head.
First TV screens were rigid. Then they were slightly curved. Now they are going totally rollable, like a rolled up piece of carpet. Thanks to new technology introduced by LG, the company announced they will introduce a totally rollable 60-inch TV screen by 2017 According to BBC News, “The new flexible panel has a resolution of 1,200×810, which is left undistorted even after it has been rolled into a 3cm cylinder.”
The screens can be rolled into tight cyclinders of 3 cm. They are also more durable than conventional screens. Wrote Esat Dedezade for stuff.tv, “A light, thin, rollable TV will have little benefit in everyday use if it’s just stuck on your wall. But the fact that you can roll it up and carry it around like a poster (presumably with a separate box for electrical components) means that you can easily shift it from room to room, or even into the garden to watch the footy during a barbecue.”
Why It’s Hot
This technology is not just about watching TV on a large screen. It also means smartphones could have roll-out screens, large screens could fit in small places, like airplanes, and wearable watches could have screens that wrap around your wrist. For advertising, think of wrap-around ads that follow you through Times Square. The only barrier will be cost, but as with all technology, that shouldn’t be a problem for long.