Wear a Wearable

September 13, 2013

This is probably not what the blog challenge had in mind, but I’m going to use the opportunity to write about wearable technology….


There are some fun applications out in the wearable technology domain. Some are essentially a device stuck onto something wearable:

Wearable photos
– A comm badge
– And more upscale: the Misfit fitness tracker  that is elegant as a contemporary brooch.

For these kinds of applications,

Wearables need to be gorgeous or invisible; otherwise they fall flat with consumers.

according to Misfit CEO Sonny Vu.

Others are more subtly integrated, using graphene fabric to ‘battery-power’ various applications:

– mood clothes/jewelry
– biometric security (picks up who’s wearing it, and verifies the person to nearby devices/apps)
– glucose monitor contact lenses, or tattoo, patch, bracelet, et al.
– allergic substance detectionhigh-tech-contact-lens-537x402

There’s a sexy application that dims the lights with zipper motion, a silly one that guesses your preferences and makes you a cocktail, and even a nasty one that detects lies and shocks the liar.

Here are my crazy ideas for startup weekend:

I want a Harry Potter clock that tells me if any of my loved ones are in mortal peril, based on GPS location/acceleration data from clothing (although car or phone data would be good enough for test cases).

I want battery-fabric-powered shoes that power assist, so I can keep walking even when I’m worn out, and fabric that gets more rigid when I slump, so I can sit better.

I want a concussion monitoring helmet for professional football (I know; it already exists), but with the data projected on the big screen. I suppose it’s too much to ask, but the data could be built into the rules of the game, and it would add a new dimension to the strategy (as well as some health/safety for the players).

Although I think wearable technology is very cool, and has potential, the detractors have a point. The release of the Galaxy gear watch last week was met with a huge ho-hum:

There’s no compelling reason to look at the watch when you have a nice, big, high-resolution screen in your hand,

says James Kendrick for Mobile News.

But there are some real and cool possibilities for wearable tech in marketing/augmented reality, law enforcement, fashion, and smart homes / lighting.

Can’t wait to wear a wearable!