Category Archives: Wearables EN

Wearables from bracelets, to heart rate monitors, vests, shoes, smart glasses, watches and all new wave devices of computing that we wear upon us.

Wearables & Wireless Streaming in Smartglasses

Monday

19

Oct

Last October 6th, Miguel Hernandez University in the city of Elche organized a seminar for the Telecommunications Master Degree to which we had the pleasure to attend. Mr. Jesus Llor, PhD and Key Account Manager at Droiders lectured on Wearables, Streaming and Smart Glasses. He explained the recent history of wearables, the different kinds of smart glasses and their application through Augmented or Virtual Reality.

Nowadays we take for granted issues simply unthinkable 60 years ago. If Konrad Zuse, creator of the Z3, took a walk through a house or an office of our era, he would probably stare at a laptop for hours: our computers are not two meters tall (6.5 ft)do not have intermittent lights and do not weigh a ton.

Wearables, since their birth

The history of wearable devices goes back to the 17th century with the first abacus ring from China’s Qing Dynasty. This ring was used by traders to realize calculations so they carried it as a “calculator”. Is smart jewelry a product of recent years? Not even of the 20th century. “Smart rings” were in use in 1600 for buying and selling goods until calculation became a problem as well as carrying around a big abacus which was…quite uncomfortable.

In 1907, a German apothecary, Julius Neubronner, revolutionized aerial photography. He employed carrier pigeons to receive orders from a nearby sanatorium. One day, one of the carrier pigeons went astray and Neubronner then wanted to find out where his pigeons flew to when getting lost; so he decided to install a camera – his pigeons could carry up to 75 grams (2.7 oz) – and photograph their flight path. Photography was not even one hundred years old when Neubronner had designed his own miniaturized camera even with a built-in automatic trigger. From that moment on, he also used that method to captures images from above, for mere pleasure.This invention started being deployed during World War I in order to spy on the enemy, being a lot more useful, discrete and economic than a globe or an airplane. Pigeon Photography earned much recognition by the International Spy Museum and by the CIA.

Wearables

Pigeon photography

During that same period, in 1914, and also throughout the World War II, the wrist watches were born as a substitute to uncomfortable pocket watches. Armies realized that soldiers could go astray if they had to put their hands in their pockets to synchronize timing, added to the rucksacks and weapons weight. Later, when soldiers went back from the war, the watch manufacturers did not miss any opportunities to introduce them to civil society, becoming a fashion.

Modern and popular GPS that has helped us in our traveling, was born in 1927. Inventor still unknown, but it really was the precedent of the gadget we use so much these days. First GPS was called “Plus Four Wristlet Route Indicator”. Any inconvenience? The driver had to turn the rollers with his/her free hand to be able to see indications on the go and when reaching a crossroad, a full stop was needed to change maps. Besides, it only brought about 20 maps of England starting in London.

Wearables

Plus Four Wristlet Route Indicator 1927

In 1961, Edward O. Thorp and Claude Shannon designed the first wearable computer that could be hidden in shoes or in a pack of cigarettes.  This device was used to predict a roulette wheel motion, picking up data with a microswitch that registered speed, so that the computer could indicate on when to bet by sending musical tones via radio into miniature speaker inside the ear.

Wearables

Wearable Computer

The eighties came and Casio, the Japanese company, headed by Tadao Kashio who introduces, after 1974’s first digital watch, a similar model but a revolutionary innovation: a watch with calculator. It was precisely 1974 the starting shot to endless functionalities. Year after year, Casio implemented a new functionality: watches with radio, with games (Space Invaders!), with a keyboard, with melodies and, at its peak, with a remote control in 1994. The needles and tic-tac sound gave way due to Casiotron, marketing watches more complete and functional.

Definitely, the history of wearable tech is yet to be written. This is only the beginning of something really big that will mean a breakthrough in many fields. Thanks to wearables, we have had many innovations that have served the Ministry of Defence, advances in processing and calculation, photography and quantification, to name a few.

Another breakthrough that should have his own space is what happened in 2010. Somehow the brain is not conscious of the time that has passed, but it has been only five years ago since our devices can be connected to Internet. Something we see as so distant, in reality is very recent. Until 2010 wearable devices were not connected to Internet, they had their own functionality but could not connect to the cloud.

And today? The sky is the limit. There are many types of wearables with many kinds of prices, some more popular than others, but we see a lot of people in the street with at least one wearable.

Smartglasses: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

Since Google Glass was announced in 2013, many companies have launched their own Smartglasses. HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, Epson Moverio, Microsoft Holo Lens, Meta Glass, etc.

Wearables

Oculus Rift Simulator

What is the difference between each other? The kind of experience the user may have. Augmented Reality (AR) is superimposed on the reality itself, while Virtual Reality (VR) is fully immersive.

As mentioned, VR gives the user an immersive experience, physical reality around him/her disappears to enter fully into a virtual world. What has been marketed more? Marketing and Video games. Advertising to increase a better experience and sensation to the future potential consumer. Video games to fully delve the user into the game and experience it completely when playing in a world of fantasy, horror or adventure.

Wearables

VR Glasses

Back to the real world. Augmented Reality, AR, generates a layer of information about our own physical reality and allows us to interact. In this case it has been marketed very similarly. Companies are always looking to be innovative, so users can position them as the most “techie”.

Wearables

AR Glasses

To summarize, the technology race has only just begun. Gradually we will see more and more different types of Smartglasses and wearables. Hopefully, the industry will grow beyond the purely business, not just geeks, begin to implement a wearable in their daily life.

Of New and Old Signs: AR, VR and the core of it all

Wednesday

22

Apr

In Hoc Signo Vinces, “In this sign, conquer” reads the translation into Latin in historian Lucius Lactantius’ account of Emperor Constantine’s vision of the Chi Ro (Chrismon); our dear Emperor was not a Christian per se though this event of the invisible did leave an indelible mark on his soul – you may not believe this – which single-handedly changed the history of a continent, and the world as well. This sign inspired him to win a great battle.

For those of us who work – and feel passionate about – the field of the intangible, that is, the internet of everything, we need signs to understand and meet such feats. Here is a way of hinting at them: University of Toronto Professor Derrick de Kerckhove, the philosopher and champion of emerging media, offers three distinctive signs on his milestone book Connected Intelligence: The Arrival of the Web Society; they are known as Interactivity, Hypertextuality and Connectedness.

Thus, in this day and age, what would be the signs through which we shall conquer? And, actually, what is to be conquered and which battle? Now, that’s a question to take to bed every night. Let’s be pragmatic!

We should think of Interactivity as the “body” or physical linking of people; Hypertextuality, the linking of contents or knowledge-based such as the human memory; finally, Connectedness – a term New Agers are so fond of – as the “mental” linking. Interactivity is touch; Hypertextuality is zapped all-encompassing content; Connectedness, the medium (aha, now you recall McLuhan!).

Is it inevitable we portend AR and VR as results of these “signs”? The answer is yes. It’s inevitable. How do I know that? Well, have you ever tried Google Glass? Or a snazzy pair of Epson Moverio glasses? And what about other wearables? They all seem to be “smart”.

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If we venture further, we find that even a blind person is able to interact with his/her environment with Droiders’ first-ever ReadAloud OCR (Optical Character Recognition) app on a pair of Google Glass.

As humans, we are accomplishing the extension of our senses into the unseen (just like any mystic used to) just as Constantine once did. We have become more complex. Hail complexity!

Droiders becomes a META Pioneer in Europe

Tuesday

30

Dec

Meta 1Droiders contiune to develop on innovative technological platforms has recently joined an elite group of global Pioneers in augmented reality, having become the first spanish company to develop applications for Meta Glasses, for various industrial sectos such as manufacturing and assembly and in the mhealth area with augmented reality.

  • The Meta 1 glasses are unavailable until the end of 2015.
  • Droiders pioneering streak in the burgeoning augmentead reality market continues.

The glasses, that are not publically available until the end of 2015, offer everything that virtual reality promises.

In terms of their technical features, they boast a couple of mounted cameras that act as 3D sensors to recognise body movement, which allows real time interaction with holographic objects displayed in the user’s field of the view.

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Specs

3D See Through Display

Resolution: 960 x 540 pixels (qHD), Aspect Ratio: 16:9, FOV Expander Lens: 35 degree field of view, Shade Lens: 23 degree field of view

Cameras

Depth Camera: Resolution: 320×240 (QVGA) pixels 3D time-of-flight depth camera with Field of View (H x V x D): 74 x 58 x 87 degrees. Frame Rate: 30fps
Colour Camera: Resolution: 1280×720 (MJPEG), Field of View (H x V x D): 63.2 x 49.3 x 75.2, Frame Rate: 30fps

Head tracking

360 degree tracking, 9-axis Inertial Measurement Unit, Accelerometer: ±16g, Gyroscope: ±2000 degrees / sec, Compass: ±1200 microTesla

Audio

Dolby 3D audio, Two built-in electret microphones

On the Meta Glasses website you can lookup detailed specifications and even place a pre-order for the unit that will be consumer available from August 2015.

Meta offers a whole world of possibilities

 

Light saber demo with meta #spaceglasses. #augmented reality #starwars #lightsaber #drones #jedi #killerapp

Un vídeo publicado por Meta (@metaglasses) el

 

Wearables and the implications for brand marketing

Tuesday

04

Feb

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Max Minzer, a digital marketing and local search consultant and guests; Tim Moore, a Wearable Technologist at VentureGlass, and John Nosta, a Forbes contributor and leading digital health writer on a Hangout.

The topic was wearbles and brand marketing as you can atest below and certainly Google Glass featured most prominently.

Before the video however, allow me to highlight a few charts that serve as food for thought for marketers.

The following chart from Forrester Research (reproduced with permission from Ben Grossman) shows what consumers are expecting from a device like Glass  – which pretty much matches the off the shelf functionality it currently offers.

forrester Google_Glass

This chart using data from Google Trends for USA (blue), Spain (red) and UK (yellow), displays how in the last week alone, search query volumes for Google Glass in Spain, for the first time since last year when Glass was released, eclipsed even that of USA.

EN trends598

Crown Prince Felipe of Spain wearing Google Glass

Crown Prince Felipe of Spain wearing Google Glass – image: EFE Press

The explanation is most likely due to the Google Glass Fitur effect.

Crown prince Philip of Spain wore Glass last week opening Fitur as did other high profile ministers at the tourist trade fair and each time Google Glass makes an event or brand appearance, it is clear the device has immense pulling power.

There is an undeniable interest for Google Glass.

What will that mean for marketers and brand marketing?

Will Glassware (that is apps made for Google Glass) become part of the marketers branding arsenal?

Will consumers expect certain brands to offer Glassware as par for the course, just like today they expect Apps for mobiles?

Will utility and context rule the day and foster brand loyalty if brands oblige without resorting to an interruptive promotional mentality?

Here’s the #maximpact Hangout

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or hit me on twitter or Google Plus.

The terminology of Wearables in spanish – tecnología ponible – and the debate that ensues

Monday

03

Feb

A few years ago blogs were known as bitácoras (in Spanish). Over time, languages evolves. Sometimes we don’t all agree.

Today the Fundeu – La Fundación del Español Urgente – established in 2005 as a non profit institution with the main goal of promoting the proper use of the spanish language in the media, has published a new recomendation:

We’ve seen how lately the terminiology related with this technology has created quite a stir. Last week, even the El País Semanal did not use that term to define it.. The one who decides here is the user:

 

¿What do you think?