Nov 042014
 

The Microsoft Band is a piece of wearable technology that bridges the gap between a smart watch and a Fitbit. With cell integration and the ability to check email, texts, and Facebook, it goes far beyond the typical fitness tracker. The Microsoft Band has fitness functionality that most trackers do not, such as UV detection that reads how much sunlight the wearer is exposed to in a day.

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As Dia Campbell states about wearable technology, “It’s about filling the needs that are in your life.” The smart watch features set the Band apart from other fitness devices of its kind, and fills the need for a device to be both at once. It is able to download workouts to the device and to schedule them in a calendar app, which then synchronizes across all of the user’s Microsoft products. It works to enable a sense of connectivity between the Band and the rest of the user’s life. Part of what makes this device so interesting is the perception of connectivity and the ability that the device has to send reminders and activity updates to the user’s connected device. The manner in which the device is advertised and the intended use of the product drives the user to connect the Band to as many other devices as possible. This enables the various devices to remind (nag) the user into better health. It is this very interplay between the user and the device that creates a sense of connectivity among all aspects of the user’s life and the Band.

MicrosoftBand

The strength of this connection between the user and the Band is what makes it so effective. If it can be more than an object that informs the user of the number of steps taken or heart rate, but instead be a connected part of the user’s life, then the device will have more of an effect on the user and inspire more action. It bridges the gap between fitness tracker and smart watch, creating a space in which the user is able to feel as though the device is useful while it is performing the primary task of aiding the user in meeting fitness goals.

Ultimately, it is the Band’s ability to tie-in all of the other Microsoft devices and create a cohesive whole from them that makes the device so potent. The feeling of connectivity is what will drive users to practice the intended merging of all their devices, in order to unlock the Band’s most useful and unique features. The merging of devices enables the Band to send reminders, as well as custom workouts and schedules that suit the particular user’s needs. This places the Microsoft Band, a piece of wearable technology, in a unique position to be effective where others are lacking.

Sources

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/10/microsoft-band-and-microsoft-health-the-199-all-platform-fitness-band/

http://gadgetshow.channel5.com/news/oppo-r5-fitbit-surge-and-charge-microsoft-band-amazon-fire-tv-stick-and-real-life-transformer

http://artandseek.net/2013/03/13/sxsw-where-high-tech-meets-high-fashion/

http://www.cnet.com/products/microsoft-band/

Sep 152014
 

Navigate Urban Way-finding Jacket:
A Sense of Style and Direction

By: Kassiopia Jackson

Blonde woman wearing pink jacket, holding up a mobile phone

The Navigate Jacket with the Companion App. Via WearableExperiments.com

What comes to mind when you think about wearable technology? The Samsung watch? Google glass? If you can’t think of much of anything else, don’t worry. It isn’t from a lack of trying, but from a lack of exposure. I bet if you were to go out on the street and ask someone about wearable technology, they would probably bring up the same two things. Wearable Experiments is on a mission to change how we perceive wearable technology.

Earlier this year, Wearable Experiments created the NAVIGATE jacket. The NAVIGATE jacket is a fashion staple which doubles as a map so the wearer can navigate their physical environment. According to Billie Whitehouse, co-founder of Wearable Experiments, the NAVIGATE jacket removes the navigation from the hands of the user and gives the wearer their eyes back.

The way the NAVIGATE jacket works is simple. Prior to wearing the jacket out, you would have to download the companion app. On this app you would have several destinations saved. From your list of hot spots around town, you would select one destination and the app would download the destination information to the NAVIGATE jacket. Now we get to the good part.

Continue reading »

Oct 282013
 

 

Exmobaby-Pajamas-Track-Baby-Vitals-Use-AT-T-WirelessIf there is one thing that all new parents have in common, it is the desire to understand exactly what their little bundle of joy is thinking and feeling. There are dozens of products in circulation that try to bridge the gap between the mind of the infant and their parents which include audio/video baby monitors and millions of insightful baby-interpretation books. Stepping far beyond these devices, however, is the Exmobaby technology. The company, Exmovere, has created a device that actually has the ability to easily, safely, and accurately read your baby’s moods, vitals, and physical state.

The Exmobaby is an article of clothing that contains a band of dozens of tiny sensors and monitors that can keep track of virtually every aspect of your baby’s physical state. This product comes in the form of a hypoallergenic onesie that comes in four sizes, ranging from newborn to twelve months of age. The electronic components of the garment (a thin strip around the middle and a separate wireless transceiver housed in a pouch on the front) are removable so that the garment is completely machine washable. The main electronic components are housed separately in a “bay station” that does not come in contact with the baby, ensuring that the infant is kept safe.

According to Exmovere, the Exmobaby uses embedded electrocardiogram, skin temperature, and moisture and movement sensors, to wirelessly transmit the baby’s vitals to the receiving device via bluetooth. The system constantly monitors the baby’s physical state and is then able to detect any abnormalities or alarming symptoms. This information is then sent from the monitor to the phone/tablet/computer of the parent/grandparent/nanny/etc. The accompanying smart phone application also allows the user to create alerts based on different physical states of the baby. For instance, if you notice your baby is happy at a particular time, you could save those vitals so that you will know next time that mood arises.This would be particularly helpful with moods like “hungry” or “tired” which can often leave inexperienced parents completely perplexed.

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The Exmobaby, while targeted at new parents, would be particularly useful in cases of babies with medical issues. Babies with heart problems, seizures, or mental disorders could be monitored remotely by the parent, providing much more peace of mind. Parents can keep track of their baby while at work, on vacation, or when simply leaving their child at daycare for the day.  With the app connected to the monitor, this product also becomes even more relevant with parents of today’s generation who rely on their technology more than ever before. This is also good news for Exmovere because, as stated in the article “The App Wars Come To Wearables – Consumers Will Be The Winners“, apps which aid in everyday life without being strictly fitness related, are going to skyrocket as more emerging companies like Exmovere begin to utilize them.

This device will open up a whole new world for wearable technology as well as parents as they can now closely monitor their babies health and mood right from their smart phone. The Exmobaby takes “wearing your heart on your sleeve” to a whole new level and I can’t help but wonder what they will think of next.

Mar 142012
 
Screenshots of the app

Screenshots of the app

Re-blog from Mashable: Street Fashion Spotters Get Their Photo App: Thre.ad.

I’m not sure how I feel about adding another photo app. As it is I can never decide whether to use the the phone camera or Instagram.

That said, I love the idea of style spotting on the street and the possibility of producing interactions. I have never done this but I am going to use this app as an excuse to give it a go!