It seems as though everyone has a wearable these days. From Fitbit to Pebble, they have pervaded the consumer market faster than you can say “Samsung Gear” or “Google Glass.” At times this explosion has given wearables a bad rap (or wrap, as it may be), and has led to a market flooded with armband pedometers and Knight Rider watches. But there are still some wearable tech startups out there looking to change the game, and here I highlight three of the most innovative that I’ve encountered in the last few months.
1. Smartphones and smart socks make big strides in wearable textiles
In late 2014 I had the opportunity to meet with Davide Vigano, Co-Founder and CEO of wearable technology company Sensoria (http://www.sensoriainc.com/). Unlike a lot of today’s wearables that are focused solely on watches and arm bands, Sensoria has taken the next step by developing textile sensors that can be woven into clothing.
2. BeBop Sensors brings sensor fabric from musical origins to the “quantified self”
Another wearable tech vendor to emerge in recent months is BeBop Sensors (www.bebopsensors.com), a company that CEO Keith McMillen founded, strangely enough, based on his background in music. Like Sensoria, BeBop has also entered the world of sensor-based fabrics, but unlike the Microsoft guys he got his start developing Bluetooth sensors for a violin bow.
3. Force Impact Technologies lays a hit on concussions in youth sports
In recent years we’ve become increasingly aware of the long-term effects of head trauma, particularly in contact sports such as football, soccer, and hockey… but an innovative new company is looking to change that in youth athletics.
4. Off the cuff
I recently moderated an E-cast, “Make sense of it all – Discover wearable patches with secure, contactless NFC” that took a look at TI technology in wearable healthcare. The response was enormous and there were more questions than we had time for, so it looks like the buzz around wearables is finally starting to emulsify into something tangible. What cool wearable innovations do you know of?