We’ve got our Fitbits, and now Fido can have his version, Whistle, as seen on CNet. Whistle attaches to a dog’s collar and can monitor movement and who the dog is spending time with. It then transmits this information and makes sense of it in its own app. By the way, the dog in the pic is named Kona, and his owner, Tina Haskins, is able to keep tabs on him throughout the day in New Jersey, even when she is thousands of miles away in Antarctica. It’s pretty impressive stuff.
It’s one of the more colorful instances among Whistle’s users and while it illustrates how Whistle is effective when helping owners feel connected to their pets, it doesn’t show the real magic behind Whistle. Haskins said the big value for her is in the data Whistle gathers. It’s the key to establishing a baseline of data for Kona’s health, something that would be difficult to determine otherwise, given that she doesn’t know everything about Kona’s past.
“Kona’s a rescue. I don’t have any real knowledge of what his life was like before I had him, and I don’t know what his parents were like,” Haskins said.
The app can help its owner see different activities like walking, playtime and rest. The info leads to an understanding of what is typical for that dog. Check out this log of a walk.
There is an even bigger picture with this information gathering. Researchers at the Veterinary Clinical Investigations Center at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have been using Whistle to look at chronic pain.
These are cases involving ailment like arthritis or bone cancer. The animals wear the device on their collars for 7 to 10 days and then researchers have them try out various activities, like sitting, walking or running. Understanding how active an animal is — even at night when pain can cause a dog with bone cancer to move around a lot — could understanding how to make an animal most comfortable when dealing with ailments.
In the same way we have seen customized formulas in dog foods, such as puppy chow and senior diet, this data gathering can lead to customized care for breeds. There is the potential to look at epilepsy and asthma in dogs, and offer specific care and products based on those issues. Since people often miss the chance of seeing their dog’s habits throughout the day, Whistle will offer them a chance to be proactive in their dog’s care. This product has just hit the market, but if you want to DIY a collar that helps your pooch stay fit, check out our GPS collar tutorial.
Fashioning tech has a great piece on Adaptive Survival Clothing by Jacqueline Nanne.
One of the primary functions of clothing is the regulation of body temperature. Traditionally we layer on clothes as the temperature drops but the acting of dressing and undressing as we move from outdoors to indoors is quite cumbersome.
We’ve mastered garments that keep our bodies warm but wearables that keep us cool are more difficult to come by. Do sweat-wicking performance wear actually work?
Adaptive Survival Clothing by Jacqueline Nanne is early stage smart textile experiments that aim at creating clothing that adapts body temperature. The textiles are designed with kinetic pores that open and close. Nitinol, a smart memory alloy, is used to actuate the textiles.
Although we’ve seen various shirts for measuring biometrics in the sports and fitness industries, it appears aerospace is another use. The Canadian Space Agency is currently working with Carré Technologies, creator of Astroskin, according to Mother Nature Network.
Astroskin, a prototype device to monitor astronaut health, is a garment that fits over a person’s upper body and is embedded with wireless sensors. From the ground, doctors can see an astronaut’s vital signs, as well as how well the spacefarers are sleeping and how they are moving.
The shirt needs rigorous testing to ensure that it is space ready, so arrangements have been made to test the product in Antarctica.
Crew members of the the XPAntarctik expedition, while spending 45 days in a previously unexplored region of the continent, are beaming their medical information back to civilization while wearing Astroskin. The expedition, which kicked off on Feb. 2, is quite a workout for the eight-person team, which has vowed to use no motorized vehicles. This means the suit is getting tested during skiing, walking and climbing Antarctica’s jagged peaks and glaciers.
This video not only shares information about the use of the shirt, but also shows some of the extreme locations that astronauts use for their playground.
Although this shirt is well suited for astronauts, it also has uses for other communities — telemedicine.
“The great thing about this technology is since it’s wireless, it can be monitored at a distance,” CSA chief medical officer Raffi Kuyumijian said in a new video released by the agency.
“People who live in remote communities, for example, will have an easy access to a doctor,” Kuyumijian added. “They can have these shirts on them all the time. It can trigger alarms if something wrong is happening, and alert the doctors following at a distance.”
At some point, we all have a cardio check-up with messy gel and stick-on sensors. It’s no wonder that shirts are becoming the next great solution. Perhaps in the future we will have embedded technology transmitting this data to our doctors. In the meantime, you can have your own biometric fun with our heart rate badge.
Stuff has the story on the latest iterations of Oakley’s smart goggles.
Oakley’s HUD skiing and snowboarding goggles Airwave, built in partnership with Recon Instruments, were its first leap into AR sports tech in 2012. The goggles have a built-in heads up display – that looks like a 14in screen from 5 feet away – as well as GPS, Bluetooth, preloaded maps, music control and onboard sensors. A 1.5 model has already been launched in November 2013 with improved battery life…
There’s no question of Oakley’s intentions. We ask if they can apply Airwave’s design, tech features and UI to other sports.
“Absolutely,” says Calilung. “If you go to any serious enthusiasts – not even active competitors – the amount of data they’re collecting now, from Strava and any of those programs, it’s massive. They are waiting for it. Headborne is just a natural place to put it. Luckily at Oakley, we’re in that space.”
“If I had a dream about that scenario – when I’m out mountain biking in Colorado, I actually want to see the mountains, while having a piece of technology that can be as elegant and unobtrusive as possible but give me all the trail information and everything I need.”
“Any sport with data, metrics or some sort of real-time information is within our realm of opportunity,” adds Saylor.
“The future for us,” says Calilung, “is deciding what the vast majority of our users are going to do and then making our UI modular or offering some form of hardware modularity or customisability. That’s the only way you can do it.”
“A sports enthusiast could use their eyewear for running, cycling or playing golf. I don’t want that person to necessarily have a golf glass – I want them to have our performance glass.”
Saylor agrees: “If you want to go for a run and you want music, you should have music. If another day, you don’t care about metrics, you shouldn’t be burdened with AR and monitors or whatever creates the metrics. But if you’re him (points to Calilung) and what matters is power output or energy consumption – he’s going to have the experience he wants.”
Seth Moczydlowski is normally an industrial designer, however, when a group of fashion design students needed an Arduino capable member, he picked up a needle and thread. While members of the group worked on the dress design, Seth worked on a circuit mock-up using a FLORA microcontroller, NeoPixels and a microphone. Check out his method of prototyping using Arduino and Processing in this video. This is great for working with light patterns in any wearable!
The majority of the circuit is hidden in a fabric belt, with a nicely finished pocket for the battery. Following Adafruit best practices, Seth sealed all of his knots of conductive thread using clear nail polish. This is really important for a lasting creation, as the thread has a tendency to unravel. As you can see in the video below, the result is a beautiful dress that reacts to sound. Thanks to the cutouts in the flower design (which looks laser-cut), the light cascades nicely onto the dress.
Considering many people choose black or white for their canvas of LEDs, it’s refreshing to see a coral colored wearable. Seth was definitely pleased with the results.
In the end, this project was very enjoyable. It got me out of the normal bounds of Industrial Design and afforded me some great exposure to a new hardware platform. Additionally, it was an excellent exercise in scheduling, as we all had different schedules and could only meet once a week to work on the project details. The actual construction of the dress was very rigorously timed so that it could be completed on schedule.
With these great results, Seth can probably expect an even tighter schedule. Got an industrial designer in your life? No worries, we’ve got tutorials that are perfect for you. Check out the Sparkle Skirt.
The newest way to study fish? How about a wearable submarine! Via The Verge.
The six-and-a-half foot tall, 530-pound aluminum suit looks like something out of an action movie. In reality it has an entirely different — and more intriguing — purpose. Come this summer, scientists will be using the suit, known as the Exosuit, to dive up to 1,000 feet into the ocean with the aim of collecting and studying bioluminescent fish. At such extreme depths, despite almost no visible light, a bounty of mysterious, glowing fish thrive. And with the Exosuit, scientists will observe these fish like never before.
The Exosuit itself is the latest “atmospheric diving system” — a term for suits that protect the operator in a bubble of hospitable conditions. That means divers using a suit like this feel the same pressure that you and I do here on the surface of the planet, and they don’t have to be placed in a decompression chamber immediately after a dive.
Such suits have existed for over a hundred years — early models looked more like a Big Daddy than the Exosuit — but this latest version is lighter and allows for more precise movements. That’s thanks to 18 rotary joints, highlighted in red, that allow the diver to maneuver their arms and legs. And despite the suit’s size, “it’s basically effortless to pilot in the water,” according to the American Museum of Natural History’s dive safety officer Michael Lombardi, who’s trained with the system and will be conducting the deep-sea dives later this year. A diver could technically swim with his limbs in the suit, but it’s equipped with four 1.6 horsepower thrusters that assist with movement. The Exosuit is also safer and more capable than prior models: it’s connected by a tether to a boat on the surface, but it carries enough battery power and oxygen to keep the diver alive underwater for 50 hours.
Paul Gentile posted this fun top hat on YouTube. Apparently his son had a geek dream.
The inspiration for this hat came from my son, who was looking to create a costume for Halloween. Unfortunately we did not make this in time for Halloween, but we did make it for the Geek Create show. He wanted something Steam Punk in style. I found these felt top hats on Amazon for only a few bucks and figured we could not go wrong.
His final outfit turned out well and he called himself Doctor “OHM” (Doctor Who Fans – read it upside down). So the hat, the LEDs, the Doctor OHM references … it all just worked. We have since used the hat at holiday parties and it made a big hit on New Year’s Eve. We made the hat using the LED MAgician.
Hats off to Paul for bringing his son’s dream to reality. This is a great use of LEDs, but if you want even more variety in pattern and color, you could do the same with a FLORA microcontroller and some NeoPixels. Check out our NeoPixel Uber Guide to learn about your options.
Tech in Motion celebrated Social Media Week with their Wearable Tech Fashion Show in NY. As the only participating U.S. city in this world wide event, the venue was packed, and photographer Olivia Christina squeezed through the crowd to capture images. One of the top designers was Sensoree with “therapeutic bio.media”. The photo above shows one of the designs combining knitting, 3D printing and an EEG monitor to map thoughts and match brain states to colors. Here’s another thoughtful piece, a mood sweater that uses galvanic skin response to show how excited the wearer is through LEDs in the collar. Sensoree is very intrigued by physical movement and has worked with dance companies — the pieces are a true pleasure floating down the runway.
Another future thinking designer, Continuum, utilizes 3D printing to create shoes. A variety of styles was displayed, including intricate cut-outs, and wedges that even Cat Girl would approve of. Although the style below seems rather prismatic, many of the shoes have an organic feel, resembling vines and petals. With so many people having foot concerns, it may well be that 3D printing is the future of all footwear. Imagine custom beds and shoes made individually for your feet. This area shows lots of potential and Continuum has already posted “invites” for pre-orders on their site.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, 3D printing was also shown for fingernails. The Laser Girls have used their design abilities in the field of nail art with stunning results. Not only are they doing nails, but they are also doing nail rings. Textures range from knobby bright colored pixels to smoother gothic filagree. One texture that is particularly interesting on their site is the faux stone finish. Many women were fascinated with this affordable entry into tech fashion, so expect to see more like it in the future.
Adding a big splash of color to the runway was Leslie Birch’s FLORAbrella. You may remember she was one of the winners of our Adafruit/Element 14 Get Closer Challenge. Cameras were in the air for the rainbow pattern and Tweets referred to it as “my high-tech umbrella.” Many people at the show were shocked to learn that they could make it themselves, using a FLORA microcontroller, Neopixels and color sensor.
Many of these fashions are proprietary, but can be accomplished by a DIYer through open source. Look to 3D printing resources such as Thingiverse and microcontrollers like our FLORA and Gemma. One thing these fashions all share is a sense of customization for the user, and there is no better way to customize than to make it yourself. Why not start off with our color changing scarf project? Make the streets your runway!
Sam Baumel was faced with a challenge — design a pair of kicks for his cousin’s wedding. Being a lover of the moving image, he decided to make a shoe that would embody his passion.
The groomsmen were told to pick a theme (like robots or superheroes) for their Converse All-Star High Tops. My theme?…SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND. The gem-encrusted Converse spit light in circles from heel to toe with each step, hop and twerk. I danced the night bright with sequins on my socks and LED cuff link accents.
You can check out Sam’s craftsmanship, as well as his love of fun graphics (Spoiler Alert), in this video.
When asked about his genius, Sam admitted that the shoes were an Adafruit inspiration.
The shoes are modeled off the Adafruit Learning System, but I added some of my own rhinestone flare. An earlier prototype was built for Burning Man using EL Tape, velcro and traditional force resistors. Those force resistors sent a few too many electrical shocks to the heel Adafruit’s suggestion of using Velostat and LED strips worked MUCH better
We have to agree he has dazzling talents, especially patience in attaching all of those rhinestones. In the end, it’s worth it to be seen on a dance floor in an original creation. Are you ready for the wearable tech movement? Get your kicks out of our tutorial.
While some are exploring the use of solar energy with clothing, Kolon Sport is exploring wind energy, according to Design Week. Its Life Tech jacket has a tri-layered system for water and wind protection, and also features a first aid and survival kit. But the real interest lies in its power generation capability.
It also features a wind-turbine mounted on the jacket sleeve, which can be angled to generate power throughout the day when the wearer is on the move. It can be used to power devices such as GPS and smartphones, as well as the jacket’s built-in Heatex system, which provides up to seven hours of heat up to a temperature of 40-50ºC.
The wind turbine can also be attached to the side of a tent at night for continued energy harvesting.
The jacket was developed by Semourpowell to address basic needs such as shelter, warmth and communication.
Ian Whatley, associate design director at SeymourPowell, says, ‘The concept was born from invaluable insights gathered by working with leading experts in extreme survival; so we’re absolutely confident that the design and features are based on solid foundations.
Although this garment is designed for survival, it may have a use in windy cities. Could a daily commute include wind power? Attaching a turbine at the elbow allows for hand movement and stride, but perhaps it could be done on the back of belts or on top of hats. Just a few weeks ago, wind turbines the size of rice were in the news, so perhaps wind energy in our threads will eventually be common.
If you are like most people, a white shirt doesn’t stay clean for long. Maybe you don’t relish the idea of smelling like bleach at the next party. Hello, nanotechnology! Check out this practical example as reported on CNet.
Silic is billed as “self-cleaning clothing with hydrophobic nanotechnology,” and it’s nearly tripled its funding goal on Kickstarter. Silic creator Aamir Patel, a San Francisco student who successfully funded shirts that can be written on with light, holds a can of NeverWet in the promo vid and says it contains a chemical known to cause cancer and birth defects, referring to California warnings on the label. (Rust-Oleum, maker of NeverWet, counters that the product is safe.)
Patel says the Silic shirt doesn’t pose such dangers, and resists everything from sodas to ketchup to soy sauce, and, of course, water and bacteria. This feature is said to last up to 80 wash cycles.
Check out the clean shirt dream yourself.
Nanotechnology is already being used to take ordinary cotton and give it color changing properties, making it useful for military, as well as fashion purposes. Now we just need Harry Potter’s Invisibility Cloak.
Meet Vanilla Nieves, Chihuahua and professional model. She recently garnered attention at the New York Pet Fashion Show with her LED studded skirt and collar. Her couture was designed by two Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) pet fashion designers — Ada Nieves and Gladys Delgado-Garced. Here’s what Gladys had to say about the design.
I attend a dog fundraiser each February, and based on the theme, I come up with a design. This year it was luminaries, and when my friend sent me the skirt I thought, why not do rain patterns?
Gladys loves LEDs and immediately set to work on constructing the circuit. She started with a small matrix and gradually increased the size, testing as she went along. The final skirt had a total of 96 surface mount LEDs — 81 on the skirt matrix and 15 on the collar matrix.
I like the electronics, the fact that the animations can be changed hundreds of times. I like the way the matrix turned out, and with the two microcontrollers you can do patterns like diamonds, rain and X’s. People were in awe and very impressed. They really liked the lights and even MTV was there. I like that pets can enjoy fashion, too!
Obviously these two ladies enjoy their petite clients, so expect to see more glam designs. Want to turn your dog into Lady ChiHuaHua? Get a FLORA or GEMMA microcontroller and some NeoPixels for your creation.
You may be on the fence about Google Glass, but here’s something to get excited about. These glasses detect fluorescence and allow doctors to scope out malignant cancer cells according to PolicyMic.
A prototype of these hi-tech glasses was successfully used on a cancer patient for the first time in St. Louis on Monday. Cancer cells are extremely difficult to see using normal optics, even with high-powered magnification. By injecting a blue dye which specifically binds to cancer cells, surgeons using the glasses are able to detect and remove tumors as small as 1 mm.
The glasses were developed by a team at Washington University led by Dr. Samuel Achilefu, based on earlier experiments in mice. Before surgery, a fluorescent dye is injected that binds only to cancerous cells, which have different surfaces to normal cells. The blue dye used on human patients appears a more vibrant shade of light blue wherever there is a high density of cancer cells, and darker in less concentrated areas.
Expect to see more on the medical trend with glasses, as they are being utilized in surgery. This is adding to a list of new technologies being used in healthcare, including 3D printing (using cells), wearable sensors and robotics. We are moving closer and closer to a health bay envisioned by Star Trek. Now we just need Geordi’s visor!
It looks like a child’s watch, but this open source wearable, named LEWE, measures biometrics according to Bits and Pieces from the Embedded Design World. This Arduino wristband looks bulky now, but it’s merely to facilitate explaining construction.
According to Boris Landoni of OpenElectronics, the goal of Project LEWE is to leverage available tech and create a low cost platform using sensors for data collection.
“[Ultimately, everything can be] integrated into a single board or two, in a more compact fashion that can be worn thanks to a special container with a wristband.”
The current iteration of the LEWE prototype currently supports at least five functions, including:
Measuring body temperature and sweat rate
Local display of recorded data
Relaying information to a smartphone app
Sending and storing data to the cloud
Organizing data in graph form for analysis
This wristband uses a variety of shields, which are rectangular, and also uses a digital readout. It would be very interesting to see a circular version that gives biometrics through visuals, rather than numerically. This could be done with a FLORA and a Neopixel Ring, similar to the FLORA NeoGeo Watch. A temperature sensor could be incorporated that would take a reading and send the results in the form of color, or amount of Neopixels lit on the ring. A heart rate sensor could also be used with results blinking the Neopixels. Sending information is definitely the tricky hurdle. Since most shields are bulky, it may be wise to figure out a method such as an SMS module, so information could be sent as a text message to a device. Whether you attempt to do this using a traditional Arduino, or create your own version, this is definitely an exciting challenge.
Canadian company Kiwi Wearables lists their new product as, “One device, many apps”. Considering this wearable can handle gestures, as well as tracking, it has the potential to draw in-depth conclusions about a person’s life. Here’s the detail on the tiny clip with multiple uses, as seen on Epoch Times.
Kiwi Move tracks your movement, steps, and climbing action. Take it to the gym, basketball court, or the baseball field. It provides insight in to your daily life, as stated on their blog site.
Much like the Star Trek communicator, it responds to gestures. You can create your own or use the built-in detection settings. Speak with your smart appliances and control them directly with Kiwi Move, or speak directly to the Internet.
The most interesting thing about this device, besides its tiny size, is its app. It is based on a “When/Do” logic. As an example: When I visit the grocery store, do update my budget. Of course, interesting correlations might exist between the time of day that you visit the store and what else is going on in your life. Ask anyone about working late hours and craving burritos. In a sense, this clip is allowing you to be mindful of what you are doing, when you are doing it. Even if you don’t immediately see the link between the activities, you have the opportunity to view them over time and discover what is driving them. Sounds like psychological genius, but it’s really the beauty of a micro-controller. More like this, please.