Wearable technology is tipped to be the next big thing; research firm Gartner believes the category will be worth a whopping-great £10billion by 2016, and evidence of the growing trend is popping up all over the world. This week there has been some big news in the world of wearable technology, which we have rounded up here for you, dear reader.
Google Glass Ready for Shipment
Earlier this week, search engine giant Google confirmed that the first batch of their much anticipated Glass product has been finished, and is ready to be shipped imminently. Cricky this is exciting news, isn’t it!?
The devices will be sent initially to their allocated ‘Explorers’ before going on sale to the general public, so you’ll have to be patient.
A specification sheet has also been released with the news, and reveals that the device will have a 5MP camera which will shoot film at 720p, 16GB of storage and built in WiFi. It will feature adjustable nose-pads and a high resolution display which, Google say, is “the equivalent of a 25” high definition screen from 8ft away”.
The device can take pics and record videos. Video chats, weather reports and map directions are also all features. They are all displayed in a small, translucent icon in the top right hand part of the wearer’s view and the user can even control the glasses with voice commands!
But the product is already causing controversy; one Seattle bar has already banned them arguing that their punters probably don’t want to be filmed without knowing (understandable), and one YouTube video (which has been taken down) depicts how the device could be used in a social situation; the guy on a date is wearing the glasses, watching sport as he gets bored, searching for information about the girl as they talk, and taking pictures of her without her knowledge. Creepy!
But Google is clearly not daunted by the criticisms.
And we’re certainly looking forward to watching it all unfold. Chinese search giant Baidu have also confirmed it is working on a Glass like project – but details are scarce. Interesting… Can you see yourself wearing one of these devices?
Microsoft Joins the Smart-Watch Trend
Evidence suggesting that Microsoft are hot on the heels of its rivals in the smart-watch stakes emerged this week, as the Wall Street Journal reported the company have asked suppliers in Asia to ‘ship components for a potential watch style device’.
Although there is no solid evidence that they will go ahead with the production of such a device, the rumours are enough to get our techy tongues wagging.
Reports of the Apple iWatch have been doing the rounds for some time now, and Samsung elbowed their way onto the scene just a few months later, as Executive Vice President of Samsung’s mobile business, Lee Young Hee revealed: “We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them. The issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully.”
Times ticking, and all eyes are on our favourite technology firms to come up with the goods!
The Bra that Protects its Wearer
It’s not just fun and stylish wearable technology that’s being developed; a group of three students in India have released details of a bra they have developed, which is designed to shock rapists, thus protecting its wearer. How brilliantly, fabulously amazing is that!?The development comes against a backdrop of a well-publicised, endemic failure within Indian society to deal with and reduce the amount of rapes against women. But Manisha Mohan, an aeronautical engineering student at SRM University in the Indian city of Chennai, and her two colleagues, Niladhri Basu Bal and Rimi Tripathi might well have just send a pretty enormous message: “It was high time we women needed a change", she said.
As well as administering a shock to the attacker, the device is also able to send a panic text message to a friend or relative and the local police station, also giving it’s GPS coordinates.
But how does it work? Surely it could go horribly wrong, Manisha? Apparently not...
"Firstly, the system is placed in a bi-layer fabric, which ensures insulation to the victim," says Mohan.
"Also the pressure values for squeeze, pinch and grab have been calibrated. The force applied on hugging does not satisfy the conditions for actuation of the device, and there is also a self-actuation switch where a woman can actuate it by herself when in an unsafe environment."
Sounds like all bases are covered then, if you excuse the pun ;).
So there you go, dear readers, the round-up of our wearable technology news and rumours draws to a close. We do hope you’ve enjoyed it.
If you’re thinking of getting yourself one of these snazzy devices, don’t forget to balance it out and recycle one of your old gadgets with us here at OnRecycle. It’s good for the environment and might earn you a bit of cash, too!