by Stefanie Crucius

July 10, 2015

Live Report from WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2015 USA in San Francisco – Day 2

9:00 AM: Christian Stammel, CEO of Wearable Technologies, introduces conference Day 2. Join the WT | Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup 2016 to have the opportunity to present your product at our WT| stage in Munich, Germany. The finalist can benefit from our sponsor’s MediaTek, STMicroelectronics development kits.

9:08 AM: Panel Discussion: Right Product, Right Price, Right time… feat. Polar, Riverwood Solutions, Sproutling, STMicroelectronics, MAS Holdings and Fathom moderated by Steven Heintz, VP Design and Engineering, Flextronics

What are the challenges of prototyping? How can 3D printing help? Are there special challenges for wearables? Yes, there are. Pat Megher mentions that consumers have to accept the device / form factor. Prototyping for wearables is unique: flexible fit and finish cosmetics elements cannot be determined in advance. The cosmetic fit and finish is the biggest hurdle – because it is very difficult to do that. Heintz mentions that if it is not a wearable you usually can use any plastic, but for wearables you have to take into account sweat, light, and feel – so you need to use special finishings for example, rubber. In regards to color, you have to think that a product should last more than one season. With all the factors in mind it is more difficult to make a wearable fashionable, instead of trendy. STMicroelectronics shows about 40% of what they actually produce – the rest are individually produced components customized for the clients’ needs. All said and done, wearables need a very extensive testing which means a large budget.

The panelists are looking for further development regarding energy harvesting, safe connections / security, customization, harmonization of sensors and internet to simplify the usability as well as to open new opportunities.

9:45 AM: The Juice Problem featuring energy harvesting and other energy technologies

9:50 AM: Wireless Charging in the Wearables Revolution. Andrew Wu, Product Marketing Manager for Smart Power at NXP Semiconductor explains why wireless charging is the future. If you need ports, you are restricted in designing a product. It will never be completely waterproof. There are two standards:

WPC / Qi which means inductive charging and is applicable for phones and docked applications but requirements an alignment of transmitters and receivers, close proximity with one transmitter to one receiver.

Alliance for Wireless Power A4WP / Rezence which uses magnetic resonance technology to charge appliances underneath the table top, as well as at a distance and angle. You can charge multiple devices at the same time and can benefit from the freedom of placement.

10:07 AM: Ben O’ Brian, CEO of StretchSense is live on stage now. The world is soft (e.g. textiles, skin,…), so sensor technology should be soft, too! But it must be precise; otherwise it does not make sense. We are moving all the time; therefore our body is a natural source of power. This is an opportunity we should use sensors to generate power. Those sensors can be hidden if they are flexible / soft, e.g. in your clothing. How cool it would be to wear and forget about the technology. The generator moves electric charge when the sensor is deformed while in motion. The circuitry harvests power and interrogates sensor data. An important design consideration: How much energy can you take (or do you need) from a wearer before “pissing him off”. The more energy you take the more it is like walking on the sand. So Ben sees a high potential in generating power for sensor analytics, communication and feedback processes beyond charging your phone.

10:20 AM: Biofuel Cell as a Wearable µ-Power Generator. Saara Tuurala, Research Scientist and Project Manager, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland explains their energy harvesting solution.

VTT can already produce printed organic solar cells, wireless charging solutions, printed bio-batteries, and printed super capacitors. Of course you have to remember to that you have to provide storage for the harvested energy. Biofuel cell are special because that need no metal catalysts. The battery is constructed of renewable sources by mimicking nature. Therefore nothing is toxic about it. You can operate it in mild conditions. It uses renewable chemicals as fuel and the battery is completely disprovable. It uses air and glucose as fuel – when moisture is near the biofuel cell is activated. You can take 6mA pulses sufficient for Bluetooth by using super capacitors. The biofuel cell is very thin (100um), flexible, can be mass produced, can be activated on demand and has a long lifetime of 5 years. The battery is scalable from cm² range to m² range which opens several ways of application.

Coffee Break: Use the time for networking and drop by at our exhibitors.

MediaTek Labs The ultimate development platforms for Wearables & IoT: Think it, build it, code it — MediaTek LinkIt™ is a portfolio of development platforms for Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT). Based on chipsets or modules from MediaTek, the platforms offer a broad range of connectivity options and the development tools needed to create your own devices.

11:30 AM: Allison Dreiband, Walker Sands Communications, on stage. Walker Sands Communications can help you to create brand awareness and to launch your products.

Philippe Kahn, CEO Fullpower Technologies: How to Create a New Iconic Horological Smartwatch Design. It does not make sense for the Swiss watch industry to copy the AppleWatch. However, it makes sense to focus on horological watches and new iconic design made by hand. What is important when designing a smartwatch: 1. Long battery life;  2. Timelessness– you will still love it in 10 years; 3. Smart and connected – you need a sustainable infrastructure to communicate with – like MotionX (cloud infrastructure powered by data science).  It is important as an engineer, to not only think about design but the technologies used because the hardware changes constantly.

Mondaine Watch fulfills the premises above and the design is based on a great timeless concept – refers to the Helvetica typeface – the entire design is based on that font. Including the shape of the watchcase, the dials, numbers.

12:16 PM: Reducing Pain and Improving Athletic Performance – Shaun Rahimi, Founder, CUR. Shaun suffered of constant pain himself and tried almost everything. One day, he was told to try electrical stimulation / TENS. The treatment helped! He thought about the 1.5 billion people living with constant pain. So why is the treatment not more popular? -Because it was not convenient to use. The machines are big, bulky, and scary. Alongside, they need expertise to be used. But now there is CUR, an electronic patch designed to be effective – 10x better relief, convenient and familiar in usage (we all know patches). The device delivers pulses, measures responses and recognizes the right setting for that part of the body.

12:30 PM: Travel lightly with ACTON’s rocketskates. Peter Treadway speaks on stage about wearable transportation. How many times a day do we have to make short trips? Going to the supermarket to buy milk, to meet a friend, go to the doctor and so on. How many hours do you spend in traffic jams? ACTON could be a great solution for you. The skates weight about 7 pounds each (next generation will be more lightweight). They are designed so you can even use stairs whilst wearing them. Acton wants you to consider them as part of your style; a part of clothing. They launched their campaign at the WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2014 USA – the aim was 55.000 but they ended up with 550.000 USD. There is a whole community evolving around the product which is available in over 70 countries. You can collect vouchers, compare your daily activities, and there is an extra mileage system.

12:47 PM: Wearables Beyond the Wrist by Alexandra Fine, CEO and Co-Founder, Dame Products. Most wearables are bands, but why? There are so many more ways to wear technology (e.g. the both devices shown before in the same session). Eva is a hands-free clitoral rechargeable couples vibrator for women (women are 50% less likely to have an orgasm, 70% of women need clitoral stimulation in order to reach climax). The development of the device was a long and hard process. Finding the right shape, finding the right material (must be flexible) and choosing medical grade silicones. Next steps for Dame Products: how can sensors improve your sex life (can they?), working on connectivity and feedback.

2:35 PM: Lunch break is over. Christian Stammel, WT | Wearable Technologies introduces the Health Session.

You want to quit smoking listen to “Reinventing Quitting with a Super Wearable” by Patrick Ruane, SVP of R&D, Chrono Therapeutics. Chrono’s devices combine wearables and drugs – a new paradigm how to treat in healthcare. The patches create a three-pronged approach that maximizes drug therapy and redefine the customer experience.  Chrono Therapeutics first application is smoking cessation. Smoking kills 500,000 Americans and 5 million people globally each year. There are 45 million smokers in the US. More than 20 million try to quit each year but fail 8-10 times before succeeding.

You can wear the patch anywhere on the body anytime. There are two components – the control unit and daily nicotine cartridge (has to be exchanged every day). The device must be worn for 10 weeks and sends information to a cloud (e.g. insurance) every day. After 10 weeks the chances that you really quit is very high. The cloud also helps to build quitting skills, increase motivation and efficacy of the nicotine therapy. It also has digital coaching via text messages.

Other fields of application: depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder, pain, Parkinson’s Disease, allergies, and asthma.

2:50 PM: Barret Larson, Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Leaf Healthcare shows what you can do with an activity tracker to expand Applications in the Hospital Environment. Ulcers are caused when patients lay in the same position for a long time, which can cause serious wounds. Usually, we all make micro-movements which avoid those ulcers, but some patients or elderly do not. Florence Nightingale invented the turning protocols for nurses, but nurses are responsible for multiple patients at the same time. So often, compliance to the protocol is only about 66%. Leaf can measure the motions of the patients. It’s worn on the upper torso. The data is sent to a server and transmitted to the nurses. Leaf makes sure that nobody slips through the cracks. Clinical studies show that 98% compliance to turning protocols can be achieved with Leaf. Although the device can do more; it can measure activity, can be used as a fall detector, can track locations and measure vital signs.

3:15 pm: Cloud DX introduces Multi-Function Virtual Medical Device and Cloud Diagnostics. Robert Kaul, President and CEO are now presenting their cool device. Cloud DX wants to bridge the clinic and the home.  Their VITALITY platform consists of four different devices. 1. A wearable necklace; 2. Wireless spiro-scope; 3. In vitro diagnostic system. The wearable can measure heart rate, body core temperature, respiration rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure – 24/7 without even realizing you are wearing it. Besides the obvious medical application, Cloud DX can also be used at the workplace to find out when you are most productive, helping you to lose weight, for safety (minors, fire fighters) or for sports.

4:15 PM: Robert Falco, Global Sales Manager TÜV SÜD shows how you can make your life easier and your products safer. First of all you should know where you want your product to go:

What are the target markets? Does your product have a wireless module? How closely is the product worn to the body? What types of risks are associated with the product? You should be clear about the sales channel requirements: What are the requirements of your customers? What additional requirements do you have on your product (e.g. reliability, quality)? How does it impact your time-to market? And do not forget about your accessories!

Robert recommends to get started early, to seek expert help and to not forget your CB report / Certificate. TÜV SÜD is highly recognized worldwide and has the expertise you may need. WT | Wearable Technologies is proud to announce the close partnership and the TÜV SÜD WT | mark for specializing wearables.

4:34 PM: Insurance to Assurance: Contextualizing Health Data through Wearables – Jay Sales, Innovation Strategist, VSP Global

With the cadillac tax coming into effect in 2018, insurance will shift to assurance. Wearables can play a big role in this transfer and can help to keep fees low. Employers are moving towards offering these deductible health and benefit plans.

Health Assurance: access to emerging health and consumer products and services that enhance and personalize traditional care, thus outcomes.

Their project genesis will give a richer level of context through a pair of glasses. It is absolutely necessary that the tech is integrated seamlessly. It does need to be fashionable, not bulky nor awkward. VSP Global’s glasses can count steps, calories and provide a platform to understand and empower you. People wearing glasses usually wear them throughout the entire day, so data can be collected throughout the entire day.

4:53 PM: Nicola Labs speaks about energy harvesting. Download power: Using 19th century electricity to empower 21st century devices. Nicola Labs has developed a new standard for power to be wirelessly delivery. Introducing a smartphone case for iPhone 6 and Samsung s6 capturing energy the phone itself commits (otherwise wasted) – dumped back into the phone, battery life extended. Reactive energy no radiation – that’s the energy Nikola Labs harvests. The product is a skin for the smartphone, which incorporates a harvesting antenna and a DC power converter. Recycling energy in order to place it back into the phone.

5:11 PM: The End. Thank you for attending our 16th WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2015 USA in San Francisco! We hope to see you soon at our events in Canada (September 10), Hong Kong (October), MEDICA (November) and Munich (January/February 2016)