What an inspiring conference!

Wearable Technologies are soon going to hit the mainstream judging from what we heard from our inspiring speakers and given the interesting mix of delegates at the 2012 Wearable Technologies Conference.

Whilst promising concepts highlighting exciting future innovations were presented, it was also evident that technology has taken a giant step forward since the last conference with many Wearable products already on the market.

The conference started off with an inspiring Keynote speech by Paul Lukowicz from the German Institute of Artificial Intelligence showed that the Smartphone has paved the way for wearable systems and that it is the enabling technology for a lot of Wearable Technologies today.

Philips and the Gesis Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences presented emotion-sensing concepts. The Philips’ armband is a user-friendly tool for continuous emotional monitoring to promote self-awareness, self-tracking and monitoring in order to facilitate behavioural changes. The monitoring device from the Gesis institute will help market researchers to interpret the emotions of test subjects during product testing, for instance.

Two additional solutions targeted to the consumer and lifestyle market were presented by Qualcomm and PFO. Qualcomm outlined current augmented reality (AR) options for smartphone applications and encouraged the audience to download a development kit to develop their own AR app as shown in the 2010 AR Challenge. PFO proudly presented their stylish bodyguard bracelet and explained the challenges of creating a safety product for young independent women of today.

Diabetes was a hotly discussed conference topic. Insulet demonstrated their Omnipod system comprising two wireless components in relation to the conventional insulin pumps. The Omnipod is a tubing–free drug delivery pod providing up to 200 units of insulin, which can easily be attached to the body and concealed by clothing, and a personal diabetes manager. Pancreum gave a futuristic view of their visionary concept and presented a complete artificial pancreas system called Genesis. Roche outlined their diabetes solutions and also stressed the importance of medical product certification. BodyTel displayed their complete and fully functional telemedical solution for glucose, blood pressure and weight monitoring that works with a regular smartphone and is available for patients and health professionals alike.

Other health topics were covered by Quentiq and Moticon. Quentiq presented their user-friendly, wireless, secure and fun-loving approach to managing health from the lifestyle, wellness and chronic disease perspective called the Quentiq health platform. Moticon presented an intelligent insole that can be used as a personal trainer for skiers but also for treatment purposes by analysing the gait.

The University of Wales Newport and Everon presented wearable projects for the ageing population. The University of Wales gave an insight into their research on the requirements of smart clothing for people over a certain age. Everon demonstrated their armband that gives wearable freedom to Alzheimer patients and peace of mind for relatives.

Several other innovative technology concepts were presented. The Fraunhofer IIS gave an overview on their activities in wearable sensors and wireless data transmission. AiQ showed their solutions for integrating different technologies into washable garments. MC10 unveiled their amazing development – the electronic skin tattoo – using electronic components that conform to and stretch with the human body. A joint presentation from Sensaris and SensingTex showed how wearable lighting and sensing solutions can be controlled via the internet. IMEC gave a truly remarkable insight into their project on garments with hidden thermoelectric energy harvesters.

For those who missed the conference, the Abstract Book and presentation download are available on request from info(at)wearable-technologies.com.

We enjoyed this conference so much that we are already thinking of the next one, so watch this space! Do you have any ideas for a presentation at the forthcoming conference? We would be delighted to hear from you to discuss the options. Please contact info(at)wearable-technologies.com

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Johanna Mischke () is Editor-in-Chief at WT | Wearable Technologies – the pioneer and worldwide leading innovation and market development platform for technologies worn close to the body, on the body or even in the body. Besides being an expert for wearables and their broader ecosystem she is experienced in the startup world and international marketing. Johanna can be reached at j.mischke(at)wearable-technologies.com.