21 things I didn’t know before the WTconference in San Francisco

What an inspiring day! We knew that this would be an extremely interesting day from the list of speakers, but during the conference, we realised that this event even surpassed our wildest expectations. Here are 21 things we didn’t know before the conference in San Francisco:

1.The history of Wearable Technologies dates back even further than we thought: The Princess of Spain wore a pocket watch on her dress as far back as the 17th century, according to Volker Prüller from Texas Instruments in his inspiring keynote speech. Furthermore he gave an interesting overview on the most important market areas for WT and pointed out how TI’s FRAM solution solves real-world challenges for WT products.

2. David Icke from MC10 presented for the second time this year at a WTconference. He showed new fields of application for the “smart skin tattoo”, for example for personalised UV & SPF sensing and/or hydration monitoring. He also revealed an impressive advisory board behind MC10 and some interesting project partners MC10 is working with.

3.Jennifer Darmour from Electricfoxy explained that her love for Pilates inspired her for the Move project and gave an overview on her four design principles for wearable technology that she also used for this project.

4. Tim Bauer’s presentation was a real wake-up call, on the one hand because he showed how SenseTech sensor worked when he threw a motorcycle helmet off the stage to demonstrate the system, and on the other hand, because he informed our audience how serious head injuries are and how effective their recently launched project, ICEdot, is in helping to prevent serious consequences.

5. Clothing+’s Mikko Malmivaara reviewed how their company’s story began in 1998 with the cyberia survival suit research project. Nowadays clothing+ sensor technology is incorporated in every major sports brand heart rate monitoring strap. The company and partner will be launching a new sports bra in 2012/13.

6.  The CEO of 4iiii Kip Fyfe presented his heads-up display system for athletes and displayed the market-ready product at the conference. This item is on sale for $ 149.99. He also passed on an interesting background fact from his days at Dynastream: The contract with his first customer – Nike – was signed at Kip Fyfe’s kitchen table back in those days.

7.  Dr Lu of AIQ explained that the fibres they are using for their products are basically made from the same material as the Golden Gate Bridge – stainless steel. Furthermore he characterised their role in the wearable technologies market as the total solution partner for smart clothing. AiQ will be exhibiting with us at Medica 2012.

8. “People often tend to forget the space for the battery when developing Wearable Technologies,” explained Philipp Miehlich from Varta Microbattery. Varta’s ultra-small, ultra high density, rechargeable Li-Ion coin cell provides an interesting solution here.

9. Deepak Prakash from Avery Dennison spoke about their partnership with Bodymedia. The Metria smart band aid solution for Bodymedia is still on course for market launch by the end of this year. Metria can be viewed at our WT booth at Medica 2012. This incredible smart plaster can also be worn for one week, despite swimming and showering. What’s more, this product does not irritate the skin.

10. Intel’s Mark R Francis cited Marc Andreesen with ”Wearable Compute Devices are the next big thing in Silicon Valley” and gave an overview on how his company views the Wearable Technologies field. We learned from him that even Ashton Kutcher thinks the big next wave will be wearable technologies.

11. Start-up Imprint Energy was represented by their co-founder, Brooks Kincaid. He showed their innovative energy solution but is still looking for funding. The prototype is as thin as a strand of human hair, flexible, rechargeable, less toxic and expected to be 50 % cheaper than other battery technologies known to date.

12. Finis started their business from their hobby – swimming, explained John Mix. As electronics experts for swimmers, they designed amongst other things an MP3 player for swimmers to give the latter an additional stimulus during their work-out. They are currently developing a new version called “Neptune”.

13. Before David Dickinson’s presentation we had no idea how severe the effects of sleep deprivation were. But with his company’s product called the Zeo Sleep Manager Pro+, sleep can actually become a game. Furthermore, he pointed out that Zeo launched a free app, namely Sleep101 to track sleep and to receive expert advice.

14. $10,266,845 kickstarter star Eric Migicovsky presented his E-paper Watch, Pebble, for iPhone and Android devices at the conference. At the end of his presentation he encouraged participants to engage in the Pebble developer’s community and to build Pebble-enabled applications.

15.Tom Sherlock presented his project Solatido with which he tries to define new ways for mobile workers and creative people on the move, who cannot always sit down at a laptop in order to write, edit, or design. Solatido focuses on the concept of a fully programmable keyboard that in which you could dock in a smartphone and that you can wear around the neck for easy typing on the go.

16. Monisha Perkash from LUMOback taught us that we have turned into a sitting society and why posture is so important. During her presentation, we also had the chance to meet LUMO – LUMOback’s avatar – that accompanies wearers of the company’s posture sensor on their smartphone.

17. Horst Merkle represented two organisations in his talk. Firstly, he presented portable and convenient diabetes care products from his company, Roche Diagnostics to facilitate effective diabetes management. Secondly, he outlined his role at the Continua Health Alliance and their end-to-end organisational structure for interoperability coupled with a strong certification program.

18. Julia Lorenz from Dualis MedTech gave an interesting insight into her company’s activities in the intelligent implants’ field. She showed amongst other things an epilepsy diagnostic project and Dualis development for wireless energy and data transfer – MedBase. Currently Dualis is working on an innovative carrying system for artificial sphincters.

19. BodyMedia’s Ivo Stivoric discussed self-empowered healthcare in relation to the world of fitness. Furthermore. we learned that the BodyMedia armband is a class 2 medical device and had a sneak preview of what the BodMedia solution developed in conjunction with Avery Dennison might look like. At the end of the presentation we heard about the possibility to develop your own next killer app for BodyMedia.

20. Mark Hofmann from Quentiq introduced his company’s service platform for wearable fitness devices and their innovative health score that allows people to take a snapshot of their health at any time. They are currently working on creating their own avatar.

21. We were delighted to welcome Joseph Paradiso of MIT Media Labs for the wrap-up session of the conference. He gave a great overview of his past and current projects related to Wearable Technologies. We were especially impressed by his demo of doppellab at MIT – an immersive, cross-reality virtual environment that serves as an active repository of the multimodal sensor data produced by a building and its inhabitants.

We enjoyed this instructive conference a lot. But find out for yourself what our speakers had to say about the event. Interested in buying the conference material? Contact us.

The next WTconference will take place on February 4, 2013 in Munich. We are currently collecting topics for our agenda. Please contact us with your suggestions.

And we promise to be back in the States as early as next year.