As it happened: day 2 of the WT Conference in San Francisco

Audience WT Conference San Francisco JULY 2014

Our heads are still buzzing from day 1 of the conference hear at Fort Mason. Energey harvesting off the body, Smart Labels with embedded microsensors and augmented and moldable reality by Leap Motion… was amazing to see Sci-Fi lifestyle actually happening before our eyes and in real-time. Fi not being so fictional anymore either…

Here is a report on day 2 of the conference and some visual impressions.

Our mediapartner CNET covering the exhibitors area.

06:35PM That is all folks! With over 500 attendees you can say that the interest in the yearly WTconference is growing. How many may we expect next year? So far judging from the attendees responses we will – at least – see them again next year. See you in July 2015 in San Francisco or – for those with an interest in the Asian market: meet us again in Taipei on October 8.

That is indeed Deepa Sood´s hand, wearing beautiful smart technologies. Photo: WT Group

5:00PM Deepa Sood is on stage: “How Wearable Tech will Go from Gadgetry to Habit.” CEO and Co-Founder, Cuff. Attendants warmed up to Ms. Sood instantly: great stage presence and a form factor break from highly cognitive innovations we have seen so far: beauty and brains united in this fashionable device which is a homing signal in disguise. Peace of mind for joggers, parents of teenagers and in general people with weakened health: just press the button and your loved ones will be alerted on their phones. With indication of your location, of course. Several speakers have voiced the notion that wearables should look stylish. Cuff makes smart jewelry that issues & receives alerts.

Zeiss at WT conference USA
Dave Hodgson, Business Development Manager North America, ZEISS Multimedia Devices Twitter photo: Tine Berezhnaya @tinkinson

04:15PM Zeiss is on stage and is proving to the crowd that besides making it their business to being in the top-league in high-precision products they are quite creative in applying HMD technologies. Business case #1 – Use HMD goggles at the physician´s office to distract patients whilst undergoing treatment. case #2: school virtual school trips (although some attendees do not believe it will substitute the real thing) and case #3 Aereal photography using drones, ideally operated without remote control and with the hands. We can clearly see some synergies there happening at the conference! ON the drones: we read some cheeky comments on Twitter already: “Forget selfies! Zeiss offers dronies!”

3:50PM Kopin´s on the stage: 3D-printed concept glasses
Dr. Ernesto Martinez demonstrates glasses with Pupil tech module, nicknamed ´next gen invisible´-factor on social medias.

Dr. Ernesto Martinez from Kopin on stage on Day 2- Form factor session. Twitter photo WT Group

03:00PM State of the Art Eyewear session kicks-off

01:35 Lunch break on Day 2 of the conference. The food is great – also important.

11:55AM Session panel kick off! WTs Joseph Wei moderates “State of the Art Watches and Wristband.”

Akinori Takahagi, Co-Founder and CEO, Moff, Kip Fye 4iiii Innovations and  Mio Global, Liz Dickinson are on the stage. Kip makes a few bold statements that cause a bit of a stir among the attendees: “wrist devices do no offer enough value and are too clumsy to use.” and “get off the wrist, provide useful data, move to the phone.” But he is not the only one on this panel causing stir-ups. Liz Dickinson from Mio Global: “The most popular wearable device now is more like a medieval torture tool – heart-rate chest strap.” Wow. She is right, though. You just want the convenience of an all-in-one device on your wrist, right? Accuracy is still an issue.

11:15 now it´s time for adidas´ big announcement!
Vice president Paul Gaudio is visibly very pleased with premiering their adidas Fit Smart activity tracker targeted. Interestingly enough the device is a true personal trainer on your wrist. Paul also mentioned that Germany´s national soccer team is training with the miCoach system and propel the German team´s succes? The day prior we spotted several attendants “sneaking” a peek at the match between Brazil and Germany on the big conference screen.

10:35AM Emotiv’s brainwear for cognitive health can actually detect 5 different human emotions.
Silona Bonewald from Emotiv illustrates how their device can detect and interpret frustration, meditation, engagement, boredom, excitement and long-term excitement. The brainwear “takes brainwave research into the wild.” By that we assume they talk about the Wild Wild West frontier of pir era: space as Emotiv´s device is used by NASA Mars crew to monitor stress levels.

Evena Medical at WTconference USA
Evena´s glasses aid medical professionals find veins very quickly. Image: YouTube

10:10 AM Evena´s speech is well under way and impresses many of the attendees with the display of unsettling graphics.

Their headgear displays veins under skin, making it easier for health practitioners to do injections and identify problems. What we see on the presentation is not an x-ray but a visual of a person´s arm where the grey colour of the veins clearly contrasts against the white skin. Some comments about vampire glasses appear on Twitter. Impressive! Attendees are also quite aware of the sense of marketable value behind the company´s business model.

09:30AM Harry moderating the market analyst panel. Some interesting macro-economic facts are being discussed by Jeff Orr from ABI Research. The attendees are being surprised: Only 500.000 smart watches were shipped in the first Quarter of 2014, being outrun by activity trackers! In total 10M vs 7M respectively expected in 2014.
Jeff clearly illustrates the workings of the wearable technologies market and makes a case that in the market´s growth phase there is still room for improvement. He challenges engineers to find a way to measure user experience and understand their needs instead of focusing on technical improvements

ABI research presenting the real state of the industry with data. Twitter photo Jen Quinlan @QuirkyInsider

09:00 AM Managing partner Harry Strasser from the WT Group kicks off day 2.
08:00AM Today is Day 2 of the WT Conference!


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