News Roundup – May 2015

Summer is here which means that is time for our annually WT | Wearable Technologies Conference in San Francisco! On July 9-10 we will be hosting our 16th Wearable Technologies Conference  at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion! Bigger than ever, the event will count with a line-up of speakers that drive from Energy harvesting to Medical Grade wearables; then new fields of Application, Enabling technology, wearables in fashion and much more!  The agenda is now live, therefore you don’t want to miss out on this informative event.  If you are curious to know which companies will be exhibiting this summer please check the exhibitor page here.

WT | Wearable Technologies is a non-stop cultivator of personal in the wearable technology field. To keep the hype rolling we have already began planning our next conference in… Canada! This fall on the 10th of September we will be hosting our first WT| Wearable Technologies Conference in Toronto. The event will take place at the MaRS Centre. WT | Wearable Technologies is in cooperation with We Are Wearables and wearable tech influencer and organizer of many successful meetups, Tom Emrich.

Activity tracker Vs. Activity tracker or Jawbone Vs. Fitbit

We recently woke up to information about Jawbone suing Fitbit along side of five Jawbone ex-employees for the theft of trade secrets and research. Jawbone states that their ex-employees join Fitbit’s team and stole trade secrets, business plans, market research, and other confidential information. Since these companies are active competitors, this civil suit and the proof of it could become a breaking point for Jawbone.  Jawbone accuses Fitbit’s acquired knowledge of the activity tracking market research, years of planning, and information about Jawbone’s headsets, fitness trackers and audio devices made it effortless for Fitbit to grow into a market competitor.

Dior Eyes

French fashion house Dior, is giving you the chance to attend a top fashion show at no cost, without actually being present at the event at all. It’s all thanks to the magic of virtual reality! Dior has created Dior Eyes, a VR headset that will transport wearers to their larger fashion events and even backstage, to see exactly how their team prepares for the runway.  The VR headset is not available for purchase, however it will be demonstrated at selected Dior boutiques around the world. Designed to give fashion enthusiast, and cosmetic lovers a sneak peak at how artists work and behave at Dior events. Dior is becoming a leading trendsetter in the technological world and wants to share VIP insights into the profession just for you.

Google I/O Conference

On May 28th and 29th in San Francisco the Google I/O Conference took place. During the two days Google scheduled many talks, hands-on learning, and a chance to hear about Google’s current developer products. On the 28th, VR. Google unveiled Jump Camera, 16 camera modules in a circular array. Jump Camera system is open-source technology, which provides a way for creators to capture high-quality 3D video. The downside is you need multiple cameras to create a 3D image. But Jump Camera is programmed to ensure all cameras are synchronized, and splice all footage together. Jump Camera builds a spherical video with the footage; as well it acts stereoscopic, meaning all the objects appear to have depth like a 3D movie.

Along with this Google also launched what they called Expeditions. A new VR initiative that lets teachers take their students on virtual field trips to places they might not otherwise be able to visit. Expeditions is a software and hardware kit teachers can sign up for online that works with existing smart phones. The phone is placed inside a re-usable, foldable cardboard goggles. This simple virtual reality viewer Google sells for $10-plus online. Teachers can control the tour with a tablet that comes with the kit, while students catch the tour on their end peering through Google’s Cardboard viewer where the smartphone is attached.  This is what Google envisions schools in the future will look like!

On the second day of Google I/O conference they revealed their new partnership between Google and…Levi’s! You might wonder how Google could benefit from Levi’s? The answer is easy: Wearable Technology! Together they have created the beginning of smart pants that can control your phone.  Their collaboration is part of a bigger initiative by Google called “Project Jacquard,” which is essentially a type of “smart” yarn that allows textile manufacturers to create electronic clothing more easily. Enabling smart textiles to be the next big thing!

Swatch to release a long life battery

Switzerland’s Swatch Group plans to release a new long-life battery for smartwatches in 2016. Swatch unveiled its riposte to Apple Inc’s smartwatch. The group outlined plans to put cheap programmable chips in watches that will let wearers make payments with a swipe of the wrist. Swatch CEO also stated that the new battery would be applicable in cars by next March.

Apple acquires AR company Metaio

Our long term friends from Metaio, an augmented reality startup that launched back in 2003 has been bought by Apple; as it was shown by Apple in a legal document. The document confirms a transfer of shares from Metaio to Apple on May 21st-22nd. This explains why Metaio canceled its conference in San Francisco earlier this month. Later, Metaio took down their Twitter accounts. Earlier this year, Apple patented a VR headset that works with iPhones. The acquisition could help Apple boost its virtual reality and augmented reality efforts, and become a leading competitor.