Wearable tech news and discussions

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weatheriscool
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Wearable tech news and discussions

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Smart fabrics and self-powered sensing

by Thamarasee Jeewandara , Tech Xplore
Smart fabrics and wearable electronics can be developed using highly conductive and stretchy fibers. Most of these fiber conductors are, however, strain sensitive with limited conductance on stretching. As a result, a new strategy can be introduced by rearranging the geometry of the conductive path for stable conductance. In a new report now published on Science Advances, Lijing Zheng and colleagues in China and Germany, described a coaxial wet-spinning process to continuously develop intrinsically stretchable and highly conductive, yet conductance-stable liquid metal (LM) sheath-core microfibers. The team stretched the microfibres up to 1170 percent and fully activated the conductive path to obtain a very high conductivity of 4.35 x 104 S/m and a resistance change of only 4 percent at 200 percent strain. The microfiber could be woven easily into everyday glove fabrics and as excellent joule heaters, electro-thermochromic displays and self-powered wearable sensors.
https://techxplore.com/news/2021-06-sma ... wered.html
weatheriscool
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WaveGlove: A glove with five inertial sensors for hand gesture recognition
https://techxplore.com/news/2021-06-wav ... sture.html
by Ingrid Fadelli , Tech Xplore

Over the past few decades, computer scientists have developed a wide array of models and approaches to analyze different aspects of human behavior and communication, such as speech, emotions and gestures. Most existing techniques for hand gesture recognition rely on the use of wearable technologies with a single sensor and can only recognize a limited number of basic gestures.

Researchers at Comenius University Bratislava in Slovakia have recently developed WaveGlove, a new system for hand gesture recognition that utilizes multiple inertial sensors, instead of a single sensor. This new system, introduced in a paper pre-published on arXiv, is essentially a glove with an inertial sensor placed on each of its fingers.

"Our recent paper showcases the use of multiple inertial sensors for hand gesture recognition (HGR)," Matej Kralik, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. "By building a custom hardware prototype and proposing a novel Transformer-based model (a network architecture, which had a lot of success on natural language processing tasks), we demonstrate that using multiple sensors can have significant effect on the classification accuracy and allows for a richer vocabulary of gestures."
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Yuli Ban
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TCL's new smart glasses are portable movie screens
It feels like every consumer electronics company is attempting to make a pair of smart glasses right now. For the most part, those efforts are focused on augmented reality. But TCL’s NXTWEAR G Wearable Display Glasses aren’t about giving context to the world around you. They’re meant to help you stay immersed in your own little world while on the go.

TCL first teased the glasses earlier this year at CES, but a lot of CES presentations are more proof-of-concept than bonafide consumer devices. We got more details today as part of TCL’s Mobile World Congress offerings, and I have to admit: These ones are pretty intriguing. The glasses combine two 1080p Sony micro OLED displays that can supposedly emulate a 140-inch display in 16:9 aspect ratio. The glasses also sport stereo speakers and, in a nice touch for those of us with terrible eyesight, a lens adapter.
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Image: TCL
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Time_Traveller
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Smart fabric radiates heat to keep you cooler in the sun
8 July 2021

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Clothes and covers made of a smart fabric that radiates heat and reflects light could help people and objects that are out in the sun stay several degrees cooler.

Guangming Tao at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, and his colleagues developed what they call a “metafabric” by combining microscopic beads and fibres of titanium oxide, Teflon and a plastic called polylactic acid, all embedded within larger fibres.

The beads of titanium oxide – a substance also found in sunscreens – and the Teflon reflect ultraviolet and visible light, while the polylactic acid fibres emit infrared light. The sizes of the particles are designed to optimise these properties.

“Through structural control, our metafabric achieves a nearly perfect mid-infrared emissivity, thereby maximising heat dissipation,” says Tao.

In one test, a volunteer wearing a vest made half of the metafabric and half of cotton sat in direct sunlight for an hour. The skin temperature under the metafabric rose from around 31°C to 32°C over that time, while the skin temperature under the cotton rose to around 37°C.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/22 ... n-the-sun/
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weatheriscool
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Researchers develop fabric-friendly sensors

by Krista Burns, Carnegie Mellon University
https://techxplore.com/news/2021-07-fab ... nsors.html
Sensors are part of modern-day technology. From contactless payment to key fobs, credit card chips to smart devices, near-field communication (NFC) allows for humans to communicate with objects.

But what if we could use this technology so that everyday objects, like a pillow or a shoe, could sense and interact with us?

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's Laboratory for Emerging Wireless Technologies (WiTech) have developed fabric-friendly NFC antennas that can be woven into everyday surfaces for building smart environments. Known as TextileSense, this system can track everyday objects made of conductive materials, like a human hand.

"We achieved this by using multiple flexible NFC coil antennas embedded in ordinary and irregularly shaped surfaces, like furniture and carpets, that we interact with in smart environments," said Swarun Kumar, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.
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Time_Traveller
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These New Premium Headphones Use Artificial Intelligence to Help You Focus
July 11, 2021

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Think of Enten like an Apple watch for your mind. These high-tech headphones are equipped with sensors that scan your brain for electrical activity; the firm’s proprietary AI then processes that data and produces a user-friendly reading via a Bluetooth-connected app. As a result, for example, Enten could increase the noise-canceling function if the sensors detect your distraction is rising. Perhaps instead you need music to focus—these can-do cans will suggest the songs that keep you in a flow state. After a few days of wearing them, you could even develop a daily routine that ensures you sidestep your sluggish hours: planning a workout for mid-afternoon when your brain is at its gooiest. Then again, perhaps it’s your surroundings rather than timing that are a trigger? Tracking geolocations, Enten might warn you away from the kitchen, where you’ll always make an excuse to grab a snack.

“Our sweet spot is making people feel better about how they perform,” explains Adam Molnar of the Boston-based startup Neurable which is making the device.

He and his co-founder Ramses Alcaide developed their futuristic neurotechnology while graduate students at the University of Michigan six years ago. Neuroscience is predicated on reading and understanding the brain’s electrical signals, which has long required expensive, unwieldy lab equipment. Put simply, the pair cracked the puzzle of how to bring those sensors out of the lab and still produce dependable brain data. “It was a balancing act,” Molnar says, “The best analogy is to think of data as fuel for your car—if you have a Ferrari, and you’re putting garbage into it, it’s not going to go well.”

The duo then set about collecting data in real life situations, amassing enough to feed it into an AI that could analyze it, resulting in actionable suggestions. “There are neuromechanics going on in your brain, patterns that can be read, which are indicative of low or high attention, and over a few experiments, we can color in a picture of what a measure of attention would be,” the CEO tells Robb Report. “Maybe we see reaction time decrease, and make a mistake—that teaches our algorithm what distraction might look like.”
https://robbreport.com/gear/audio/neura ... 234622961/
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff.” - Steven Moffat
weatheriscool
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Scientists create UV-enabled flexible wearable technology
https://phys.org/news/2021-07-scientist ... ology.html
by Nanyang Technological University

To enable the development of wearable devices that possess advanced ultraviolet (UV) detection functions, scientists from NTU Singapore have created a new type of light sensor that is both flexible and highly sensitive.While invisible to the human eye, UV rays surround us in our environment, and excessive exposure can cause health issues including skin cancer and premature skin aging. The intensity of UV rays is typically reported through an index during weather reports. A wearable device, such as a T-shirt or watch that monitors the actual personal UV exposure throughout the day, would be a useful and more accurate guide for people seeking to avoid sun damage.

In their study, which was featured on the front cover of the journal ACS Nano, the NTU researchers reported that their flexible UV light sensors were 25 times more responsive, and 330 times more sensitive, than existing sensors, exceeding the performance level required for optoelectronic applications—or light-based electronics.
weatheriscool
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How to stick sensors to skin without adhesive
https://phys.org/news/2021-08-sensors-s ... esive.html
by Binghamton University


Imagine if you could attach something to your skin without needing glue. A biosensor, a watch, a communications device, a fashion accessory—the possibilities are endless. Thanks to a discovery at Binghamton University, State University of New York, that time could be closer than you think.

Associate Professor Guy German and Zachary Lipsky, Ph.D. '21, recently published research in the journal Acta Biomaterialia that explores how human skin can control the way cracks form and why tensometers offer imprecise results when measuring the mechanical properties of biological tissues.

Along the way, Lipsky developed a method to bond human skin to rubber-like polymeric materials without an adhesive. Originally a way to make their experiments easier, he and German understood they had made a significant discovery.

"Zach came in one day and said, 'Yeah, I did it,'" German said. "I was like, 'How on Earth did you do that? Did you use a glue?' Because we'd need to account for the mechanical properties of the glue as well. And he said, 'No, I just stuck it.' We looked and said: Has this ever been done before? Never been done. So we're really happy on that front."
caltrek
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Facebook, Ray-Ban Debut Picture-taking Smart Glasses
by Ina Fried
September 9, 2021

https://www.axios.com/facebook-ray-ban- ... 26607.html

Introduction:
(Axios) Ray-Ban Stories, the smart glasses being debuted by Facebook and Ray-Ban today, are most notable for just how much they look like a standard pair of the brand's sunglasses.

Why it matters: That speaks to both the most promising and troublesome aspect of the $299 glasses: They look and feel just like a standard pair of Ray-Bans while adding the ability to capture photos and video.

Details:
  • The $299 glasses have three main "smart" features: they can record photos and 30-second videos via dual 5-megapixel cameras, they can play "open-air" sound without headphones and they allow users to take phone calls.
  • In addition to coming in several styles and colors, they can be made as sunglasses or untinted lenses, prescription and even progressive lenses.
  • Photos and videos are shared only to a companion smartphone app, where the owner can then decide whether and where to share the images and videos.
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