Weekly Wearable Devices Roundup: HET, LifeBEAM, Smart lens,SubPac, Visa R

1.LifeBEAM Vi: Virtual Fitness Trainer

Wearable technology company, LifeBEAM, has announced an artificial intelligence powered fitness trainer named Vi. The fitness tracker housed inside smart headphones is supposed to offer real-time coaching depending on user physiology. The company is working on Vi in partnership with Harman/Kardon. LifeBEAM says Vi makes working out 10 times more fun and motivating. The biosensors in the Vi include heart rate, elevation, motion and other environmental sensors. The wearable is capable of interpreting data for delivering actionable insights like weight loss optimization, injury prevention, exhaustion level management, running technique, adaptive training plans, stress levels and more.

The company claims that the Vi boasts biosensors that are aerospace-grade, with an elegant design, hi-fi sound quality and the ability to grow and learn with individual users.The Vi has been launched on Kickstarter and LifeBEAM had targeted a $100,000 goal, but wearable enthusiasts have already pledged more than $255,000.

Get to know more about it from the Vi official page.

2. Health and Environmental Tracker (HET).

Patients suffering serious asthma levels are aware how to avoid certain activities or situations, but even then, attacks are inevitable. Stepping up the efforts to help asthma patients, scientists at North Carolina State University are developing a wearable early warning system known as the Health and Environmental Tracker (HET). Consisting mainly of a wristband and chest patch, the technology monitors patients’ bodies and their environment, sending an alert when an attack may be imminent.

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The adhesive chest patch tracks the wearer’s movements, heart rate, respiratory rate and blood oxygenation, plus it also monitors wheezing sounds in their lungs. While the wristband likewise detects motion, heart rate and blood oxygen levels, it’s more concerned with tracking environmental factors such as airborne volatile organic compounds and ozone, along with ambient humidity and temperature. Combined with lung-function readings from a non-wearable spirometer, into which the patient breathes several times a day, data from the two devices is wirelessly transmitted to a smartphone, where it’s analyzed by an app. If it’s determined that an attack is likely to occur, the patient is warned so that they can take action such as ceasing their current activity. While similar systems have been developed before, HET has at least one key difference – it may ultimately be powered by the wearer’s movements and body heat.

3. SMART LENS: Wearables For Virtual Visual Experience

There are rumors that Google may now be trying to patent contact lenses that can overlay data into your field of vision. Amusingly, Google might have a strategy of bringing new technology to market using medically-necessary reasoning to ease their way to initial consumer approval and eventually wide-range acceptance. While Samsung may beat them to the punch this time, it looks like we are truly facing a world where humans will be able to browse the internet by merely blinking.Earlier this year, Samsung filed an application for a patent for a contact lens that can overlay internet search results onto your field of vision and discreetly take photos. The lens will project images directly into the user’s eye. It can also connect wirelessly to a smartphone and snap photographs when the user blinks. This is all part of the progressive invention of the flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen. Smartphone screens will soon be able to be rolled up into a case the size of a tube of lipstick and put in your pocket. Before that, however, they may be able to be bathed in solution and popped into your eye.

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The technical name for this sphere is “Augmented reality.” The main idea behind this is overlaying information into your field of vision. High end cars have in-built systems that project entities like speed onto your windshield just above the steering wheel. This is a form of augmented reality as well. Google previously disclosed its plans to implement a smart contact lens similar to the one Samsung is working on. But not for the obvious reason of furthering human dependence on augmented reality and internet searches, rather, to provide glucose levels for diabetics. However, if that’s what gets users, who may have at first hesitated to take such a sci-fi step, to start wearing this likely addictive device, Google may be onto something. It will be interesting to see the litigation that may develop.

4. SubPac M2:

StudioFeed, a Los Angeles-based tech company, that launched a crowdfunding campaign in 2013 aimed at putting some low end rumble in your seat, has since further developed its SubPac tactile bass technology, and also pushed beyond the immersive music and gaming experience. Now the company is aiming to put some bottom end on your back with the upcoming SubPac M2 wearable sound system. M2 is worn like a backpack, with adjustable shoulder straps at the front that bring the SubPac bass thumper up close to the body at the rear. The brand new SubPac transducers have been optimized for greater accuracy and energy efficiency, delivering powerful and immersive low end thunder through the unit’s vibro-tactile membranes while remaining quiet to those nearby. The materials have also been treated with nano silver to keep bacteria and odor in check during active use.

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The M2 is reported to work straight out of the box, and doesn’t need users to buy any altered or format-specific source audio files or tweak code on their computer. Bass intensity can be set using a slim cabled control box, though the system’s frequency response of 5 Hz – 130 kHz means that it doesn’t just growl at the low end. The control box is also used to feed in sounds from a source player or smart device via a 3.5 mm stereo input jack, but the system includes a Bluetooth 4.0 receiver for wireless streaming, too. A 10.8 V/2,300 mAh Li-ion battery pack offers up to 6 hours of continuous music, gaming, home theater or virtual reality immersion per charge.

5. Visa Ring: Wearable For Payment Transactions

Making payments at outlets using smart-cards has been around for years now. What if we can buy things using a ring we are wearing. Wouldn’t it be magical? It will be like wearing your credit card around and use it to buy more things to wear and adorn your life.

Visa is now bringing it to us. An NFC-enabled ring that’s able to make purchase at terminals that accept contactless payments. The idea is to make it as quick and easy as possible to make a payment; no need to pull our your credit card or phone, when you can just tap your ring to the terminal. The idea isn’t totally novel. Plenty of smart rings have passed through Kickstarter claiming to offer contactless payments over NFC. That said, this is the first ring backed by a Visa account. So it’s possible those others never quite got the support they needed.

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Visa is giving out its payments ring to 45 athletes heading to the Rio 2016 Olympics. A market launch is yet to be announced. It’s easy enough for small gadgets to enable wireless payments, so if Visa allows it, quite a few other wearables will be able to offer this same functionality.