Sports sunglasses that incorporate a heads-up display, wrist-worn PDAs with full-voice control and intelligent pens that store a digital copy of your handwriting - these devices will form part of an integrated family of wearable devices under development by Motorola and frog design that are expected to reach the market in less than two years. Known as "Offspring", the concept wearable electronics range uses a keyless Wearable Digital Assistant (WDA) as the hub, with the individual pieces communicating via Bluetooth. The handheld WDA will utilise full-voice recognition capabilities and a screen interface in place of a keypad as well as a high data storage capacity. The Wristable - a wrist worn alternative that serves the same function as the WDA - is also part of the concept range.The Intelli-pen includes an LCD screen on the side for reviewing your digitally recorded notes and accessing functions. The ink-less plastic tip at the other end of the pen can also be used to record writing digitally (even though there is no ink visible) and this data can be sent via Bluetooth to the WDA from where it can be emailed.Other highlights in the concept design range include heads-up display goggles incorporating digital camera, microphone and ear buds that provide an 800 X 600 display. Initially it seems the goggles will require an external power supply. So a cord is attached at the back. There's also a clip-on mini digital camera that sends images to the WDA or the wristable immediately after they are captured, a wireless ear bud and microphone headset that can be used for hands-free communication with the WDA, and a Bluetooth enabled Push-to-Talk button that can be integrated into casual clothing.The sleek Offspring designs combine Motorola's iDEN wireless technology with research from MIT Media Lab and user testing is ready to begin according to Motorola iDEN and frog design.For further reading on the convergence of electronics and fashion see Gizmo's feature onSmart Clothing.
Frog Design and Motorola unveil a new family of wearable devices
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.All articles by Mike Hanlon