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Wearables

Buzzing belt guides users by their gut

While navigation apps may be great for finding your way around strange places, they do require you to hold onto your smartphone and periodically check its screen – not an ideal setup if both your hands are occupied, or if you simply don't wish to look like a tourist. Smartwatches offer one way around this, but German startup feelSpace has developed a navigation belt that also allows for hands-free, haptic-based navigation. Worn over or under the clothes, it guides you by buzzing your waist via a series of built-in actuators.Read More

"Total-encapsulation" headphones promise wireless audio and language translation

Some pretty imaginative personal audio gear is already riding in on the wave of improving wireless connectivity, but there's none more ambitious than the so-called Sound program from startup Human Inc. Its debut earphones may look like somebody spray-painted sea-shells and asked you to tune into the sounds of the ocean, but if they perform as planned they'll be useful not just for wireless listening, but as portable speakers and language translators, too.Read More

First flexible, wearable patch capable of monitoring biochemical and electric signals

It's not quite the tricorder from Star Trek, but researchers responsible for a new wearable patch that can monitor the body's biochemical and electrical signals at the same time say their first-of-its-kind device could be a step in that direction. The Chem-Phys patch tracks heart rate and lactate levels in real time, providing a more complete picture of a body's level of exertion than currently available fitness trackers.Read More

Alcohol-monitoring bracelet pings your phone when it's time to ease up

Tracking your blood alcohol level is never a bad idea, but huffing, puffing and whipping out a breathlyzer isn't always an option. Looking to unearth a more inconspicuous way of keeping an eye on things, the National Health Institute's Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge put the call out for non-invasive solutions to this problem, and has now selected its winner. The wrist-worn BACtrack Skyn pairs with an app to offer real-time monitoring of alcohol levels, even alerting the user's phone when they are drinking too hard.Read More

Buzzing bracelet is out to stop your nasty habits

If you know someone with a compulsive behavior such as nail-biting or thumb-sucking, you may find yourself constantly telling them, "Hey, you're doing it again." The problem is, you can't be watching/stopping them all the time. That's why HabitAware's Liv was created. It's a bracelet that recognizes its wearer's problem behaviors, and vibrates to let them know that they are in fact doing it again.Read More

Self-charging battery stretches over skin to power wearables

While we've seen promising prototypes of computers that conform to the contours of human wrists and forearms, the technology isn't quite ready for mainstream adoption yet. But this hasn't stopped one forward-thinking team of researchers from coming up with a new way to power these wearable electronics, developing a soft, millimeter-scale battery that can be stretched over the skin like a band-aid.Read More

easyJet smart shoes let you follow your feet

European airline easyJet has made getting around the continent easier and cheaper, and now it's given wings to an idea that would make it easier for its passengers to get around when they reach their destination. Its new "Sneakairs" prototype smart shoes vibrate to provide wearers with directions when exploring a new city.Read More

Pilot earpiece targets language barriers with live conversation translation

From the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's Babel fish to Star Trek's universal translator, science fiction has found ways to break down the intergalactic language barriers, but it's something those of us in the real world are still struggling with. New York startup Waverly Labsis now claiming it's ready to make fiction a reality with the Pilot earpiece, which sits in your ear to provide near real-time translations of multilingual conversations.Read More

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