Photokina 2014 highlights

Wearable Electronics

Emma's custom 'magic arms' were created using 3D printing technology

A two year old girl born with arthrogryposis, a congenital disease that left her unable to lift her own arms, although able to walk, has been given a new lease on life by a 3D printed robotic exoskeleton, enabling her to move freely for the very first time. The exoskeleton, made of a similar material to Lego, was manufactured using a Stratasys Dimension 3D printer so as to create a prosthetic light enough for young Emma to continue walking around freely.  Read More

The MetaWatch STRADA smartwatch pairs with an iPhone 4S, 3rd gen iPad or Android smartphon...

Dedicated wrist-worn timepieces can be unquestionably beautiful (the Blue Ocean Watch or Zenith's Defy Xtreme, for example) but today's discerning gadget-lover requires much more from their wrist candy. The iPod Nano can already be made into a pretty decent digital watch but it doesn't (yet) have built-in Bluetooth connectivity so can't connect with the ever-present smartphone like the various flavors of the I'm Watch can. Smartwatch veterans Bill Geiser and David Rosales have just launched a consumer version of their open source, developer-focused, Bluetooth-connected watches. The STRATA is being billed as the first iOS 6-compatible smartwatch on the market and has already more than doubled its funding target on Kickstarter just a few days after its campaign launch.  Read More

The pollution-sensing Aegis Parka

The fertile minds of the futurist-designers at Nieuwe Heren (they of "Beauty and the Geek" keyboard-pants infamy) have been in touch to tell us about their latest design: a jacket named the Aegis Parka that both senses and offers protection from airborne pollutants common to inner cities. The worse the air quality, the more integrated LEDs on the jacket's front light up.  Read More

With Sony's Entertainment Access Glasses, the hearing impaired can see private closed capt...

We're smack in the middle of summer, which means there are plenty of blockbuster movies to choose from in theaters right now. If you're deaf, though, a trip to the movies can be frustrating. Not many theaters screen movies with closed captions, since most people without hearing problems would rather not see them. The only other option is usually to have a special ear piece on, but that only works if a person has any of their hearing left. Fortunately, Sony is outfitting certain theaters with its new Entertainment Access Glasses, which can display captions right in front of the wearer's eye that no one else can see.  Read More

The Mobile Music Touch (MMT) system comprises a vibrating glove that connects wirelessly t...

Researchers at Georgia Tech have seen an improvement in sensation and movement in the hands of people with paralyzing spinal cord injury (SCI) after wearing a glove that helps them learn to play piano. The Mobile Music Touch (MMT) is a glove that helps them learn to play different songs by vibrating the wearer’s fingers to tell them which keys on a piano keyboard to play. The fact the improved sensation and motor skills occurred in individuals that had sustained their injury more than a year before the study is encouraging as most rehab patients see little improvement after such a period.  Read More

The GT3D system uses a pair of gaming cameras to provide 3D computer control

Bioengineers at Imperial College, London have developed a new computer controller for paraplegics that is not only more accurate and easier to use than current methods, but also uses inexpensive, off-the-shelf components. The GT3D device uses a pair of eyeglass frames with two fast video game console cameras costing less than UKP20 (US$30) each, which scan the wearer’s eyes from outside the field of vision and provide “3D” control at much lower costs and without invasive surgery.  Read More

Kuchofuku's Air-Conditioned Cooling pants feature two battery powered fans to keep your le...

If you’re looking to complement your air-conditioned shirt with a pair of pants to help keep your bottom half cool in the summer heat then Japanese company Kuchofuku has you covered. The Kuchofuku Air-Conditioned Cooling pants feature two battery-powered fans to direct a refreshing flow of air onto your legs and nether regions.  Read More

Necomimi feature NeuroSky's brain-computer interface technology to control the motion of t...

NeuroSky’s brain-computer interface (BCI) technology has found its way into a variety of devices over the last few years, from the MyndPlay media player and MindSet video game headset to the XWave and XWave Sport. The latest product sporting the company’s brainwave-reading technology features a slightly more fun form factor – fluffy, wearable cat ears.  Read More

The researchers used a standard T-shirt purchased from a local discount store for their wo...

As manufacturers of smartphones and mobile devices strive to make their products increasingly portable, they repeatedly come up against the constraints of existing battery technology. However, Xiaodong Li, a professor at the University of South Carolina (USC) believes that we will soon be able to employ the clothes we wear to help overcome such challenges and to this end, Li has transformed T-shirt material into an energy storage medium which could one day be used to power portable devices.  Read More

Google co-founder Sergey Brin demonstrates Project Glass on stage at the Google I/O develo...

Google's Project Glass has intrigued many since it was unveiled in April. It was then that a compelling video showing how the company imagined this technology would be used made people sit up and take notice. In the three months that have followed, Google employees have been seen wearing the Project Glass devices, ably led by company co-founder Sergey Brin. Fittingly it was Brin who took to the stage at the Google I/O developers conference to offer more details on Project Glass, including the pricing and availability.  Read More

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