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September 10th, 2014 at 1:16 pm

10 wearable technologies that are competing to win half a million dollars in the Make It Wearable Challenge

vumbl

Vumbl

Some interesting partnerships have been created in the race to create the next big thing in wearable technology. Big brands from the fashion and technology industry are teaming up to design products that go beyond fitness trackers.

 

 

These big brands may be attracting the bulk of attention and interest, but take one look at the prototypes competing in the Make It Wearable Challenge and it’s not difficult to believe that the next big breakthrough could come from a little-known inventor or startup turning a good idea into a functioning device.

Nixie, BabyBe, Open Bionics and vumbl are just a few wearable technology brands hoping that their prototype will win them enough cash and industry connections to hit the big time.

The tech entrepreneurs behind these products are pushing the envelope, creating everything from a wearable camera drone that captures selfie videos to sensor-equipped items for parents of newborn babies.

1. Nixie

Nixie is the first wearable camera that can fly. It’s worn on the body, and on your cue, the device unfolds and takes flight. Nixie composes the perfect shot from an awesome perspective, capturing the moment without being invasive.

nixie

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2. Babybe

Babybe is a bionic mattress that keeps mothers and babies connected through the process of artificial incubation. The device is intended to help the more than 15 million babies born prematurely each year.

The device brings haptic information from the mother to the baby in real time, making the environment inside the incubator machine less stressful while giving the mother an active role in the care of her preterm infant.

babybe

3. Open Bionics

Open Bionics, founder of the Open Hand Project, has created a low-cost robotic prosthetic hand. With upcoming advances in materials and 3D printing, the company hopes soon to create a hand for under $100 in developing countries across the globe.

robotic-hand

4. BabyGuard

BabyGuard is a product that offers smart healthcare for newborns up to age 3, as well as a way for expectant mothers to track fetal movements.

The BabyGuard has three parts: the outfit, the sensor unit, and the mobile app. The outfit can vary from a bellyband worn by the mother to a little hat worn by the baby. The coin-sized sensor unit embedded inside the specific outfit can sample electrophysiology signals including fetal ECG, EMG, and EEG.

By applying powerful algorithms within the app, BabyGuard is able to provide information related to the health status of the fetus and infant in an understandable way.

babyguard

5. First V1sion

Imagine if you could see what soccer great Lionel Messi sees. First V1sion is designed to share the player’s point of view by integrating a camera and transmission system into a sport-optimized T-shirt.

The Barcelona-based device is a new broadcast system that offers the perspective of an athlete in just about any sport. First V1sion consists of a high-definition video system with a pulsometer and an accelerometer included.

first v1sion

6. vumbl

Designed by a UK tech team, this stylish, discreet fitness necklace uses vibrations to monitor information from the human body.

The goal of vumbl is to enable its wearer to remain fully informed of biorhythmic information without being distracting. The device, which rests comfortably around the neck, can be controlled through touch, leaving eyes and ears free to focus on what’s happening in the immediate environment.

vumbl

7. ProGlove

ProGlove is an advanced sensor-based wearable production tool for mass-production factory workers. It helps professionals perform their tasks more ergonomically and efficiently by unifying multiple instruments into a glove. The ProGlove would help optimize productivity and cut production costs.

proglove

8. Snowcookie

Snowcookie helps you become a better skier or snowboarder by enhancing user safety, improving technique, and connecting the skiing and snowboarding crowd. Combined with a smartphone, Snowcookie dynamically assesses a user’s physiology and movements and improves them with the help of crowdsourced information.

snowcookie

9. Wristify

The Wristify band relaxes the wearer by providing natural cooling or warmth on demand. Developed with an Intel Edison chip, Wristify aims to lay the foundation for an immersive experience that responds to, adapts to, and communicates with the wearer throughout the day.

wristify

10. Blocks

Blocks is an open hardware and software platform for wearable technology based on the concept of modularity, allowing people to replace or upgrade capabilities at will. Each block of your smart wearable band can be a sensor, a display, a processor, or a battery.

You can choose the different blocks that you need based on the functions and the looks that you like, and snap them together to make a wearable band that is unique to you.

With an open platform, any company or individual can be given access to develop apps or even build their own blocks. Users can upgrade their blocks over time and can keep up with the latest tech without needing to replace their whole smartwatch.

blocks - snapable platform

Finalists of the Make It Wearable Development Track will present to a renowned panel of judges at an event in San Francisco on November 3, 2014, at the W Hotel.

Each finalist will receive $50,000 and intensive mentoring from leaders of various industries — including Canva chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki and entrepreneur and author Steve Blank — to refine their projects and help get their ideas off the ground. They will ultimately attend the Make It Wearable final presentation and gala event, where the grand-prize winner will receive $500,000. The second- and third-place winners will receive $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

Via Business Insider

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