Category Archives: Interview
Chinese medical technology firm Biolight have developed a ranged of personal medical devices for home use, including a blood pressure monitor, blood oximeter, wireless thermometer for babies and foetal monitor. Andrew finds out more from Jeff at the Wearable Technology Show.
Biolight’s range of personal medical devices very much shows the on-going consumerisation of medical devices. These units are colourful and friendly; very different from the often austere machines of the hospital and health centre. Perhaps the most impressive thing revealed in the interview is how relatively inexpensive the products are. Obviously the prices are trade with some of the devices only a few dollars but to think that a foetal heart rate monitor costs around US$60 is incredible. It will undoubtedly sell well at three times the price. Listening to your baby before its born whenever you want? That’s a killer piece of hardware.
Atheer‘s AR smart glasses provide an interactive experience for industry, overlaying digital information for manufacturing, construction and medical uses. Andrew explores Atheer AiR and augmented reality with Theo from Atheer at the Wearable Technology Show.
Atheer has worked hard to develop a set of easy-to-use and self-contained augmented reality smart glasses with a familiar user interface. Simply, the glasses run Android with familiar apps and navigation, though Atheer have built additional features and apps, such as 3D depth. Atheer have used their experience in UI to ensure that the digital world doesn’t interfere with reality, positioning content on the periphery while keeping central vision clear. The built-in camera detects hand motion and gestures. Tap on a virtual icon and the app launches.
I tried out Atheer’s first generation smart glasses and I was surprised at the experience. While there’s a certain element of novelty, I could see how they’d be useful in a range of industries and beyond that, I don’t think it’ll be too long before AR is common in the office and at home.
If you are heading to the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham, England this weekend then you are in for a treat. This is the fourth time that I’ve been and I think it’s the one of the best. Loads of stands, loads of activities, loads of gadgets. Busy for sure and I racked up over 15,000 steps in the pursuit of interviews, which I’ll be publishing over the next few weeks.
At the press call, I was lucky enough to chat with the presenters Jon Bentley and Ortis Deeley and I recorded an interview with Jason Bradbury and Amy Williams, though I wasn’t asking the questions (Birmingham Post?) and there’s a bit of background noise as they were still setting up the stage for the theatre event.
The Gadget Show Live supports the British Inventors Project and it was great to see so many new and genuinely innovative ideas: I’ll be covering these in subsequent posts. Here’s one of the inventors, Supermarinovation and their underwater jet pack.
Slightly surprisingly, the gadget of the show for me was a kitchen appliance. Morphy Richards have developed a glass heating element (Thermoglass) which gets very hot and have used the material to create transparent products including an iron and a toaster. Now you can see how brown your toast is in the morning!
The Gadget Show Live is on until Sunday 3 April 2016.
For me, this was one of the highlights of the Wearable Technology Show. Bonnie Binary is a design consultancy offering creative skills and prototyping for e-textile and associated wearable technology products.
The team at Bonnie Binary have created impressive demonstrations of e-textiles, with lights sewn into the cloth responding to touch on other areas of the fabric.
Rather than explain what Bonnie Binary can do, here are two short videos demonstrating their e-textile capabilities and founder Annie Lywood tells me more in the interview.
It’s all too easy for both humans and dogs to get a little overweight with a few extra inches round the tummy. The PitPat activity tracker is designed to help dogs (and their owners) stay healthy and fit. Andrew from PitPat explains more.
Around the size of a matchbox, the lightweight PitPat attaches to the dog’s collar using Velcro and records the animal’s activity throughout the day. Given the breed and age of dog, the PitPat app (free download from the Apple and Google app stores) shows suitable activity goals.
Pressing the tracker’s orange button transmits the data to the owner’s smartphone and the app shows the owner what the dog has been doing and whether the goals have been met. Future enhancements to the app will let owners share the activity with friends and social media networks.
The PitPat is waterproof for splashing around (IP67) and the user-replaceable battery will last about a year.
The PitPat has been on sale since January and is available from pet shops and on-line for around GB£40. Cuddly toy not included.
Let’s say that you are a major manufacturer of sportswear and you need an activity tracker to keep up with the market. You’ve no experience in electronics or wearables, so what do you do? If you’re Adidas, you turn to Bittium and get the professionals on the job. Martti, Senior Specialist at Bittium, takes Andrew through the company’s offering.
Finnish firm Bittium are a technology design house, specialising in connectivity solutions, from 4G base stations to mobile phones, IoT and wearables. Bittium will take an idea for a product and develop it to a finished product, including physical design, hardware and software.
Here’s the tracker that Bittium did for Adidas, the MiCoach Smart Run. It’s a few years old now (2013) but it’s interesting to hear the development story.
TomTom are well know for their in-car navigation devices with over 75 million of them sold since 2004, including specialised variants for motorbikes and trucks. Building on their success with GPS, TomTom has launched wearable devices for runners and golfers. Tom tells Andrew all about the company’s latest developments.
Announced at the Wearable Technology Show, the new TomTom Golfer 2 is a GPS watch designed to help golfers improve their game by using automatic shot detection for detailed post-round analysis at the nineteenth hole. Incredibly, the Golfer 2 has knowledge of over 40,000 courses worldwide. It will cost 249 € when released in May.
Although not a brand-new product, I was impressed by the TomTom Bandit, an action cam with a killer feature. After a fast off-piste descent down a mountain, just shake the Bandit and it will assemble a highlight clip in minutes using sensor data to figure out the most exciting parts of skiing. As Tom mentions in the interview, the pain of video editing is one of the main reasons action cam owners don’t use their cameras. The Bandit costs from GB£269. I want one!
(Apologies to Tom – the last part of the interview didn’t record properly)
French startup Diota have been working since 2009 to bring augmented reality (AR) to industry and manufacturing. This isn’t easy as the factory floor is no place for fancy headsets or delicate glasses. Andrew hears more from Sebastian, Diota’s Head of R&D.
Diota have a range of AR products, but the one on show here uses a projective system to highlight work that needs done. Imagine that a fitter is working on the inside of an aircraft fuselage and that a series of steps needs to be followed exactly. Perhaps one set of bolts needs to go in before another and the order of insertion is crucial to the assembly. DiotaPlayer and its projective system is ideal for this problem.
Using the camera built into the system, the DiotaPlayer is able to identify the part of the fuselage in view, then project onto the surface clearly showing what areas need to be worked on first by the fitter. The projection shows the first set of the holes, highlighting them (in this instance) in blue-green, so the fitter can work on these and ignore all the other holes in the panel.
Diota have an impressive list of French industrial clients, including Renault, Dassault and SNCF. Price on application.
When it comes to wireless protocols for the smart home, there’s a plethora of standards from the well-known Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to the lesser known Z-Wave, Zigbee and ISM 433 MHz. Most smart home hubs only support a subset of these, typically Z-Wave and Zigbee, but Cozify‘s Hub is different, with hardware support for all five. Andrew finds out a little bit more from Cozify’s Tony.
While the Hub doesn’t yet take full advantage of all the radios, it’s integrated with devices from eight major smart home manufacturers, including Philips Hue, Osram Lightify, Belkin Wemo and Sonos. The integration seems to have be done at a lower level than many of the competitors, with the Cozify Hub able to communicate directly with the lights and sensors. For example, with Philips Hue, the Hue hub is not required.
As expected, there’s a smartphone app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Using the app, rules can be configured to carry out actions under pre-defined conditions, e.g. turn on the lights when it gets dark.
The Cozify Hub is available now for 249.00 € though there are bundles available which include a selection of smart devices, such as lights or sensors.