Wearables News: May

Here at C-Prize HQ, we’re constantly scanning the headlines for news of wearable technologies. Below are a few stories that you might have missed in the past few weeks.

You might not be burning as many calories as you think….

Research from the Stanford School of Medicine suggests that while wristband activity trackers can accurately measure heart rate, their measurement of calories burned (or energy expenditure) are way off the mark. The team looked at seven commercially available devices, and in their paper, published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine, reported that six of them measured heart rate with an error of less than 5%. In contrast, none of the seven accurately recorded energy expenditure.
Read more here: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2017/05/fitness-trackers-accurately-measure-heart-rate-but-not-calories-burned.html

Could holograms do away with wearable screens?

Scientists at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have developed a hologram so thin that it could be integrated into smartphones or wearable devices. Their ‘nano-hologram’, details of which were published in the latest issue of Nature Communications, uses a class of materials called topological insulators to break a thickness limit that has existed for decades. The team behind it say that its design makes it suitable for mass manufacture…so watch this space.
Read more here: http://www.silicon.co.uk/e-innovation/research/wearables-thinnest-hologram-212447

Predicting seizures could save lives

A new device, invented by wearables pioneer Prof Rosalind Picard, could detect potentially deadly seizures, and alert wearers and caregivers. It works by measuring skin conductance, and combining it with motion data – in people with epilepsy, a sharp rise in both signals has been shown to preface some of the most severe seizures. With 50 million people worldwide suffering from the condition, this device – funded via Indiegogo – could save countless lives.
Read more here: http://news.mit.edu/2016/empatica-wristband-detects-alerts-seizures-monitors-stress-0309

Apple becomes the world's largest wearables company

Smartwatches have taken the lead in the wrist-worn wearables market, with the Apple Watch knocking Fitbit off their No. 1 spot, for the first time, in the first quarter of 2017. The additional features offered by the smartwatch, e.g. using it to pay for goods or to stream music, seem to be what’s drawing in new customers. But with Fitbit planning to launch its own smartwatch later in the year, the race for our wrists is far from over.
Read more here: http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11864949

Smart button-sized camera captures precious memories

A new wearable camera, launched by German company Benjamin Button is using artificial intelligence to automatically pick out memorable family photos from video footage. Designed to be worn by parents and children, it uses sound and motion to identify active moments, and facial recognition software to identify the family members involved. The founders say that their technology is “…bringing families together in this fast and demanding era.”
Read more here: https://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/benjamin-button-kickstarter/

And finally, in non-human news….

Chinese cat owners turn to wearable technology in record numbers

Pet ownership is growing increasingly popular amongst China’s middle classes, and with it has come an appetite for pet wearables. From GPS trackers and health trackers to sensors that measure food intake, people are tapping into low-cost devices to better understand their pets. With almost half of the estimated 300 pet gadget manufacturers now based in China, the market is predicted to grow by 25% in the next 2-3 years.
Read more here: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-pets-wearables-idUSKBN18J36V