Decimal Lab Collaborates with MeU Technology to develop iShy
Reality-Shifting Comments:
            MeU is a wearable device which is intended to be embedded into clothing in order to display textual messages through the use of LED lights. The applications of the device include, but are not limited to, bike safety, environmental data display, a platform for personal messages, game play, and even simple aesthetic purposes. The device began as an undergraduate thesis project at OCAD University in Toronto and the idea has since come to life.

            Decimal Lab has become the very first client to work in partnership with MeU. Since attaining a MeU device, Decimal Lab has developed an application known as iShy which allows shy people to talk into their smartphones and have the message displayed visually on their clothing through the embedded MeU device. The application was created by Nathan Gale, a research assistant at the lab. 
       In addition to being useful for shy people, the application can also be used to create a visual display of the sounds in the surrounding environment. While this is a seemingly less useful application of the technology, it is still a compelling idea. 
       Clearly, the partnership between MeU and Decimal Lab has been productive and successful so far. It will be interesting to see the developments which may ensue in the future. Needless to say, the members of the lab are hopeful for the future of the collaboration between ourselves and MeU.

Decimal Lab Collaborates with MeU Technology to develop iShy

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            MeU is a wearable device which is intended to be embedded into clothing in order to display textual messages through the use of LED lights. The applications of the device include, but are not limited to, bike safety, environmental data display, a platform for personal messages, game play, and even simple aesthetic purposes. The device began as an undergraduate thesis project at OCAD University in Toronto and the idea has since come to life.

            Decimal Lab has become the very first client to work in partnership with MeU. Since attaining a MeU device, Decimal Lab has developed an application known as iShy which allows shy people to talk into their smartphones and have the message displayed visually on their clothing through the embedded MeU device. The application was created by Nathan Gale, a research assistant at the lab. 

       In addition to being useful for shy people, the application can also be used to create a visual display of the sounds in the surrounding environment. While this is a seemingly less useful application of the technology, it is still a compelling idea. 

       Clearly, the partnership between MeU and Decimal Lab has been productive and successful so far. It will be interesting to see the developments which may ensue in the future. Needless to say, the members of the lab are hopeful for the future of the collaboration between ourselves and MeU.

Track-R Technology Could Help YOU Keep Track of Your Belongings

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            Track-R, as the name suggests, is a device which can be used to keep track of the location of your belongings. The device works in combination with an app on the user’s smartphone in order to help an individual find a lost item. The device can be clipped to a key ring and is small enough that it could even be placed inside of a wallet. The device helps to ensure the security of an individual’s belongings by giving the user the ability to find the location of the Track-R device at the touch of a button.  This device surely has the potential to save users hours of searching for lost belongings. Furthermore, the device could prove especially useful in cases where the user loses their wallet as it can take months to replace important pieces of ID. The Track-R device could help individuals find their wallet which would prevent the user from having to replace their license, bank cards, and so on.

            For individuals who are particularly good at keeping track of their belongings this device may offer minimal appeal. However, for individuals who have a tendency to misplace their belongings the Track-R device could certainly be worth the expense. Now as long as users can keep track of their smartphones, they will always know where their Track-R is!

MaRS Conference Recap and Thoughts
Reality-Shifting Comments:
            As mentioned in a previous post, Dr. Isabel Pedersen (director of Decimal Lab) recently attended MaRS Marketing Insights Conference in Toronto. The conference was quite successful and drew in the attention of many media outlets which will undoubtedly help to improve the knowledge of the general public in regards to the work that is being done on wearable technology in the health care and fitness sector.
            According to the MaRS website, the wearable technology market will continue to grow with the expected market opportunity being 30$ billion dollars by 2018. Interestingly, 20% of this market is expected to be made up of health and fitness wearables. This suggests that the future of wearable technology is particularly promising in the health care sector. Based on this information, it is not surprising that the MaRS conference was such a success. With so much potential for the industry to grow in the future, it is important to have events such as the conference in order to spread awareness about the industry and get the public more interested in the products.

            The conference was undoubtedly an exciting experience for Decimal Lab’s own Isabel Pedersen who was among the speakers at the event. Events such as the MaRS conference allow professionals in the field of wearable technology such as Pedersen to interact with both the public and fellow scholars. It is important to recognize the role of these types of conferences in enabling the growth of the market and increasing awareness about research that is being done in the field. 

MaRS Conference Recap and Thoughts

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            As mentioned in a previous post, Dr. Isabel Pedersen (director of Decimal Lab) recently attended MaRS Marketing Insights Conference in Toronto. The conference was quite successful and drew in the attention of many media outlets which will undoubtedly help to improve the knowledge of the general public in regards to the work that is being done on wearable technology in the health care and fitness sector.

            According to the MaRS website, the wearable technology market will continue to grow with the expected market opportunity being 30$ billion dollars by 2018. Interestingly, 20% of this market is expected to be made up of health and fitness wearables. This suggests that the future of wearable technology is particularly promising in the health care sector. Based on this information, it is not surprising that the MaRS conference was such a success. With so much potential for the industry to grow in the future, it is important to have events such as the conference in order to spread awareness about the industry and get the public more interested in the products.

            The conference was undoubtedly an exciting experience for Decimal Lab’s own Isabel Pedersen who was among the speakers at the event. Events such as the MaRS conference allow professionals in the field of wearable technology such as Pedersen to interact with both the public and fellow scholars. It is important to recognize the role of these types of conferences in enabling the growth of the market and increasing awareness about research that is being done in the field. 

Decimal Lab Open House

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            Recently, Decimal Lab hosted an open house which involved a short presentation by Dr. Isabel Pedersen (the director of the lab) and Douglas Trueman (the content communication specialist). The open house took place on April 1, 2014 at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The presentation summarized the work that is happening in the lab including the major projects in the lab and the primary areas of research. Dr. Pedersen described her interest in the ways that wearable and implantable technology have both enabled and constrained culture. Following the presentation, guests were able to interact with one another and test out some of the devices in the lab for themselves.

      Overall, the turnout for the open house was quite successful and definitely helped to spread awareness about what is happening at the lab. The event attracted students, professors, and professionals in the industry alike. Many students in attendance in particular noted that prior to the event they were unsure exactly what the lab was researching. However, following the open house many of these students were interested in getting involved in future events with the lab. The success of the event may be a sign of a promising future for the lab. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for the lab!

Decimal Lab’s Isabel Pedersen to attend Spur Calgary
Reality-Shifting Comments:
            Decimal Lab director, Dr. Isabel Pedersen, will be attending Spur Festival in Calgary from April 25-27, 2014. The event is a festival of art, politics, and ideas which brings artists, journalists, scholars, entrepreneurs, and critical thinkers from all over Canada together to share their ideas. The festival will analyze questions of patterns and trends in the market as well as questions of how to respond to these signals.

            For more information about the event, please visit: http://spurfestival.ca/calgary/

Decimal Lab’s Isabel Pedersen to attend Spur Calgary

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            Decimal Lab director, Dr. Isabel Pedersen, will be attending Spur Festival in Calgary from April 25-27, 2014. The event is a festival of art, politics, and ideas which brings artists, journalists, scholars, entrepreneurs, and critical thinkers from all over Canada together to share their ideas. The festival will analyze questions of patterns and trends in the market as well as questions of how to respond to these signals.

            For more information about the event, please visit: http://spurfestival.ca/calgary/

Wearable Tech for Babies
Reality-Shifting Comments:
            Intel has recently developed a wearable device which will be targeted specifically to parents of young infants. The Mimo Baby Monitor is an internet-connected onesie which tracks the respiration, heart rate, activity level, and temperature of the infant and sends the information to the parents’ smartphones. The device has been labelled “the baby monitor of the future” by Dana Wollman in the article, The internet of toddlers: Intel shows off a smart baby onesie.
            This device is being marketed to the same target market as the traditional baby monitor. However, the advantage to this device over other monitors is the fact that the device actually keeps track of the data that is collected and keeps sends that information to the parents who can view it whenever they desire. This gives parents peace of mind because they are able to check in on their infant and know that they are okay without physically being with the infant.

            The downside of the device, like many other devices, is the price. The starter kit for the Mimo Baby Monitor is $199 which includes three onesies and a turtle clip-on tracker. Additional onesies will cost $29 for a two-pack. For many parents, this would be an expense that they simply cannot afford with the arrival of their little one. For others, the peace of mind would outweigh the cost. Either way, the device is certainly an interesting development for the wearable technology industry. 

Wearable Tech for Babies

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            Intel has recently developed a wearable device which will be targeted specifically to parents of young infants. The Mimo Baby Monitor is an internet-connected onesie which tracks the respiration, heart rate, activity level, and temperature of the infant and sends the information to the parents’ smartphones. The device has been labelled “the baby monitor of the future” by Dana Wollman in the article, The internet of toddlers: Intel shows off a smart baby onesie.

            This device is being marketed to the same target market as the traditional baby monitor. However, the advantage to this device over other monitors is the fact that the device actually keeps track of the data that is collected and keeps sends that information to the parents who can view it whenever they desire. This gives parents peace of mind because they are able to check in on their infant and know that they are okay without physically being with the infant.

            The downside of the device, like many other devices, is the price. The starter kit for the Mimo Baby Monitor is $199 which includes three onesies and a turtle clip-on tracker. Additional onesies will cost $29 for a two-pack. For many parents, this would be an expense that they simply cannot afford with the arrival of their little one. For others, the peace of mind would outweigh the cost. Either way, the device is certainly an interesting development for the wearable technology industry. 

Tuit Ring Adds Convenience to Smartphones

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            The Tuit Mobile Security Ring is a device which works in combination with an app in order to improve the security of the user’s smartphone. While individuals can password protect their device, it can be inconvenient to have to unlock the device each time it is used. The Tuit ring allows users to bypass this step while still maintaining the security of their device.

            After installing the app on their smartphone, the user can unlock the device simply by wearing the ring. The ring acts as a key of sorts by allowing the wearer to unlock the device without entering the password while still ensuring that others will not be able to access the information on the phone. Unless someone somehow gains access to the ring itself, the security of the phone will not be compromised.

            While some individuals may view the Tuit Mobile Security Ring as an unnecessary device, others may see the value in it. For some individuals it is extremely inconvenient to have to unlock the device every time they need to use it. For these individuals, the Tuit ring would undoubtedly be of value; for others, the device is just another example of the growing dependence of people on technology. Which side of the debate do you support?

Harness helps physically disabled children walk
Reality-Shifting Comments:
            While some individuals may not consider a harness to be a form of wearable technology, others would beg to differ. Debby Elnatan invented a support harness that would help her son walk for the first time after discovering that he would be wheelchair-bound as a result of cerebral palsy. According to the article, Harness of hope: Invention from mother of wheelchair-bound son helps him and other physically impaired children walk for the first time, the harness works by strapping the child to an adult. As the adult takes steps, the child’s limbs move as well which essentially allows them to experience walking for the first time. While the use of the harness may be limited to usage by children only up to a certain height or weight, it is still an amazing development. The invention of this harness could change a child’s whole experience of the world. Walking is something that many individuals take for granted; as such, many people do not realize how freeing it is to be able to walk. In this sense, the harness may allow children to experience the freedom that comes along with the ability to walk. Even though the child is still dependent upon the adult wearing the harness, the device still allows the child to experience something that they had previously been unable to achieve.

            Even though the harness is not as complex or technical as other forms of wearable technology, it is certainly just as useful—if not more—as many other devices. The device has the potential to give children the opportunity to experience the very thing that their disability prevents them from doing. In this sense, the harness is truly liberating and certainly has the potentially to benefit many individuals in the future. 

Harness helps physically disabled children walk

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            While some individuals may not consider a harness to be a form of wearable technology, others would beg to differ. Debby Elnatan invented a support harness that would help her son walk for the first time after discovering that he would be wheelchair-bound as a result of cerebral palsy. According to the article, Harness of hope: Invention from mother of wheelchair-bound son helps him and other physically impaired children walk for the first time, the harness works by strapping the child to an adult. As the adult takes steps, the child’s limbs move as well which essentially allows them to experience walking for the first time. While the use of the harness may be limited to usage by children only up to a certain height or weight, it is still an amazing development. The invention of this harness could change a child’s whole experience of the world. Walking is something that many individuals take for granted; as such, many people do not realize how freeing it is to be able to walk. In this sense, the harness may allow children to experience the freedom that comes along with the ability to walk. Even though the child is still dependent upon the adult wearing the harness, the device still allows the child to experience something that they had previously been unable to achieve.

            Even though the harness is not as complex or technical as other forms of wearable technology, it is certainly just as useful—if not more—as many other devices. The device has the potential to give children the opportunity to experience the very thing that their disability prevents them from doing. In this sense, the harness is truly liberating and certainly has the potentially to benefit many individuals in the future. 

Isabel Pedersen to speak at an upcoming conference
Reality-Shifting Comments:
            DeCiMaL Lab director, Dr. Isabel Pedersen, will be making an appearance at a MaRS marketing Insights conference. Wearable Wednesday Toronto (WWTO) is partnering with MaRS Marketing Insights for a conference focused on wearable technology specifically for health. The event will take place on March 26, 2014 from 6:30pm to 10:00 pm at the MaRS Centre which is located at 101 College Street, Toronto.
            For individuals interested in wearable technology with an emphasis on health, this will surely be an event worth attending. The event will provide individuals with an opportunity to network with people in the industry, witness discussions from experts in the field, and be immersed in an environment rich in wearable technology information. The event will also involve a showcase where demos of technology will be shown. This will not only give attendees an opportunity to see some of the newest pieces of wearable technology, but it will also give them the chance to talk to professionals in the industry.

            For more information about the event, please visit the website:  http://www.marsdd.com/event/wearable-wednesday-toronto-2/

Isabel Pedersen to speak at an upcoming conference

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            DeCiMaL Lab director, Dr. Isabel Pedersen, will be making an appearance at a MaRS marketing Insights conference. Wearable Wednesday Toronto (WWTO) is partnering with MaRS Marketing Insights for a conference focused on wearable technology specifically for health. The event will take place on March 26, 2014 from 6:30pm to 10:00 pm at the MaRS Centre which is located at 101 College Street, Toronto.

            For individuals interested in wearable technology with an emphasis on health, this will surely be an event worth attending. The event will provide individuals with an opportunity to network with people in the industry, witness discussions from experts in the field, and be immersed in an environment rich in wearable technology information. The event will also involve a showcase where demos of technology will be shown. This will not only give attendees an opportunity to see some of the newest pieces of wearable technology, but it will also give them the chance to talk to professionals in the industry.

            For more information about the event, please visit the website:  http://www.marsdd.com/event/wearable-wednesday-toronto-2/

Sign Language Ring Improves Communication
Reality-Shifting Comments:
            A new device which incorporates multiple rings and a bracelet is revolutionizing the way individuals communicate when sign language is involved. For deaf individuals, communication is often a difficult part of life. As the majority of the population is not capable of interpreting or using sign language, deaf individuals often need a translator or need to develop the ability to read lips. However, according to an article entitled, “New ring device ‘reads’ sign language out loud”, six designers from Asia University have developed the Sign Language Ring which will change the way deaf individuals communicate with the rest of the population.
            The device works by ‘reading’ sign language movements and translating them into audio which is transmitted through the bracelet on the users wrist. If there is a verbal response from the receiver of the initial message, the bracelet will convert the spoken message into text which will appear on the screen of the bracelet.
            Unfortunately, many individuals have reservations about the accuracy of the device. First, some people doubt the accuracy of the translations of the hand movements or the translations of the verbal messages of the person who is interacting with the deaf individual. Others claim that the device could cause misunderstandings because it will not register the tone of the speaker or important non-verbal cues such as body language. While the device may not be able to register tone, body language is something that a deaf individual should be able to pick up on simply by looking at the individual who they are interacting with.

            Despite these potential drawbacks, the concept behind the device is unarguably ingenious. The fact of the matter is that there will inevitably be times in which a translator is not available to deaf individuals. In these situations, the Sign Language Ring would be an invaluable tool.  

Sign Language Ring Improves Communication

Reality-Shifting Comments:

            A new device which incorporates multiple rings and a bracelet is revolutionizing the way individuals communicate when sign language is involved. For deaf individuals, communication is often a difficult part of life. As the majority of the population is not capable of interpreting or using sign language, deaf individuals often need a translator or need to develop the ability to read lips. However, according to an article entitled, “New ring device ‘reads’ sign language out loud”, six designers from Asia University have developed the Sign Language Ring which will change the way deaf individuals communicate with the rest of the population.

            The device works by ‘reading’ sign language movements and translating them into audio which is transmitted through the bracelet on the users wrist. If there is a verbal response from the receiver of the initial message, the bracelet will convert the spoken message into text which will appear on the screen of the bracelet.

            Unfortunately, many individuals have reservations about the accuracy of the device. First, some people doubt the accuracy of the translations of the hand movements or the translations of the verbal messages of the person who is interacting with the deaf individual. Others claim that the device could cause misunderstandings because it will not register the tone of the speaker or important non-verbal cues such as body language. While the device may not be able to register tone, body language is something that a deaf individual should be able to pick up on simply by looking at the individual who they are interacting with.

            Despite these potential drawbacks, the concept behind the device is unarguably ingenious. The fact of the matter is that there will inevitably be times in which a translator is not available to deaf individuals. In these situations, the Sign Language Ring would be an invaluable tool.