Fashionable meets functional with the UU-U memory ring
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
In a recent post, the importance of aesthetic appeal in the wearable technology industry became obvious based on an article which featured quotations from Dr. Isabel Pedersen of the Decimal Lab at UOIT. The basic point of the article was that the future of wearable technology is extremely dependent upon the ability of technological developers to take on a fashion-forward approach to designing devices.
Evidently, some developers agree with the fashion-forward approach. For example, the UU-U Memory Ring is a recent development which was designed to appeal to both men and women while still maintaining the elements of functionality that people expect in wearable technology. The ring doubles as a USB with the capability of holding up to 32GB of content. 

That said, don’t get too excited just yet! According to an article entitled, “This flash drive is a beautifully designed ring that holds up to 32GB”, the device is not yet available to the public. The developers of the ring are currently in the process of starting a kickstarter campaign to help make the ring available to the public on a wide scale. As with any product, it may take some time before it is ready to hit the market, but you should definitely keep your eyes open for this fashionable find!

Fashionable meets functional with the UU-U memory ring

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

In a recent post, the importance of aesthetic appeal in the wearable technology industry became obvious based on an article which featured quotations from Dr. Isabel Pedersen of the Decimal Lab at UOIT. The basic point of the article was that the future of wearable technology is extremely dependent upon the ability of technological developers to take on a fashion-forward approach to designing devices.

Evidently, some developers agree with the fashion-forward approach. For example, the UU-U Memory Ring is a recent development which was designed to appeal to both men and women while still maintaining the elements of functionality that people expect in wearable technology. The ring doubles as a USB with the capability of holding up to 32GB of content.

That said, don’t get too excited just yet! According to an article entitled, “This flash drive is a beautifully designed ring that holds up to 32GB”, the device is not yet available to the public. The developers of the ring are currently in the process of starting a kickstarter campaign to help make the ring available to the public on a wide scale. As with any product, it may take some time before it is ready to hit the market, but you should definitely keep your eyes open for this fashionable find!

Technology in the classroom
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
Its that time of year again! People of all ages are heading back to school and its obvious that technology has been established as an important learning tool for students of all ages. While it is clear that there are many benefits to the use of technology in the classroom (and if you don’t believe me, check out the article, "36 ways to use wearable technology in the classroom") there are still some people who have doubts. 
While many individuals might claim that there is a generational divide with the older generation being opposed to the use of technology in the learning environment, there may be merit to some of the concerns. For instance, many studies have proven that students who take notes by hand are more engaged in class and retain more information than students who use laptops for note taking. This may be linked to the fact that students who are using laptops for note taking may also be using the technology for other purposes during class which may distract them from learning; thus, preventing the retention of information. While this is of course dependent upon how a student decides to use the technology, it can be hard to resist the urge to use the laptop for alternative purposes when it is sitting right in front of them. Even the best of students may be tempted to check their emails during class which begs the question: do the risks outweigh the benefits?
Before answering this question, it is also important to consider how the use of technology in the classroom will impact the career prospects of students. After all, the goal of education is to produce well-educated citizens who are prepared for the workforce. As such, it may in fact be a good idea to introduce students to the technology that they will need to use in a future career in order to help them prepare for the future. While this may not have been a key element of education in the past due to the lack of technology in the workforce, this is no longer the case because today’s society thrives in a technology enriched environment. 
With that in mind, I would have to argue that the benefits outweigh the potential risks. To ignore technology in a learning environment would be to ignore a key part of the workforce which the education system is supposed to be preparing students for. Therefore, while there are certainly risks associated with using technology in the classroom, it is important to prepare students for all aspects of the real world. Technology has proven to be an essential part of everyday life in today’s society; to ignore  or prohibit the use of technology in a learning environment would place limitations on the potential of student success.

Technology in the classroom

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Its that time of year again! People of all ages are heading back to school and its obvious that technology has been established as an important learning tool for students of all ages. While it is clear that there are many benefits to the use of technology in the classroom (and if you don’t believe me, check out the article, "36 ways to use wearable technology in the classroom") there are still some people who have doubts. 

While many individuals might claim that there is a generational divide with the older generation being opposed to the use of technology in the learning environment, there may be merit to some of the concerns. For instance, many studies have proven that students who take notes by hand are more engaged in class and retain more information than students who use laptops for note taking. This may be linked to the fact that students who are using laptops for note taking may also be using the technology for other purposes during class which may distract them from learning; thus, preventing the retention of information. While this is of course dependent upon how a student decides to use the technology, it can be hard to resist the urge to use the laptop for alternative purposes when it is sitting right in front of them. Even the best of students may be tempted to check their emails during class which begs the question: do the risks outweigh the benefits?

Before answering this question, it is also important to consider how the use of technology in the classroom will impact the career prospects of students. After all, the goal of education is to produce well-educated citizens who are prepared for the workforce. As such, it may in fact be a good idea to introduce students to the technology that they will need to use in a future career in order to help them prepare for the future. While this may not have been a key element of education in the past due to the lack of technology in the workforce, this is no longer the case because today’s society thrives in a technology enriched environment. 

With that in mind, I would have to argue that the benefits outweigh the potential risks. To ignore technology in a learning environment would be to ignore a key part of the workforce which the education system is supposed to be preparing students for. Therefore, while there are certainly risks associated with using technology in the classroom, it is important to prepare students for all aspects of the real world. Technology has proven to be an essential part of everyday life in today’s society; to ignore  or prohibit the use of technology in a learning environment would place limitations on the potential of student success.

Dr. Isabel Pedersen offers insights in The New York Times
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
In a recent article by The New York Times entitled "Tech, meet fashion", Dr. Isabel Pedersen of the Decimal Lab is quoted as saying ” A wearable can’t really hope to become part of everyday culture until these companies consider more than just the technology”. Dr. Pedersen’s point here is that wearable technology would be much more wearable if it was more aesthetically appealing. 
While it is certainly important for the creators of wearable technology to focus on the technological components of a device, there should also be an emphasis on the appearance of the device. In fact, for some people the aesthetics of a device are even more important than the functionality of the device. As a result, it is understandable that the design and appearance of a piece of technology could impact the success of the device. 
The conclusion of the article is that companies need to “crack the code” between the fashion industry and the world of wearable technology. Combining the two industries would certainly help boost the success of wearable technology all over the world so I have to agree that this is definitely a case in which two is better than one. At this point, the convergence of the two industries is not only beneficial for both parties, but a necessary step towards making wearable technology a part of everyday culture.

Dr. Isabel Pedersen offers insights in The New York Times

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

In a recent article by The New York Times entitled "Tech, meet fashion", Dr. Isabel Pedersen of the Decimal Lab is quoted as saying ” A wearable can’t really hope to become part of everyday culture until these companies consider more than just the technology”. Dr. Pedersen’s point here is that wearable technology would be much more wearable if it was more aesthetically appealing. 

While it is certainly important for the creators of wearable technology to focus on the technological components of a device, there should also be an emphasis on the appearance of the device. In fact, for some people the aesthetics of a device are even more important than the functionality of the device. As a result, it is understandable that the design and appearance of a piece of technology could impact the success of the device. 

The conclusion of the article is that companies need to “crack the code” between the fashion industry and the world of wearable technology. Combining the two industries would certainly help boost the success of wearable technology all over the world so I have to agree that this is definitely a case in which two is better than one. At this point, the convergence of the two industries is not only beneficial for both parties, but a necessary step towards making wearable technology a part of everyday culture.

Ralph Lauren enters the world of wearable technology

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Ralph Lauren has developed the next development in wearable technology intended to monitor fitness. The Polo Tech shirt uses built in sensors to track perspiration, heart rate, and respiration in order to measure the user’s workout efficiency. The shirt collects real-time data which is sent to an app on a mobile device. The data can then be used to improve the performance of the user by informing them when they should be working harder. 

An added benefit for many individuals is of course the fashion-forward design of the shirt. As Ralph Lauren is famous for his fashionable clothing designs, it is not surprising that the polo tech shirt is no exception to the rule. In fact, it is possible that this shirt may be even more popular than the competing fitness-tracking devices simply because it is backed by the Ralph Lauren name. In today’s society many individuals take pride in their brand-name clothing which could result in a larger number of individuals who would prefer the polo tech shirt over another fitness tracker. 

That said, name brands don’t come cheap which may prevent the polo tech shirt from rising to the top of the fitness tracking pyramid. Of course this is only speculation and only time will tell, but I have no doubt that this shirt will prove to be very successful.

Bionic Pancreas Improves Quality of Life

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Over the summer of 2013, Helmsley Charitable Trust ran a summer camp for children with type 1 diabetes. The camp was a trial for a bionic pancreas which has tremendous potential to improve the quality of life for individuals who suffer from diabetes. The device works in tandem with continuous glucose monitor which is connected to an iPhone. 

The bionic pancreas works by reading the blood sugar of the user every 5 minutes and then secretes the necessary insulin or glucosamine without requiring the user to make any decisions about dosage. This saves the user time because they no longer have to check their blood sugar regularly or measure out the required dosage of medicine. 

Conversely, the device can be a potentially life saving piece of technology, especially for individuals who have a tendency to forget to monitor their blood sugar manually. Furthermore, the device eliminates the potential for someone to accidentally administer too much insulin or glucosamine which could be fatal. 

Overall, the device gives users more freedom to live without constantly worrying about their blood sugar. 

For more information, visit bionicpancreas.org

 

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Like any good piece of wearable tech, the LifeTip device tracks a wide range of the basic measurements; body temperature, posture, activity levels and even the wearer’s emotional state, but the prime feature is its ability to detect a heart attack. Going into cardiac arrest is probably not the best time to receive a push notification you might think, but the accompanying app will immediately contact emergency services as soon as the attach is detected. The gadget can clip onto a bra or a shirt button hole and is currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo.

Maiden Flight of the Decimal Lab Drone

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Recent activity in the Decimal Lab at UOIT has involved the maiden flight of a drone which the lab only just acquired. Those in attendance included Dr. Isabel Pedersen, Samantha Reid, Nathan Gale, and Cameron Nicoll. The flight took place both inside the lab and outside of UOIT’s Social Science and Humanities building on August 14th.

 

Colourful Controversy
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
While nail-polish might usually be considered a far cry from wearable technology, a team of four university students is currently working on a nail-polish formula that is breaking down barriers and stirring up controversy…literally. 
The polish is intended to detect date rape drugs in the drinks of the users and was developed in an attempt to counteract the rising number of sexual assault instances. The nail polish works by changing colours when it comes in contact with date rape drugs. Therefore, a user can test their drink by casually stirring their finger in it prior to consumption. If the colour of the polish changes, the user will know that something is wrong with their drink. 
While many people can appreciate the potential for this nail polish to improve the safety of women, others have a problem with the fact that the real issue is  being ignored. For example, Laci Green, a well-known YouTube blogger and self-proclaimed feminist claims that the nail polish may be distracting people from the fact that something needs to be done to stop perpetrators of sexual assault rather than expecting women to stop men who attempt to assault them. Green’s point is that something needs to be done in order to stop sexual predators before it reaches a point where women have to use precautions such as date-rape detecting nail polish. 
This is an excellent point, and I think we can all agree that it is always better to tackle a problem at it’s roots as opposed to trying to contain the problem by treating the symptoms. However, there is nothing wrong with at least giving women the option to use precautionary measures such as this nail polish. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people in the world who pray on women, and even though it is important to make strides towards preventing sexually predatory behaviors in individuals, it is also not a bad idea to give people another method of protecting themselves. I definitely see where Laci Green is coming from and I agree, but since it is impossible to change a problem so large as sexual assault over night, I think that the development of this type of nail polish can certainly offer women another method of protection and security. 

Colourful Controversy

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

While nail-polish might usually be considered a far cry from wearable technology, a team of four university students is currently working on a nail-polish formula that is breaking down barriers and stirring up controversy…literally. 

The polish is intended to detect date rape drugs in the drinks of the users and was developed in an attempt to counteract the rising number of sexual assault instances. The nail polish works by changing colours when it comes in contact with date rape drugs. Therefore, a user can test their drink by casually stirring their finger in it prior to consumption. If the colour of the polish changes, the user will know that something is wrong with their drink. 

While many people can appreciate the potential for this nail polish to improve the safety of women, others have a problem with the fact that the real issue is  being ignored. For example, Laci Green, a well-known YouTube blogger and self-proclaimed feminist claims that the nail polish may be distracting people from the fact that something needs to be done to stop perpetrators of sexual assault rather than expecting women to stop men who attempt to assault them. Green’s point is that something needs to be done in order to stop sexual predators before it reaches a point where women have to use precautions such as date-rape detecting nail polish. 

This is an excellent point, and I think we can all agree that it is always better to tackle a problem at it’s roots as opposed to trying to contain the problem by treating the symptoms. However, there is nothing wrong with at least giving women the option to use precautionary measures such as this nail polish. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people in the world who pray on women, and even though it is important to make strides towards preventing sexually predatory behaviors in individuals, it is also not a bad idea to give people another method of protecting themselves. I definitely see where Laci Green is coming from and I agree, but since it is impossible to change a problem so large as sexual assault over night, I think that the development of this type of nail polish can certainly offer women another method of protection and security. 

Breaking the Barrier Between Music and Musician

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Imogen Heap, a musician from the UK has been working with a team of scientists, artists, and technologists in order to develop a piece of technology which will allow her to transcend the barrier between the human body and music. In order to do this, Heap developed the Mi Mu Gloves, a device which monitors body movements and transforms gestures into sounds to create music. 

Traditionally, an individual must use an instrument to create music (with the exception of vocals). However, through the use of the Mi Mu gloves, the user becomes the instrument. Thus, the wearer can transcend the barrier of music creation by essentially becoming their own instrument.