While many of us are still trying to wrap our brains around how smart phones and mobile apps have forever altered day-to-day living, innovators are moving on to what many are calling the next big thing: wearables. Engineers are already dreaming up designs for the wearable product segment, which encompasses anything from augmented reality glasses like the widely-hyped Google Glass to Apple’s rumored iWatch and a range of still-to-be-thought-of devices.
If you think this segment seems like the stuff of science fiction, think again. Analyst firms such as the UK-based IMS Research are projecting the wearable computer market to swell to around $6 billion by 2016, with some estimates going even higher. Already, more than 14 million wearable technology devices were estimated to ship in 2011, according to IHS, another research firm tracking this emerging segment. IHS is projecting that 171 million wearable tech devices will ship in 2016, resulting in a 550% growth surge from 2011 to 2016. Continue reading
Here’s a neat little bit of DIY engineering. London-based freelance digital art director Dhani Sutanto has created his own wearable transit pass by gutting his public transportation pass card and implanting its electronics in a ring.
The Oyster card, as it’s called, includes an RFID chip and antenna. For his homemade ring pass, Sutanto removed the tag and antenna from the card using nail polish remover, wound the antenna loop into a smaller circle to fit his resin mold, and then cast a prototype ring. The initial version has to be removed to activate the reader, but he plans to make another version that casts the loop in the ring’s surface.