The 4 coolest pieces of wearable technology from Kickstarter
The tech industry is constantly evolving, and wearable technology is widely touted as the next step after our advances in the mobile department. Projects like Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Gear show that developers are already hard at work in making devices that integrate with our everyday attire. It’s no different on Kickstarter; in fact, one of the most popular pieces of wearable tech today, the Pebble smartwatch, started out on the popular crowdsourcing site. Here are four more awesome wearable gadgets you can find on Kickstarter.
The fine folks at Woojer are inviting everyone to “feel the sound” with their device, a mini subwoofer you can clip onto your shirt for a heightened audio experience. The Woojer silently emits the bass vibrations, giving your body similar sensations to being at a live concert. This isn’t the first time anyone’s attempted to create wearable subwoofers, but it is the first of its kind at such a small scale – the Woojer is more or less the same size as a matchbox. Compared to other devices that pretty much look like unfashionably bulky vests with wires clutter, this makes the gadget extremely appealing to mass markets.
The Woofer is able to connect to any audio device is another major strength. Not only is it going to be a great way for audiophiles to enjoy their music more, but it gives gamers an additional level of depth to their experience, as the games’ vibrations are no longer limited to just the players’ hands. The Woojer will also be available with a smaller version that clips to your belt, giving you an even more immersive ride.
Combining form with function, the MEMI aims to provide a more fashionable alternative to bracelets that integrate with iPhones. Marketed as the smartbracelet “made by women for women,” the device looks like a silver-plated bangle with a glossy colored inner surface – it’s chic enough to be noticed, but nondescript as a piece of technology. Inside, however, is a Bluetooth antenna that syncs with your smartphone, allowing the bracelet to notify you when an important call, text message, or calendar is incoming.
The MEMI is designed to be discreet, with only the smallest of lights to let you know of changes in its battery status. Notifications are made through three different vibrations; one for each type of alert. Users can then tap the MEMI twice to end the notification, should they choose to ignore a call. It’s one of the best ways to stay connected to your phone without being disconnected with everything else around you.
3. MIDI Controller Jacket v1.0 by MACHINA
This remarkable idea from MACHINA’s Wearable Machines Project is a jacket that lets you make music with a few gestures and taps on its surface. Each handmade jacket is a hodgepodge of controls, including a side panel with three sensors that detect your fingers’ positions, an accelerometer that reads your arm’s movements, a flex sensor in the elbow, and a four-button joystick on the sleeve. All these bits and pieces integrate with your wireless device through an app to control and create music kinetically. In short, you can make music by dancing.
The best part about the jacket, however, is that all coding that goes into it and its associated apps will be open-sourced, allowing programmers to come up with countless more uses. It could be tweaked for operations as simple as remotely controlling your iPod, or something more complex like coordinating special effects for concerts.
4. Sesame Ring
While the Sesame Ring will only be of real use to commuters in the Massachusetts Bay area in its initial release, the sheer potential of this project makes it difficult to ignore. Conceived by two undergraduate students who missed their rides on the MBTA one too many times by looking for their Charlie Cards, the Sesame Smart Ring solves that problem by keeping access on their fingers. Each ring comes with an RFID tag that integrates perfectly with the MBTA’s system, working exactly like a Charlie Card, but with much less hassle.
The concept behind the ring itself, however, opens up a world of other possibilities. Beta testing for the product included using these rings as access “cards” in an engineering school in Singapore, demonstrating intriguing security applications. The end goal is to see the tech rolled out on a global scale, and it’s hard to see why we shouldn’t be fist-bumping our way to the future.
Wearable technology is a wide-open field of development, and the vast frontier is nothing short of exciting to watch. There’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing the applications of these concepts and more at a mall or stores in the near future. Whatever comes next is only limited by our imaginations.
This is a guest post by John Markley the editor and community manager for the Forevergeek Kickstarter store which catalogs geek related products including awesome gadgets that were successfully funded via Kickstarter campaigns and are now available to buy.