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Archive for the ‘wearables’ category

Oct 15, 2021

World’s first massive egocentric dataset

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, robotics/AI, transportation, wearables

The University of Bristol is part of an international consortium of 13 universities in partnership with Facebook AI, that collaborated to advance egocentric perception. As a result of this initiative, we have built the world’s largest egocentric dataset using off-the-shelf, head-mounted cameras.


Progress in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) requires learning from the same data humans process to perceive the world. Our eyes allow us to explore places, understand people, manipulate objects and enjoy activities—from the mundane act of opening a door to the exciting interaction of a game of football with friends.

Egocentric 4D Live Perception (Ego4D) is a massive-scale dataset that compiles 3,025 hours of footage from the wearable cameras of 855 participants in nine countries: UK, India, Japan, Singapore, KSA, Colombia, Rwanda, Italy, and the US. The data captures a wide range of activities from the ‘egocentric’ perspective—that is from the viewpoint of the person carrying out the activity. The University of Bristol is the only UK representative in this diverse and international effort, collecting 270 hours from 82 participants who captured footage of their chosen activities of daily living—such as practicing a musical instrument, gardening, grooming their pet, or assembling furniture.

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Oct 12, 2021

Startup claims its new wearable can monitor blood sugar without needles

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, quantum physics, wearables

A Japanese startup at CES is claiming to have solved one of the biggest problems in medical technology: Noninvasive continuous glucose monitoring. Quantum Operation Inc, exhibiting at the virtual show, says that its prototype wearable can accurately measure blood sugar from the wrist. Looking like a knock-off Apple Watch, the prototype crams in a small spectrometer which is used to scan the blood to measure for glucose. Quantum’s pitch adds that the watch is also capable of reading other vital signs, including heart rate and ECG.

The company says that its secret sauce is in its patented spectroscopy materials which are built into the watch and its band. To use it, the wearer simply needs to slide the watch on and activate the monitoring from the menu, and after around 20 seconds, the data is displayed. Quantum says that it expects to sell its hardware to insurers and healthcare providers, as well as building a big data platform to collect and examine the vast trove of information generated by patients wearing the device.

Quantum Operation supplied a sampling of its data compared to that made by a commercial monitor, the FreeStyle Libre. And, at this point, there does seem to be a noticeable amount of variation between the wearable and the Libre. That, for now, may be a deal breaker for those who rely upon accurate blood glucose readings to determine their insulin dosage.

Oct 6, 2021

Georgia Tech Researchers Create Wireless Brain-Machine Interface

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, wearables

Researchers from Georgia Tech University’s Center for Human-Centric Interfaces and Engineering have created soft scalp electronics (SSE), a wearable wireless electro-encephalography (EEG) device for reading human brain signals. By processing the EEG data using a neural network, the system allows users wearing the device to control a video game simply by imagining activity.

Oct 5, 2021

GraphWear closes $20.5M Series B for a needle-free, nanotech-powered glucose monitor

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, wearables

GraphWear, a company pursuing needle-free approaches to glucose monitoring, has closed a $20.5 million Series B round. This Series B round is a vote of confidence by investors in GraphWear’s approach: to monitor key metrics in the body, like glucose, without breaking the skin at all.

GraphWear Technologies was founded in 2015 by Rajatesh Gudibande and Saurabh Radhakrishnan, who had both completed master’s degrees in nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania. Specifically, GraphWear is developing a skin-surface-level wearable made of graphene (more on this material later). The sensor is small, about the size of an Apple Watch — but the key piece of technology is actually housed on the bottom. It’s a thin slice of graphene that fits onto the back of the watch, or onto a sticker that can be worn on the abdomen.

This Series B round, says Gudibande, will be focused on helping the company build upon previous validation studies of the wearable, completing a pivotal trial and submitting for FDA clearance. The round was led by Mayfield, with participation from MissionBio Capital, Builders VC and VSC Ventures.

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Oct 3, 2021

Facebook’s smart Ray-Ban glasses are disappointingly familiar

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, mobile phones, wearables

But first, Facebook is going to have to bridge the territory of privacy — not just for those who might have photos taken of them, but for the wearers of these microphone and camera-equipped glasses. VR headsets are one thing (and they come off your face after a session). Glasses you wear around every day are the start of Facebook’s much larger ambition to be an always-connected maker of wearables, and that’s a lot harder for most people to get comfortable with.

Walking down my quiet suburban street, I’m looking up at the sky. Recording the sky. Around my ears, I hear ABBA’s new song, I Still Have Faith In You. It’s a melancholic end to the summer. I’m taking my new Ray Ban smart glasses for a walk.

The Ray-Ban Stories feel like a conservative start. They lack some features that have been in similar products already. The glasses, which act as earbud-free headphones, don’t have 3D spatial audio like the Bose Frames and Apple’s AirPods Pro do. The stereo cameras, on either side of the lenses, don’t work with AR effects, either. Facebook has a few sort-of-AR tricks in a brand-new companion app called View that pairs with these glasses on your phone, but they’re mostly ways of using depth data for a few quick social effects.

Oct 2, 2021

Brain-cleaning sleeping cap gets US Army funding

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, wearables

Interesting.


Everybody knows sleep is important, but there’s still a lot we don’t understand about what it actually does to the brain – and how its benefits could be boosted. To investigate, the US Army has awarded researchers at Rice University and other institutions a grant to develop a portable skullcap that can monitor and adjust the flow of fluid through the brain during sleep.

Most of us are familiar with the brain fog that comes with not getting enough sleep, but the exact processes going on in there remain mysterious. In 2012 scientists made a huge breakthrough in the field by discovering the glymphatic system, which cleans out toxic waste products from the brain during deep sleep by flushing it with cerebrospinal fluid. Disruptions to sleep – and therefore the glymphatic system – have been increasingly associated with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s.

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Sep 23, 2021

Know Labs unveils pocket-sized glucose monitor that swaps fingersticks for radiofrequency sensors

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, wearables

Know Labs’ glucose monitors are both powered by its Body-Radio Frequency Identification, or Bio-RFID, technology. The Bio-RFID sensors emit radio waves to measure specific molecular signatures in the blood through the skin, calculated using spectroscopy.

“We know that not all people with diabetes are looking for a wearable continuous glucose monitoring device to manage their diabetes. Some simply want to replace the painful, inconvenient and expensive fingersticks they currently rely on,” said CEO Phil Bosua, who invented the Bio-RFID technology. “The Bio-RFID sensor we currently use for our internal product testing fits in your pocket and is ready for final use, so we decided to create the KnowU as a portable, affordable and convenient alternative requiring no disposable items, such as test strips and lancets.”

In vitro tests have found that the radiofrequency sensor technology was able to measure glucose levels with accuracy comparable to that of Abbott’s Freestyle Libre continuous glucose monitor, which uses a sensor attached to the back of the arm for up to two weeks at a time. According to a 2018 study (PDF) comparing the two, 97% of the UBand’s readings were within 15% of the values calculated by Abbott’s device.

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Sep 18, 2021

AugLimb: A compact robotic limb to support humans during everyday activities

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, wearables

Researchers at Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and University of Tokyo recently developed AugLimb, a compact robotic limb that could support humans as they complete a variety of tasks. This new limb, presented in a paper pre-published on arXiv, can extend up to 250 mm and grasp different objects in a user’s vicinity.

“We are interested in human augmentation technologies, which aim to enhance human capabilities with information and robotics approaches,” Haoran Xie, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told Tech Xplore. “We particularly focus on the physical augmentation of human bodies.”

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Sep 15, 2021

Lithium-ion batteries just made a big leap in a tiny product

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability, transportation, wearables

Sila’s novel anode materials packed far more energy into a new Whoop fitness wearable. The company hopes to do the same soon for electric vehicles.

Sep 8, 2021

Stretching the capacity of flexible energy storage

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, robotics/AI, wearables

Some electronics can bend, twist and stretch in wearable displays, biomedical applications and soft robots. While these devices’ circuits have become increasingly pliable, the batteries and supercapacitors that power them are still rigid. Now, researchers in ACS’ Nano Letters report a flexible supercapacitor with electrodes made of wrinkled titanium carbide — a type of MXene nanomaterial — that maintained its ability to store and release electronic charges after repetitive stretching.

One major challenge stretchable electronics must overcome is the stiff and inflexible nature of their energy storage components, batteries and supercapacitors. Supercapacitors that use electrodes made from transitional metal carbides, carbonitrides or nitrides, called MXenes, have desirable electrical properties for portable flexible devices, such as rapid charging and discharging. And the way that 2D MXenes can form multi-layered nanosheets provides a large surface area for energy storage when they’re used in electrodes. However, previous researchers have had to incorporate polymers and other nanomaterials to keep these types of electrodes from breaking when bent, which decreases their electrical storage capacity. So, Desheng Kong and colleagues wanted to see if deforming a pristine titanium carbide MXene film into accordion-like ridges would maintain the electrode’s electrical properties while adding flexibility and stretchability to a supercapacitor.

The researchers disintegrated titanium aluminum carbide powder into flakes with hydrofluoric acid and captured the layers of pure titanium carbide nanosheets as a roughly textured film on a filter. Then they placed the film on a piece of pre-stretched acrylic elastomer that was 800% its relaxed size. When the researchers released the polymer, it shrank to its original state, and the adhered nanosheets crumpled into accordion-like wrinkles.

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