September 10, 2015 Live Report WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2015 CANADA in Toronto
9:35AM: WT | Wearable Technologies CEO Christian Stammel introduces the WT | Wearable Technologies Conference 2015 CANADA. We are looking forward to an inspirational event. Thank you MaRS for helping us to realize our first Canadian event.
Some big trends at the moment: Analog Watches with Smartphone functions which have a more attactive design and longer battery life. Pimptech against Shytech. Do you want to show off with your wearable or wear it secretly, e.g. as a patch? Battery life – there are many new solutions and ideas on the market – which ones will guide the way to the future for wearables?
9:47AM: Tom Fowler from Recon Instruments introduces their awesome smart glasses for athletes. He already presented the devices at our WT | Wearable Technologies Conference EUROPE four years ago and talks about his experiences with our WT | Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup. Tom shows what you need to bring a startup to success. You need passion and a strong belief in what you are doing / your product. Mentorship is extremely important – either to see you suceed or fail. Helps you to protect you from yourself. Criticism can save your project’s life. Spectacular salesmanship is absolutely necessary to sell your dream to partners and customers – be a magnet for talent and employees, investors, tech partners,… You better have someone in your team who can help you to transport your idea into the world. For Intel Recon was a small acquisition, but for Recon it was huge and changed the life of the entire team. Tom states that the wearable space will overtake the mobile space in only a few years was one of the reaseons why Intel acquired them. Computing is a very important issue, that’s the second reasons. Future of wearabes is to ask. And you should ask yourself if you are able to cross over into different segments (he refers to Christian’s introduction where he mentions that medical products to not have to look medical anymore and that many companies from the activity tracking market for example become interested in entering the healthcare market). Perfect if you only need tiny adjustments or for example applications to cross over to a different segment.
What can cut the story short? Two traps: Shiny object syndrome – so they spent a lot of money in time to cooperate with a big brand but nothing came out of it. Tom recommends to stick to your core business and do not get distracted. Thinking 1$ is all the money in the world is not true. You have to spend money to get forward.
10:24AM: Our Enabling Tech panel starts with Wireless Power: Colin McCarthy, Sales Engineer, WiTricity, will show how they enable the next-generation of wearable devices. With their technology you can power multiple devices from the same field. The coil extends power even further. In the future you will ust put laptops on the table and they charge automatically. Communication will take place via Bluetooth of wifi. The market for wireless powered systems will 15 billion dollars by 2024. Some examples from WiTricity partners: Merriot wireless charging power bank, there are several used cases for the automotive sector, e.g. Wireless “park and charge” where EV’s and HEV’s are charged wirelessly. There is a comparable entergy transfer efficiency compared to plug-in. Another application: the medical market, e.g. for implants in the body. Wearables: ease of use: you can charge several objects at the same time, it’s easier than connecting small packs physically. The coils are extremely small, thin and flexible. Considerations at the moment: the power transfer distance and efficiency is related to the size of the resonator. Form factor and coil size have an influence on the transferred power limit and how much power can you get in a devices without heating it up too much.
9:50 AM: Wolf Richter from EPIC Semiconductors explains their incredible nCPs – IoT-Dot as Implants. Make things cheaper with low battery. No magnetic connections. The device must be compatible and user friendly with the world. Problem of batteries: they are toxic, expencisve and difficult to recycle. Microvwaves damage human soft tissue. MEMS lost their magic. Too many “me too” on the market. No additional parts needed, free licence, no battery. That’s what we need. Implants are discrete, small and convenient. Wolf calls their products the “Bettery” cause it’s better than the battery. You can stick it, implant it, via 3D gesture you can control your devices. Great live demo on how the body can empower the nCPs. nCPs are ideal for sensing and communication of human vital signs. (EEG,ECG etc.) and the forces that the body is subjected to @Epic_nCP
11:08 AM: We are happy to welcome our partner Flex at our conference in Toronto. Cindy Soo tells how Flex can help you to manufacture your device and make it real. Innovation is the engine of differentiation and the driver of success. more than 23 were release by the end of last year. About 15 million devices shipped, most activity trackers. They know where the consumers are but are not able to get in touch with them. Flex understands the trends and the technology and can support you with their knowledge. There is a movement into the body because it’s convenient, invisible, comfortable.
According to Cindy emotion is what is missing for many wearables – that’s why they do not last for a long time. That’s what we have to create. But that is difficult because it’s not tangible. With Flex brand loyalty is guaranteed.
11:20 Coffee Break – enjoy some brainfood provided by Presidential Gourmet Catering and talk to our exhibitors.
12:00: Sonia Strimban from MaRS moderates our Canada Special and explains how MaRS can help to commercialize and go to mass market. Thanks to MaRS for hosting our event in Toronto for the first time.
Ashlyn Bird from Biosensive Technologies presents EarOSmart which montiors heart rate, activity, burt calories in a highly fashionable way. She also announces their new product which is even smaller and more fashionable, unobtrusive – available in October, so keep your eyes open.
Dylan Horvath from Cloud DX about their multi-function virtual medical device and cloud diagnostics. Vitaliti consists of wearable vital sign monitor, wireless spirotoscope, in vitro diagnostic system, pulsewave health station. The necklace can measure heart rate, temperature, respiration rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, exercise zones, core body temperature, steps, calories, posture, sleep cycles,… The necklace is appealing and easy to use for everyone.
GestureLogic , creators of LEO’s Michael Kravshik on stage telling how their device can revolutionize the way we train with EMG. It’s about price and size. They shrunk the device and made it available for $300. Get biofeedback intuitive and actionable.
Wearables for Kids presented by Lyssa Neel, Ph.D. Founder and CEO, Linkitz Systems : Children want to take adult roles. Linkitz is not only for girls, but was designed as something girls will be interested in. It is a codeable friendship bracelet to create excitement about technology and coding. Very important: to be playful but at the same time educational. Let Kids play with technology and there is a bunch of devices in the pipeline at the company. The product will be delivered in December 2015.
Fight Alzheimer with the first portable transcranial-intranasal light therapy system from Vielight. Dr. Lew Lim, President & CEO explains how it works. QEEG readings: Brain rewiring activities within 25 minutes. They want to make it simple and based on case studies they wanted to improve and make the devices more convenient.
Mobile VR – The Key to Virtual Reality for the Masses Vlad Dascalu – Director of Marketing, Pinch VR. The device unfolds into a virtual reality headset for the middle consumer category based on the idea: the best camera is the one that is with you.
Ollinfit monitors & corrects your form in real-time, to maximize your results & minimize your risk of injury. Hani Abidi explains how the device works and how the company came up with the idea. Trainables are a huge topic and due to a busy schedule and lack of time and no will to hire a personal trainer they found that there must be a different way. There are lots of wearables but they do not offer what you need to be able to train effective on your own. You need a trainable. Maximize result, minimize your injruies. Tells you how to correct it not only that you are doing it wrong. OLCt 5th kickstarter
Enhancing the Human Experience with Augmented and Virtual Reality. Kibaya Njenga, Project Manager and Founding Team Member from Sulon Technologies tells why the Cortex is so unique compared to the other devices out there. The Cortex is completely wireless, so you do not need any laptop or anything else. Your body is the machine / camera.
12:40: Enjoy the Lunch Break. Thanks to Red Bull Canada for providing free cans for our exhbitors and to Cote & Ciel for the beautiful laptop cases.
Talk to MediaTek Labs in our exhibition area. The ultimate development platforms for Wearables & IoT. Think it, build it, code it — MediaTek LinkIt™ is a portfolio of development platforms for Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT). Based on chipsets or modules from MediaTek, the platforms offer a broad range of connectivity options and the development tools needed to create your own devices.
Use the break to talk to our exhibitors. TÜV SÜD is a specialist for testing and certification solutsions for wearables. Find out more at their booth. You should also talk to their partners from Global EMC Labs offering EMC, Wireless, Laser/LED & Product Safety testing to FCC, CE, CSA/UL/TUV standards.
We also have some healthcare companies exhibiting with us. We are happy to welcome Cloud DX again with ttheir FDA approved healthcare device. Vielight presents the first portable transcranial-intranasal light therapy system for Alzheimer patients.
Ollinfit showcases their device allowing personal training for everyone. Stay tuned about their Kickstarter campaign.
We are happy to have PinchVR on-site offering an immersive virtual reality experience – with your phone. Preorder for $99.
After their talk in the Canada special you can also have a look at Linkitz ‘s smart toys motivating girls to get excited about coding and technology.
If you need a rest, you should try Muse in our exhibition area and find out if their meditation headset really works.
Magniware is a fusion of hardware, software, and advanced material science capable of accurately collecting and analyzing physiological data.
You were wondering how to help improving the health and performance of your beloved horse? Finally you can with SeeHorse .
2:00 PM: From lunchbreak to Mars with Jocelyn Dunn, Chief Scientist, HI-SEAS Mission III showing us the opportunities to use wearables in space. A mars mission takes about 3 years, so there are many factors you have to take into account. Emotional and health states must be regularly tracked to ensure the safety of the astronauts. Spacesuits: the most extreme of wearables. They can monitor astronaut behaviour, health and performance and add augmented sensory experiences. There are several wearable gadgets helping for example with the emotional sickness to help to overcome the symptoms. The devices can monitor sleep, activity, physiology, environment. But there are also loads of devices for human-human, human-machine, multimodal interaction and mounted displays. Enhancement can be both physical (e.g. with exosceletons) but also a sensory experience (astronauts get deficiencies for smelling for example when in space for a longer period).
What is stress? How do people experience stress? It’s completely individual. It’s very emotional. But there is a physical basis how to detect stress to help to fight against it. Stress starts with the internal or external stressor, you go to the “fight or flight mode” and produce stress hormones. There are physiological, environmental (traffic jams, pollution), emotional (anger, social conflict) and behavioural (smoking, lack of sleeping) kinds of stress. So what are the most stressful parts in space? A) the social situation because you cannot run and are “locked” with the same persons for an extremely long time. B) Resource limitations: So you cannot run or go out. C) Food restrictions because it’s simply not possible to get everything in space or you are running out of certain supplies D) Communication delay: it’s not a real conversation but a one-way communication. 5) Lack of Privacy: you do not have your own rooms (besides a super tiny bed), no gossip possible.
For the stress research the team for example used the Hexoskin shirt to collect biometric data, Jawbone UP wristband data for activity tracking. All data collected was used for the research to find out how those types of stress have an influence on us and our behaviour and what can be done to avoid them.
2:41 PM: Tom Emrich, Founder of WeAreWearable s, the largest wearables community, moderates our session “Best in Class Products and New Areas of Application”. WeAreWearables meets on a monthly basis. The biggest community is in Toronto, but there are several other hotspots to meet.
2:45 PM: Mark Tanner, CEO & Founder, Movo explains how they make their product simple, stylish and affordable. Their first product measures activity, calories burnt and distrance travelled for only $29,99. So everyone can have a healthy lifestyle. How did they do it? Scale volume. The device is fully customizable for anyone and they are happy about partners, e.g. for health programs in companies for employees.
3:05 PM: Brian Wynne presents SharkStopper , the world’s first World’s First and Only Acoustic Shark Repellent. The device generates a specific underwater acoustig sound through the use of a watertight and self-contained electronic package. The device reminds you when you are running out of battery to get out of the water in time. 150 billion dollar business to fight against sharks. And it does not hurt the other fishes, only repells sharks. SharkStopper is looking for investors. So don’t hesitate to get in touch with Brian if you want to swim carelessly in the ocean.
uBirds ‘ Paweł Karczewsk shows us how they connect Tradition and Innovation with their wearable. In the 18th century, the swiss invented the automatic movement which changed the watch market. People are into quality and handicraft. That’s why the Swiss swatch market survived that long and will also survive the smartwatch area. MOst people buy watches to express themselves, their style and personality. It’s about social status. But of course they also have sentimental values. Benefits of smartwatches are their features. For classic watches it’s their design and handmade work. There is an emotional binding. So uBirds wants to find a way to connect those benefits. So they came up with the smart strap transforming any watch into a smartwatch. Their Kickstarter campaign starts on September 22. The handmade smart straps have NFC tags for gesture recognition, activity tracking, contactless payments, and much more. Battery life is three days at the moment. Shipping will start in March 2016.
3:33 PM: John D. Ralston, CEO, X2 Biosystems : Advances in Wearables Sensors for Head Impact Monitoring and Concussion Risk Assessment in Athletic, Military, and Industrial Environments. $80 Billion estimated annual costs of concussions in the US (2010, direct medical dcosts, loss of productivity) and about 4,000,000 sports-related concussions diagnosed each year in the US and there are more undiagnosted. The US introduced special safety laws to decrease the risk of injuries. The company had the “Hammerhead” Mouth Guard prototype ready in 2012 and since then worked on the X-Patch. The spot behind the ear is an ideal spot to measure impacts. A helmet often moves differently from the wearer’s head. Challenge: Accuracy, sensitivity, reporductibility to analyse complex dynamics and concussion injury risks. There must be convenient software and user interface available, low cost production.
If you have not already talked to our exhibitors, you should take time to do so. Meet TÜV SÜD for their testing and certification solutions for wearables. PinchVR was not only on stage but is also showcasing their device to transform your smartphone into a VR device. You can pre-order their device for $99. You can also pre-order Linkitz, the smart toy for kids to gain interest in coding and technology. SeeHorse measures the activity and vital signs of your horse and help to improve the health and performance.
4:19 PM: Let’s meet the Greater Ecosystem and Beyond. Andreas Freitag, President / CEO of Cobi of America, iCradle about smart and connected bikes. The company was finalist of the WT | Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup 2015. So what is it about? They jumped on the trends like smartphone love and connected mobility and since they are bicycle enthusiasts, they came up with the great idea to translate those trends to the bike. One big challenge: Battery life, especially when you use the GPS. Cobi provides one integrated system. Cobis can be used for all bikes, it does not matter if old or new. There are dynamic lights, break lights, motion sensing, loudspeakers, navigation, there are several safety functions, it provides theft alarm, battery charging, all wireless, easy to install. It’s a hub on your bike.
4:38 PM: Ben S. Cooper about fashion tech. He is Senior Manager, Research & Testing, VF Corporation’s Global Innovation Center e.g. roof of Wrangler and Timbaland. What’s the idea of fashion? What’s the idea of fashion? To combine it is a challenge. Fashion and the digital world are two different worlds. Different materials, different ways to manufacture (and especially different manufacturing processes). Sourcing is different (supply chain), scaling differs, the business models are not the same. You have to consider customer interaction. But what ties those worlds together? The same consumer! There are hurdles such as size, power demands, sensing, connectivity, laundering, and fit (70% of comfort is defined by fit!). It’s the emotion you cannot necessarily provide via function. According to Ben, the keys to greatness are: 1) solve a consumer problem, 2) put an emphasis on design, 3) offer a differentiating user experience, 4) be reliable, 5) reduce consumer friction, 6) simple, seamless, and integrated, 7) collaborate from the beginning. Talk to VF Corp. They are looking for solutions and partners to realize new ideas realizing the merge of fashion and tech.
5:00 PM: We are happy to welcome Best Buy Canada , one of the major distributors of wearables at the moment on stage. Zayn Jaffer, Director of Merchandising & Emerging Business, explains their approach. Consumers do not know how to use them. So they partner with their distribution partners and demo the products, let them try (e.g. help them pair the devices with their smartphones).
5:20 PM: Chris MacDonald, Sales Manager, TÜV SÜD , shows us how they can make our life easier and products safer. If you create a wearable device, you have to be aware that there are baseline standards depending on the intended use / market (e.g. for skin / eye contact, acoustic sound pressure, absorption rates,…). Also important: what accessories do you have? What additional testing / certification do they need? Is your supplier documentation reliable and complete? And you have to check the product quality. How often will you do a production quality check, consumers are also increasingly aware of sociall compliant factories. In the future the market will change and this means that also the standards will change.
5:30 PM: The conference is over. We hope you enjoyed the event. Now grab a beer and use our get together to network and discuss. See you in a bit.