Menu

Blog

Archive for the ‘wearables’ category

Nov 25, 2020

A pocket cooling device based on a cascade mechanism

Posted by in category: wearables

Recent technological advances have enabled the development of increasingly compact and flexible devices. This includes wearable or portable technology, such as smart watches, earphones or other smart accessories, which can assist human users in a variety of ways.

Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have recently devised a strategy that could enable the fabrication of portable, compact and flexible electrocaloric devices. This strategy, outlined in a paper published in Nature Energy, is based on a four-layer cascade that enables a significant temperature lift in a user’s surroundings.

“Our research started more than five years ago, when we were funded by ARPA-E, an agency of the U.S. department of energy, to solve a key cooling need: to maintain sufficient personal thermal comfort while reducing the HVAC energy consumption for offices and buildings,” Qibing Pei, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. “Our key goal was to create a wearable cooler.”

Nov 19, 2020

A battery technology worth its salt

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, sustainability, transportation, wearables

With lithium-containing batteries facing constraints on many of the metals they contain, Nina Notman looks at whether its group 1 neighbour sodium can supply the answer.

The lithium-ion battery powers much of our modern lives, a fact reflected in this year’s Nobel prize. It resides in devices ranging from very small wearable electronics, through mobile phones and laptops, to electric vehicles and ‘the world’s biggest battery’ – the huge 100MW/129MWh Tesla battery installed on an Australian wind farm in 2017.

‘Lithium-ion has a massive span of applications,’ explains Jonathan Knott, an energy storage researcher at the University of Wollongong in Australia. ‘It is being used as a hammer to crack every nut and we need to start getting a little bit more sophisticated in the use of the best tool for the job.’

Continue reading “A battery technology worth its salt” »

Nov 13, 2020

SoftBank eyes smaller bets, bigger returns in Vision Fund rethink

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, finance, government, health, wearables

The quiet shift in strategy, which brings the Vision Fund’s approach closer to that of a traditional venture capital investor, may ease concerns over big, bold bets going sour, a factor that has left a major gap between SoftBank’s market capitalization and the sum of its investments.


TOKYO — SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund is turning to a new strategy as a global pandemic and government stimulus distort tech valuations: Invest smaller in hopes for bigger returns.

After raising nearly $100 billion and investing $85 billion in high-profile companies like Uber Technologies, WeWork and ByteDance over three years, the Vision Fund is now focusing on making smaller bets in early-stage startups.

Continue reading “SoftBank eyes smaller bets, bigger returns in Vision Fund rethink” »

Nov 9, 2020

‘Electronic skin’ promises cheap and recyclable alternative to wearable devices

Posted by in categories: electronics, wearables

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder are developing a wearable electronic device that’s “really wearable”—a stretchy and fully-recyclable circuit board that’s inspired by, and sticks onto, human skin.

The team, led by Jianliang Xiao and Wei Zhang, describes its new “” in a paper published today in the journal Science Advances. The can heal itself, much like real skin. It also reliably performs a range of sensory tasks, from measuring the body temperature of users to tracking their daily step counts.

And it’s reconfigurable, meaning that the device can be shaped to fit anywhere on your body.

Nov 7, 2020

Researchers invent flexible and highly reliable sensor

Posted by in categories: health, robotics/AI, wearables

Real-time health monitoring and sensing abilities of robots require soft electronics, but a challenge of using such materials lie in their reliability. Unlike rigid devices, being elastic and pliable makes their performance less repeatable. The variation in reliability is known as hysteresis.

Guided by the theory of contact mechanics, a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) came up with a new sensor material that has significantly less hysteresis. This ability enables more accurate wearable health technology and robotic sensing.

The research team, led by Assistant Professor Benjamin Tee from the Institute for Health Innovation & Technology at NUS, published their results in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on 28 September 2020.

Oct 27, 2020

Swiss Researchers Develop New Material for Wearable Solar Collector

Posted by in categories: materials, wearables

Swiss researchers are getting excited about a polymer that could allow them to incorporate a “flexible solar concentrator” in textile fibres, making it possible to charge personal electronic devices from the clothes their owners wear.

Oct 20, 2020

New wearable sensors can be printed directly on human skin

Posted by in categories: electronics, wearables

Oct 16, 2020

A virtual reality game that integrates tactile experiences using biometric feedback

Posted by in categories: entertainment, privacy, robotics/AI, virtual reality, wearables

Over the past few decades, technological advances have enabled the development of increasingly sophisticated, immersive and realistic video games. One of the most noteworthy among these advances is virtual reality (VR), which allows users to experience games or other simulated environments as if they were actually navigating them, via the use of electronic wearable devices.

Most existing VR systems primarily focus on the sense of vision, using headsets that allow users to see what is happening in a or in another simulated environment right before their eyes, rather than on a screen placed in front of them. While this can lead to highly engaging visual experiences, these experiences are not always matched by other types of sensory inputs.

Researchers at Nagoya University’s School of Informatics in Japan have recently created a new VR game that integrates immersive audiovisual experiences with . This game, presented in a paper published in the Journal of Robotics, Networking and Artificial Life, uses a player’s biometric data to create a spherical object in the VR space that beats in alignment with his/her heart. The player can thus perceive the beating of his/her heart via this object visually, auditorily and tactually.

Oct 16, 2020

Roboticizing fabric

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, wearables

Fabrics are key materials for a variety of applications that require flexibility, breathability, small storage footprint, and low weight. While fabrics are conventionally passive materials with static properties, emerging technologies have provided many flexible materials that can respond to external stimuli for actuation, structural control, and sensing. Here, we improve upon and process these responsive materials into functional fibers that we integrate into everyday fabrics and demonstrate as fabric-based robots that move, support loads, and allow closed-loop controls, all while retaining the desirable qualities of fabric. Robotic fabrics present a means to create smart adaptable clothing, self-deployable shelters, and lightweight shape-changing machinery.

Fabrics are ubiquitous materials that have conventionally been passive assemblies of interlacing, inactive fibers. However, the recent emergence of active fibers with actuation, sensing, and structural capabilities provides the opportunity to impart robotic function into fabric substrates. Here we present an implementation of robotic fabrics by integrating functional fibers into conventional fabrics using typical textile manufacturing techniques. We introduce a set of actuating and variable-stiffness fibers, as well as printable in-fabric sensors, which allows for robotic closed-loop control of everyday fabrics while remaining lightweight and maintaining breathability. Finally, we demonstrate the utility of robotic fabrics through their application to an active wearable tourniquet, a transforming and load-bearing deployable structure, and an untethered, self-stowing airfoil.

Oct 13, 2020

Wearable IT devices: Dyeing process gives textiles electronic properties

Posted by in categories: chemistry, computing, wearables

“Our goal was to integrate interactive functionalities directly into the fibers of textiles instead of just attaching electronic components to them,” says Jürgen Steimle, computer science professor at Saarland University. In his research group on human-computer interaction at Saarland Informatics Campus, he and his colleagues are investigating how computers and their operation can be integrated as seamlessly as possible into the physical world. This includes the use of electro-interactive materials.

Previous approaches to the production of these textiles are complicated and influence the haptics of the material. The new method makes it possible to convert textiles and garments into e-textiles, without affecting their original properties—they remain thin, stretchable and supple. This creates new options for quick and versatile experimentation with new forms of e-textiles and their integration into IT devices.

“Especially for devices worn on the body, it is important that they restrict movement as little as possible and at the same time can process high-resolution input signals”, explains Paul Strohmeier, one of the initiators of the project and a scientist in Steimle’s research group. To achieve this, the Saarbrücken researchers are using the in-situ polymerization process. Here, the are “dyed” into the fabric: a textile is subjected to a chemical reaction in a water bath, known as polymerization, which makes it electrically conductive and sensitive to pressure and stretching, giving it so-called piezoresistive properties. By “dyeing” only certain areas of a or polymerizing individual threads, the computer scientists can produce customized e-textiles.

Page 1 of 3212345678Last