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Author: Jose Alvarez

16 May

Artefact’s Shadow Hoodie Blends Wearables and Virtual Reality

Virtual reality and wearable tech are two emerging technologies that have generated massive interest across many industries in recent years. However, the two reach a remarkable intersection in Artefact's Shadow hoodie, which allows gamers to immerse themselves in virtual reality via wearables. The concept is described by the company as “the most immersive virtual reality experience” with a built-in computer, battery and sensors. The idea of wearable VR for entertainment has been around since the '90s. Sega, Atari and Nintendo were each developing their own VR headsets for their respective consoles: Sega VR for the Sega Genesis, Jaguar VR for the Atari Jaguar and the Virtual Boy, a standalone Nintendo console. Of the three headsets, only the Virtual Boy made it...
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27 Apr

Can You Spend Your Whole Workday in VR?

Virtual reality (VR) is one of the fastest growing technologies today. Many tech companies are joining forces to provide quality VR experiences to their customers. But what about simulating a day at work in VR? GamesBeat writer Jeff Grubb did exactly that, using Virtual Desktop, an upcoming PC program that allows anyone with a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset to emulate their desktop in the VR world. To truly understand how VR is making an impact today, it's essential to realize that many emerging technologies require a lot of trial and error and  that most of today's tech products are for consumer use rather than business use. One of the most popular uses right now for VR is entertainment—people are...
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11 Apr

ParaZero SafeAir Puts a Parachute on Your Drone

Drones are a popular yet expensive hobby. While many have been using drones for reasons ranging from business to recreational, there have been reports of drones being shot down and drones crashing into things. There's even drone insurance, which just goes to show that drones are probably here to stay. However, a company called ParaZero has taken drone protection even further by placing a parachute on your drone, just in case it meets its untimely end. The ParaZero SafeAir is a drone fitted with a capsule that holds a parachute that deploys in less than a second, designed for hobbyist drones that might fly into some precarious situations. This drone knows when it's in danger sooner than whoever is in control,...
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28 Mar

Wearable Tech Seeks to Make Sign Language Audible

The history of sign language in North America goes back to around 1541, when European explorers reported that the Plains Indians, who inhabited what is now the United States and Canada, communicated with other tribes who spoke different languages via sign language. In modern times, of course, sign language is most commonly employed to communicate with the hearing impaired, harkening back to the 1817 founding of The American School for the Deaf (ASD)  in Hartford, Connecticut, the first school of its kind in North America that catered to the hearing impaired. Most users of sign language today adhere to American Sign Language (ASL), though many different variations exist. The number of sign language speakers in the United States is still unknown,...
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2 Mar

Wearables reducing impact of athlete injuries by measuring performance using sweat

The words “disabled list” are a nightmare to athletes; being on that list means they can't play, and down the line, they can't demand more lucrative contracts as a result of non-performance. Even if their names are well known, teams have to heavily weigh the risk of signing an oft-injured player. The effect of injury goes far beyond the athlete—the coach is often forced to scramble for a replacement and alter their game strategy, and to a lesser extent, the franchise itself might see less fan turnout if a fan favorite is injured. While plenty of athletes end up on the disabled list for various reasons and different levels of severity, there have been plenty of advances in technology to help...
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1 Mar

Feel Good Inc. – Wearables That Make You Happy, Literally

There are many sayings about money not being able to buy you happiness. While every individual chooses to pursue happiness a different way, there are certain chemicals in the body that promote happiness and mental well-being. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters and they elicit feelings of accomplishment, serenity and focus. The rise of wearables will allow people to induce the body to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. In short, you will be able to literally buy happiness. At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, wearables took center stage. One of these wearables, Muse, is worn on the head and monitors brain activity while taking you through a meditation session with calming nature sounds. In addition, if...
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1 Mar

Drones Outperform Humans at Navigating Forest Trails

It's looking like 2016 will truly be the year of the drone. While drones have been used for recreational purposes and businesses are integrating drones into their business strategies, there are still technical, legal and environmental obstacles for drones to overcome. While many tech companies are interested in making drones better, many governments are still unaware of how drones work and how beneficial they could be to society. But what if the environmental obstacles could be worked around? One report shows that environmental obstacles are a thing of the past for drones. MIT researchers have demonstrated a drone that can avoid trees while flying at high speeds in an open field. Swiss researchers are now showing that drones can navigate forest...
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29 Feb

Wevr to Launch Transport, the YouTube of Virtual Reality

While tech giants pour billions of dollars into virtual reality technology, one startup company is seeking to create content that can close the gap between tech giants and startups. Wevr, a company based out of Venice, CA, is seeking to create what they call the “YouTube of virtual reality” and has received $25 million in funding from investors. The product, called Transport, is an online virtual reality content network where content creators can submit their virtual reality environments for people to experience. The project is currently in private beta, and there will be both free and paid content. Anyone using a virtual reality headset such as Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vibe, Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, can access...
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25 Feb

A Launching Pad Enables Drones to Land Safely Atop Moving Cars

Amazon is pushing the old pizza delivery slogan of “30 minutes or less” for their flagship drone delivery service. Meanwhile, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft und Ramfahrt, DLR) is seeking to take that mantra about 5 steps further by having drones deliver packages to you no matter where you are, including to the roof of your car utilizing an attachable drone launching pad. The DLR has already been testing this launching pad idea using a solar-powered Penguin BE UAV. According to the DLR's press release, there have been several design changes in the drone that will allow it to travel at greater heights and distances more quickly. “Eliminating the landing gear significantly increases the payload capability of a...
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18 Feb

Electric Eel Fibers Could Soon Power Your Wearables

While wearable tech is making many things possible regarding collecting biometric data, there is still one unifying thing holding wearables back: they're still attached to the wall socket because they need to be charged. But what if wearables were no longer linked to the wall socket? A report has surfaced that Chinese scientists are researching stretchy fibers that could one day be woven into clothing to power wearables. Researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai are suggesting that these fibers could mimic electric eels. “It takes a page from nature to solve real-world problems and even surmount nature in some aspects,” said Hao Sun, the study's lead author and a materials scientist at the university. Schematics show the fibers combine carbon nanotubes...
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