Tag: wearable tech

Intel plans to further fashion career

Fashion bag company Intel Corporation plans on making efforts to advance its name in the world of haute couture and the high street, according to Digital Trends.

Collating quotes from various Intel executives, including new-ish CEO Brian Krzanich, Digital Trends’ Andy Boxall believes a focus for Chipzilla over the coming years will be in wearable technology. Considering the out of control hype trains for Google’s nerd-goggles and the coming upgrades to the humble watch, perhaps the corporation is onto something.

Boxall points out Krzanich saying, in a late June Reuters interview, that Intel will probably start appearing in “items for eyes and ears” by the end of this year, as well as in wristbands and watches. Wearble computing is “a key battleground for mobile industry players”. CTO Justin Rattner, meanwhile, told InformationWeek that wearable technology is going to come on strong in the next couple of years and that Intel bunnies at Intel Labs have been tearing their fur out to further the concept.

Intel does have some experience in the world of high fashion. The company’s big announcement for Cebit 2012 was the Ultrabag, a massive leather hold-all for carrying your Ultrabook in.

The Ultrabag didn’t perhaps do as well as Intel had hoped, but was markedly more impressive than the company’s performance in mobile so far. So is Chipzilla about to forget ARM and mobile? Probably not – Intel still desperately wants to take as big a slice it can.

But the emergence of wearable technology gives Intel a chance to get in early and avoid repeating the same mistakes, although these technologies gaining serious popularity (and affordability) may not be right around the corner. As Boxall points out, Intel has already invested in Thalmic Labs, which produces the MYO arm band, which promises to use the human body to wirelessly control smart devices, as well as Omek Interactive, a company specialising in gesture control.

Indeed, a creative director at Intel is Will.i.am – the i stands for Intel Inside – himself a trendsetting futurist in innovative fashion… sort of. The corporation has had a close relationship with Mr i.Am ever since it announced the partnership and ex-CEO Paul Otellini even shared the stage with him while a boombox played on.

If there’s profit to be had in Intel furthering its fashion career, we can be sure the company will want to be a player.

Scientists working on smart contact lenses

Although Google Glass has yet to hit retail and flop, scientists are already working on next generation wearable devices and they include smart contact lenses.

One of the main problems facing Google Glass is its sheer bulk. The device is still pretty big, yet despite its size it doesn’t offer a lot of battery life. Scientists in Korea and Switzerland believe smart contact lenses, built using a new generation of nanomaterials, are the way to go.

A team led by Jang-Ung Park at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology managed to mount a light emitting diode on an off the shelf contact lens. The team came up with a special material of their own to make it possible – a stretchy mix of graphene and silver nanowires, reports Technology Review

They tested their contraption on rabbits. The fluffy test subjects didn’t seem to mind, and did not rub their eyes. 

Meanwhile a Swiss team at Sensimed is working on a smart lens for 24-hour monitoring of eye pressure in glaucoma patients. Like the bunnies, they don’t seem to mind, either. University of Washington professor and Google Glass project founder Babak Parviz has also dabbled in contact-lens displays, but they were built using rigid, non-transparent materials.