We Are Wearables Meetup

Once again, We Are Wearables founder Tom Emrich marveled at the turnout of this month’s We Are Wearables – almost 800 people signed up for the event – which focused on wearable computing and augmented reality.

The event featured a panel on AR from industry experts, the Canadian premiere of the Meta Glasses, augmented reality glasses that let you create and share objects in your environment, and a speech from Steve Mann, a Toronto-based scientist who is widely regarded as the father of wearable computing. Though Mann has been inventing wearable computing tech since the early 1980s, probably his most famous inventions include HDR (High Dynamic Range) Imaging, which is used in many manufactured cameras today, and his EyeTap Digital Eyeglass, which look like the Google Glasses of 30 years ago. He talked about his fascination with AR stemming all the way back to his childhood, when he built devices to visualize sound waves, and how this passion has continued up until now, as the current scientific director for Meta Labs.

“A meta conversation is a conversation about conversations, and meta sensing is the sensing of senses,” Mann says about their work, adding that people must continue making this kind of technology to better humanity. “As leaders in this world, it’s incumbent upon us to create this incredible and amazing way of seeing the world.”

(Via Tech Vibes)


Montreal aims to become the wearable technology capital of Canada

Photo by Keoni Cabral Flickr CC

Despite reports this past year citing Toronto as a hotbed of wearable technology — with roughly 15 companies producing products — several entrepreneurs and investors in Montreal insist their city is primed to take over within two to three years, particularly in clothing.

In an interview, Tom Emrich, a Toronto-based consultant and founder of We Are Wearables, an organization and blog devoted to wearable technology, called Montreal the smartwear capital of the world.

Several experts attribute Montreal’s rising stronghold on smartwear to the city’s historical strength in manufacturing. Both Mr. Fournier of Hexoskin and Mr. Marceau of OMsignal point to the city’s former dominance in the textile and clothing industries as an influence.

While Mr. Marceau cited the city’s rich history of textile and clothing production as having an influence on his startup, he also said the city offered a great pool of talent with its high number of university graduates ready to enter the work force as engineers, developers and scientists.

“It’s a very reasonable scenario that smart clothing explodes and it becomes a huge industry, and Montreal establishes itself as the epicentre,” Mr. Marceau said.

(Via Financial Post)

Wearable Technology Will Change These 4 Areas of Digital Marketing

Image courtesy of WeAreWearables

Ask anyone in the tech industry where the future of mobile devices is trending and they’ll say wearable technology. While a lot of work remains to be done in research and development, the industry believes it’s only a few steps away from mainstream adoption. Not only is this significant for consumers, but it’s also something digital marketers and business owners need to keep an eye on.

1. Social media

The impact of wearable technology will initially be felt in social media. From how users consume, share, and interact with content to the new ways in which you can reach consumers, the entire industry will undergo dynamic shifts.

Everything should become even more accessible, and formatting will likely undergo specific changes. It’s also possible that entirely new social networking sites will surface in order to offer wearable-specific features.

2. Data and analytics

According to Ashley Gelineau, “Wearable technology isn’t just about providing cool features to the user; it’s also about collecting massive amounts of data for marketing and analytical efforts.” Other marketers agree, and point to the fact that these devices will be capable of gathering further personal details regarding location, preferences, and even buying habits.

3. Online advertising

With so much new data available, it’s likely marketers will employ these devices for more geo-specific and highly-targeted advertising campaigns. For example, it may become possible for a business to send a coupon to a customer’s phone as he or she walks past the store. This is where marketers and advertising professionals will discover ways to monetize wearable devices.

4. App development

While Apple has already announced a number of apps for the Apple Watch (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, ESPN, Gmail, and more), it’s safe to assume thousands more will follow suit. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect app developers will begin to focus on apps that are specifically designed for wearable devices.

(Via iMedia Connection)

When will wearables be for women?

Photo Courtesy of Sean Gallup, Getty Images

Despite its colorful bands and fashion-focused ad campaigns, the Apple Watch doesn’t seem poised to make the most of the opportunity to attract a female consumer. While many women will likely still try on and buy an Apple Watch, it seems likely that the majority of the buyers will be male. Beyond the influence of marketing, whether a smartwatch succeeds among women depends on tech companies making smart choices about the functionality and design of their wearable devices.

(Via Cheat Sheet)

New videos released on the Apple Watch

Following the abundance of information concerning the features and optional materials of the Apple Watch, the tech giant has now released a guided tour of how it all works. Functioning seamlessly with the iPhone, the wearable tech piece is envisaged to complete brief interactions in a more convenient way, as well as operations that were not possible on the iPhone. Discreet taps from incoming notifications and heart rate monitoring are all but just a few of the new features. The user-intuitive device can even detect when you raise your wrist, which activates it.

(Via Hypebeast)

Apple ups its game with staff offering fashion advice for wearables

Apple has hired Tag Heuer’s sales and retail VP Patrick Pruniaux to help market the Apple Watch to a larger audience. Understanding that it’s current tech-driven sales tactics will need to be massaged to create larger appeal, Apple is now training its staff to offer suggestions for customers on how the Apple Watch can be styled into their wardrobe based on their clothing and lifestyle. As fashion collides with technology would you look to Apple for fashion advice?