By Guillaume Chansin 

I visited the Wearable Technology Show in London in March. Given the location, British companies were over-represented but it was still an interesting event with an eclectic mix of technologies and applications. Below are some of the most innovative/intriguing products showcased during the exhibition.

Augmented Reality

Trivisio was showing AR headsets for professional applications. The company has been designing custom devices for 18 years and now offers both OLED or liquid crystal displays. The headset below is used for training workers and costs €2500.

RealWear also specialises in AR for industrial workers. They have raised $17 million since 2016. The device in this picture is designed to be mounted on a safety helmet and uses Kopin’s transmissive LCD to project the equivalent of a 7-inch image to the user.

The ORA-X by Optinvent is a pair of headphones with an AR display. The ORA-X was crowdfunded in 2015 on Indiegogo and is now in its final design phase. Price will be €450.

Another unconventional approach is to clip the AR module on standard goggles. This waterproof device can be used by swimmers during their training. The current prototype is based on Sony’s AR technology.

Health and fitness monitoring

Firstbeat does not make its own hardware but its sensor fusion algorithm has now been shipped in over 70 different devices, including Garmin smartwatches. More than 800 professional teams rely on the data fitness data to monitor their athletes.

This is not a earphone but a continuous thermometer for children. The Degree fever assistant uses in-ear measurement for higher accuracy.

This smart ring is loaded with sensors (optical pulse, accelerometer, gyroscope, temperature) to help improve your sleep and circadian alignment. It is already available to order and starts shipping in April 2018.

NPL has invented a hydration monitor that uses non-invasive RF measurements. It works best on the earlobe. They are currently looking for potential partners or investors to bring this technology to market.

Wearables are also for animals. The device below is attached on cows to monitor their behaviour as part of a dairy farming system. It uses a 3-axis accelerometer.

Here is another example, this time for pets. It clips on the collar of dogs/cats.

Go to part 2 to see flexible sensors and e-textile.