Bluetooth World brought together some of the biggest names in the industry for two packed days of programming. These speakers shared insights on how Bluetooth® Smart technology is making the Internet of Things a practical reality for billions of people by efficiently connecting everything from the novel to the life saving and everything in between.
Maurizio Macagno, vice president of development at Heapsylon, spoke on the future of smart garments and wearables. Below is his speaker interview from the show and a sample of his presentation. If you attended the show,download his presentation here. If you did not attend, you can purchase the entire PowerPoint here.
Please give me an overview of Heapsylon and what your main goal is?
Heapsylon’s mission is to design and develop body-sensing garments that improve people's lives. Our proprietary software, electronics and e-textile sensors enable apparel to become smart data-collection devices for fitness and health. The Sensoria consumer line of wearables is built on textile sensory devices, electronic instrumentation systems and software solutions that turn data into actionable information, and contribute to solve everyday problems for the person wearing them.
Why is now the right time for wearable technology to enter the mainstream?
We believe that in the near future each piece of clothing, garments and accessories will become a seamless, ultra-personal data-sensing computer. In my mind, in order to become truly mainstream wearable devices will have to answer three questions. As a consumer, do I want to wear this device?What does it do for me? What do people think of me wearing it?
The cool devices and the ones that are so small, non-invasive and part of the everyday consumer workflow will win. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go to a doctor and be able to share our past few weeks of heart rate, weight changes and activity type and level instead of relying on the seven minutes that they have on average to see a patient and make a decision? Wouldn’t it be nice if most of this data was captured by devices that did not disrupt my daily workflow as a consumer? I woke up this morning; I took a shower I shaved. I put my clothes on. Wouldn’t it be nice if the technology that captures all this data was woven or knitted into what we wear? This is what inspired me to create Heapsylon and the Sensoria line of smart garments. I am aware that it’s going to be a long journey but it could be a meaningful one.
Can you give me scenarios of where wearable technology makes particular sense?
Real-time data and accurate data. If I go running, as an example, I want to know how far and how fast I am running but also obtain accurate calorie burn data. Even more importantly, I want to know how well I am running so I can hopefully reduce stress/impact related injuries. Consumers also need help in turning that data into actionable information. We call that ‘wisdom’.
What’s your favorite example of wearable technology?
Truly wearable technology that does not disrupt the consumer workflow and gives back meaningful information that makes the consumer want more. If those two elements are not satisfied in a wearable device (and its ecosystem), it is likely to become another gadget soon to be forgotten in the drawer.With Sensoria, we are executing towards our vision with these principles in mind.
When it comes to short range connectivity is Bluetooth the de-facto standard to choose, and if so, why?
The battles of the past between standards, like Betamax vs. VHS, and HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray, just to name a couple, prove that a standard, even a very compelling one, is nothing without wide industry adoption. I think Bluetooth is well positioned in terms of industry adoption, and the introduction of standard software stacks for latest generation Bluetooth from big players like Apple, Google and Microsoft will further the adoption and acceptance of Bluetooth as the de-facto standard.
What are the key challenges of implementing Bluetooth into wearable tech?
Bluetooth, and in particular Bluetooth Smart, comes a long way toward supporting wearable scenarios, especially the Low Energy aspect of it. However, the transfer of relatively small amounts of data from devices in order to save battery means a different approach in the communication scheme.
Research from Cambridge Consultants found that in some test conditions, 82 percent of the radio power consumed might be spent for the connection to an advertised streaming profile vs. one percent used for actual the data transfer. Big data transfers are also a challenge. For example, downloading offline data from a Bluetooth-based device to an iPhone might take comparable time as streaming in real-time.
What are you most looking forward to with regard to the Bluetooth World show?
I am looking forward to learning what other companies are doing with Bluetooth, and sharing experiences with them.
In case you missed any of the excitement at Bluetooth World, check out this video to catch some of the highlights. You can also read the wrap ups from day one and day twohere. If you missed the excitement of Bluetooth World, catch us at Bluetooth Asia in August.
(Credit: Nanci Taplett)