We’re all encouraged to keep an active lifestyle to ensure our physical health, but there will always be times when we will feel the strain of activity and exercise on our bodies. It might come from an unfortunate injury, or it could simply be due to natural aging. Not every pain might need medical treatment, but they will definitely need something to alleviate the discomfort and help repair the damage. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to involve expensive services or complicated gadgets, especially with the Move+ medical-grade laser and LED tech from Kineon, formerly known as Reviiv. This wearable device that you can conveniently wrap around your aching knee or any joint for that matter to help your body along its natural healing process.
Wearables like smartwatches and fitness bands have become more common these days, especially because of their health-centric benefits. Most smartwatches these days can monitor heart rate and activities, but some also go as far as measuring blood oxygen levels or even blood pressure and ECG. But while these convenient devices that wrap around our wrists can help diagnose potential health problems, they can’t actually act on any injury or pain other than calling emergency services.
Portable Design – Find fast relief whenever and wherever you feel pain and inflammation.
That’s what sets the Kineon Move+ apart from other wearables because it’s able to reduce pain and kick start the natural healing process to repair damaged tissues. Of course, you don’t have to wear it all the time like a smartwatch, and when you do take it off, you can stow it away conveniently in a portable pouch. Put it on and take it off with ease to soothe aching joints and heal your body.
Dual Light Technology – Deeper penetration and faster results to joints, muscles, and other tissue through our exclusive dual-light technology.
Kineon Move+ uses dual light therapy to pull off this almost magical trick. It uses laser therapy to penetrate deep into tissues at a depth of 5-6mm, bringing relief from osteoarthritis and cartilage damage. LED red light therapy, on the other hand, treats cosmetic and surface-level problems around 2mm deep, making it good for reducing inflammation, improving blood circulation, and stimulating collagen production. Together these two lights coming from three connected modules surround your knee to provide relief and accelerate the healing process.
Sniper Like Accuracy – Design allows for pin-point accuracy on problem areas for fast and effective relief.
Despite the advanced science and technology behind it, the Move+ is dead-simple to use and convenient to carry around. You can wrap all three modules around your knee, leg, or arm, and simply relax while it does its trick. Or you could place the unbuckled Move+ over your shoulder, on your back, or even around your head, basically on any part of your body that’s hurting or needs repairs.
Whether you’re recovering from an injury, trying to soothe aching muscles after a strenuous exercise, or even simply trying to promote vibrant and healthy skin, the Kineon Move+ has you covered with its advanced light therapy. And when you’re done, you can simply take out the modules, put the modules inside the wireless charging case, and put the portable case in your bag, ready for the next time you’ll need its healing magic.
Since its foundation in 1976, Apple has been always been at the peak of modern innovation! And let’s take a moment to appreciate all the awesome products and inspiration Apple has provided us with. The groundbreaking tech giant never fails to surprise us, we always find ourselves biting our nails and squirming with curiosity, whenever Apple announces a new product launch! Their ingenious and mesmerizing designs and design philosophy have inspired and influenced designers all over the world, resulting in some pretty unique Apple-inspired designs! From an Apple game console concept to a folding iPhone we wish Apple had announced during the keynote – these mind-blowing designs are the best of the lot and a dream for every Apple lover. We can’t help but just hope that Apple converts these into a reality soon as well!
1. The iPhone Fold
Meet the iPhone iFold, a concept foldable from the mind of Michal Dufka. The iPhone iFold (although Apple would probably call it the iPhone Dynamic Clamshell) follows the format of the MotoRAZR and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, with a clamshell-style folding design that gives you the benefit of a compact iPhone with a generously large screen. This is the first iPhone to have two displays. With a smaller display located just to the side of the camera bump, the iPhone iFold, you can now access important stats and notifications without opening your phone. Sort of like having the convenience of an Apple Watch, this secondary display gives you the gist of what’s up.
2. The Apple Car
Meet the Apple Car, from the mind of an AI. Designed by Dall-E 2 based on a text prompt from designer, educator, and YouTuber John Mauriello, this Apple Car is fascinating for two prime reasons – the car’s design itself, but more importantly, the underlying AI technology that ended up creating the car. The genesis for this idea came from Marques Brownlee’s own efforts with DALL-E 2. In a YouTube video, Brownlee demonstrated how simply typing the words “Apple Car” resulted in a car that looked like the apple fruit.
3. The Apple Watch Series X
Titled the Apple Watch Series X, this quirky concept gives you a smartwatch with a larger folding screen, allowing you to use it as a de-facto iPhone. After all, your watch can make phone calls, right? The Apple Watch Series X is your regular foldable, in the sense that it comes with a primary screen on the front, and opens like a book to reveal a ‘larger’ secondary screen on the inside. Obviously, I use the word ‘larger’ rather loosely, considering how small the Apple Watch’s form factor is, to begin with. Designed to sit on your wrist, this foldable concept turns the square-shaped WatchOS interface into a more traditional landscape one, unlocking the possibility for a lot of regular apps to make their way onto the wristwatch, including better Netflix and YouTube-watching experiences.
4. The Apple iCar
Meet the Apple iCar, a conceptual automobile from the mind of Ukraine-based Echo Studio. This vehicle has a rather luxurious supercar-inspired appeal to it. I see a little bit of the Audi R8 and the lesser-known Lamborghini Asterion in the iCar. The vehicle has an aggressive, speedy silhouette, a rounded back, and some beautifully designed headlights and taillights. There’s obviously an Apple logo on the front, but each wheel sports some drop-dead gorgeous rims with Apple logos on them too.
5. Apple Pencil 2
Apple is naturally aware of the limitations of its own stylus, but it is also aware of how the Pencil’s minimalist design played a big role in its favorable reception. Simply adding buttons would have solved one problem at the expense of a well-loved trait, so that was definitely a no-go. A newly awarded patent (reported by Patently Apple), however, reveals one idea that the Cupertino-based company has played with, one that could hit two birds with one stone. In a nutshell, it extends the second-gen Apple Pencil to include another touch-sensitive area, one near the middle of the stylus, to expand the number of gestures that people can use. For example, rather than just double-tapping the area, one can also slide their finger on the touch-sensitive surface. This gesture can be mapped to some action, such as changing the size of a brush or scrubbing the timeline of a video.
6. Apple AirPods Pro 2022
In line with the leaks and speculations about Apple’s upcoming flagship earbuds, designer Konstantin Milenin has created this concept AirPods Pro 2022 model to give our imagination a tangible form. The stemless design of the audio accessories looks minimal and compact. The charging case also gets a flatter design to accommodate these little earbuds. Unlike the current version, these lay flat on their belly like a clamshell design, and don’t have an upright stance. This will mean, a lot less space needed to stash them in your pocket or keep them in the bag pack.
7. All-screen Apple MacBook Concept
This different species Apple MacBook will, Antonio defines, support TouchID (as a slide button), a trimmed version of FaceID, and a gorgeous AirPen to scribble neatly on the generously big screen. All-display foldable Mac may lack a physical keyboard but the design here makes provision for the choice to pull up a digital keyboard with haptic feedback for the real typing feel. Fanboys may or may not fancy the idea of an all-screen MacBook, but there is little denying the fact that such a device will have dual usage. An iPad role to play when folded and a full-fledged laptop when open.
8. 2022 MacBook Air Concept
If you have been following Apple leaks, you would be aware that the MacBook Air is expected in multiple colors, which is more than the gold, silver, and space grays we are used to. The new MacBook Air could roll out in a multitude of hues that would match the iMac colors. Taking leverage to show off the new MacBook Air renders in multiple colors, the YouTuber has created a design of the device to match that of the 14-inch MacBook Pro with a rounded body. This is done to unify the entire MacBook lineup to look the same, which would be Apple’s idea too, as it has followed a unified design approach for the entire MacBook Air lineup in the past.
9. The Apple 8K Professional Camera
The Apple 8K Professional Camera offers onboard Siri, StyleWriter Compact Ink-less Printing, a Touch and Tilt rear display, and a Magic Wheel with a touch screen button. It’s like the perfect camera, at least, for big Apple fans, but it’s too good to be true. The Apple ProCam seems like a dream, and it is. However, with Apple discontinuing the iPod series, we doubt it will release another separate product line when the iPhone is already very powerful.
10. Apple game console concept
Built for peak gaming performance along with tactically placed joystick, buttons, and shoulder triggers; the Apple handheld console comes with complimentary photography and video shooting capabilities. It’s loaded with a rear camera sensor and a front camera as well. The latter will come in handy for live game streaming on the fly. The front-facing speakers are positioned on the top left and right corners for surround sound effects while identifying the muffled enemy’s footsteps.
Apple just launched its latest iPhone generation last week, but it might be its wearable companion that’s generating more discussions over the Internet these days. The Apple Watch Ultra, in particular, is kicking up a storm in a somewhat niche smartwatch market focused on extreme sports and very active lifestyles. It might simply look like an overgrown Apple Watch on the outside, but that’s part of the appeal of Apple’s most rugged smartwatch yet. After all, why would you settle for a rugged-looking sports smartwatch from the likes of Garmin when you can have a rugged yet stylish smartwatch from Apple instead? That’s exactly the question that we’ll try to answer, pitting the Apple Watch Ultra against Garmin’s finest to weigh the pros and cons before you bid farewell to your hard-earned money.
Neither of the two smartwatch makers’ designs is anything new. The Apple Watch Ultra really looks like a bigger Apple Watch, one with a 49mm size that is nothing to scoff at. It comes with that rectangular face that the Apple Watch has been wearing for generations now, albeit with a flatter screen that makes it easier to protect with sapphire crystal. The Ultra model does deviate from the standard design a bit with an extruded housing for the side button and an extra programmable Action button on the opposite side.
Garmin’s sports smartwatches like the Epix 2 and the Enduro 2 stand in stark contrast to this design. Where Apple’s watches have always leaned more towards the classy end of the spectrum, Garmin doesn’t make qualms about the rugged and sporty nature of its smartwatches. They have typical circular faces, but don’t expect luxurious appearances like those from Samsung, Montblanc, or Fossil. And where Apple aims for minimalism as it is wont to do, Garmin tends to throw almost everything into its devices, giving these two sporty watches no less than five buttons to play with. Those are particularly useful when you can’t use the touch screen because you’re wearing extra thick gloves.
In terms of appearances, the choice is a bit clearer cut. Do you want a sports smartwatch, or do you want one that can hide in plain sight on any occasion? Of course, there are even more differences under the hood, especially when it comes to details like battery life and health features, but if you can’t get past how the smartwatch looks, those differences might be meaningless anyway.
Specs and Features
What differentiates a sports smartwatch from a typical sports watch is, of course, the hardware that makes it tick. This is also where the lines between Apple and Garmin blur and mix, making it a little bit harder to choose between the two. When it comes to the display, for example, the Apple Watch Ultra has the Garmin Epix 2 beat with a more pixel-dense screen that really makes icons and text pop out. That said, neither of these are your typical smartwatches, and they both try to compete in telling you where you are or where you’ve been.
Smartwatches designed for athletes require more attention to location than conventional wearables. Garmin, whose core business is exactly in that field, has a long head start compared to Apple. While the Apple Watch Ultra boasts dual-band GPS for the first time, Garmin has been using multi-band satellite systems far longer. The latter also has the advantage of having access to more kinds of maps and topographical data than Apple, many of which come pre-installed on its smartwatches.
Garmin’s sports wearables also come with support for external Bluetooth devices, particularly those used by athletes and adventurers in monitoring stats and data that the smartwatch itself can’t collect. It’s too early to count Apple out of the game since the Watch Ultra is its first stab at this space. But extremely active people who need solutions now might not be too keen on waiting for Apple to get up to speed.
The biggest headline for the Apple Watch Ultra, however, is its battery life. Thanks to its larger size and other hardware improvements, it is able to accommodate a larger battery and advertise up to 36 hours of battery life under normal use. That can even be extended to 60 hours with a new low-power mode, which is practically two and a half days. That’s a big improvement over the typical 18 hours of a regular Apple Watch, but that’s only when comparing it to Apple’s smartwatches.
Garmin, in contrast, counts days, not hours, when it comes to battery life. The Garmin Epix 2, for example, boasts 16 hours, though the figure can be dragged down to just 42 hours if GPS mode is enabled. And that’s nothing compared to the new Garmin Enduro 2, which is advertised to last 34 days, not hours, in normal smartwatch mode. It even has a built-in solar panel, so you can extend that by 12 days more without having to grab the charger.
Garmin’s unbelievable battery life claims don’t come without costs, as we’ll see later, but it still shows how far conventional smartwatches are from the ideal. The Apple Watch Ultra at least comes with the assurance that you won’t be charging it as much, but having a compatible MagSafe charger close at hand will still be a good idea, especially if you plan to go off-grid with it. That said, if you do that kind of activity more often than not, any of Garmin’s rugged smartwatches might inspire more confidence and peace of mind.
While Garmin may have the upper hand in navigation and battery life, Apple takes the cake when it comes to health-related features that go beyond the usual activity tracking. In many cases, the Apple Watch Ultra and Garmin’s Epix 2 or Enduro 2 are head-to-head with each other. They all cover the basics like heart rate monitoring, including less common stuff like measuring blood oxygen levels. Even the Apple Watch Ultra’s new body temperature sensing is something that Garmin has already been using for quite some time now. Apple’s advantage, however, is that it can also detect external temperatures, including water temperature.
Apple, however, has had more time fine-tuning its features to be more aware of potential health problems than Garmin. One could almost consider this to be the killer feature of Apple Watches. In particular, the ECG measuring feature that has been present since the Apple Watch Series 4 is something that few smartwatches have to date. Apple will continue pushing the Apple Watch in that direction, which would also benefit future Ultra models.
That’s not to say that Garmin won’t have these features eventually, especially when such hardware becomes more accessible to manufacturers. It could just be a matter of time, though it could also be a matter of business goals. This could very well be one of the biggest differentiating factors between Apple and Garmin smartwatches in the future, with one focusing on navigation and sports while another specializes in health and fitness.
At the end of the day, however, the true distinction between the Apple Watch and any of Garmin’s smartwatches is that the Apple Watch Ultra is a smartwatch, first and foremost, while an Epix 2 or Enduro 2 are sports watches with smart features. Garmin supports a variety of apps on its smartwatches, but the majority of these focus on sports activities. The wearables connect to smartphones, too, but they have limited control over the communication that happens between the two devices. There are your typical notification and music controls, but forget about more advanced apps that don’t fit the sports theme.
Almost in sharp contrast, the Apple Watch Ultra is pretty much a larger Apple Watch designed to be extra rugged and with more sports-related features. That means it has everything that a regular Apple Watch has to offer and more, including access to dozens of apps and experiences that make it a true companion to an iPhone. You can do almost anything on an Apple Watch Ultra, especially when you consider you have access to Siri through it.
That’s also the reason why the Apple Watch Ultra and its potential successors will always have trouble matching the battery life of Garmin’s equivalent smartwatches. You will need more muscle to power those user experiences, which also means eating more of that battery every hour. It is the necessary price to be paid for a general-purpose computer on your wrist, one that happens to function as a classy but rugged smartwatch as well.
So should you buy a new Apple Watch Ultra or stick to the tried and tested Garmin? As always, there is no single answer that will satisfy all people. Even price isn’t a determining factor at this point anymore, with the Apple Watch Ultra starting at $799 and the Garmin Enduro 2 going for $1,099. It really all boils down to how sporty you want your smartwatch to be and whether you need a multi-functional smartwatch in the first place.
Despite the appeal of a sportier Apple Watch, Garmin easily wins in the areas where sports watches shine brighter than other timepieces. The five easy-to-access buttons make it usable in extreme conditions where you can’t easily swipe or tap the screen, and its navigation and mapping chops are still unrivaled, even by the likes of Google and especially Apple. Its month-long battery life is no small matter, especially when you take frequent trips outdoors. You will, however, be limited by what your smartwatch can do outside of those occasions, but that might better match your extreme lifestyle more than any other smartwatch.
The Apple Watch Ultra, on the other hand, is a more well-rounded device, more like a jack of all trades. It is more rugged and sportier than any other Apple Watch to date, but it doesn’t stray far from its roots. You can do almost anything on the smartwatch, within reason, of course. Its health-related functions are topnotch, and ECG measuring is still something that few smartwatches can boast of. Its design makes it fit better in almost any situation or occasion, so you don’t have to switch watches just because you want to go to a social party rather than go out for a run. Future models might be able to catch up to some of Garmin’s key advantages, but the Apple Watch Ultra will always be a smartwatch first and a sports partner only second.
Based in Berlin, the watch brand Lilienthal Berlin recently came up with a watch with a case designed from recycled coffee grounds! Apparently, this also makes the watch smell like coffee, when you wear it. Lilienthal Berlin collaborated with Kaffeform and used the coffee-based material created by them to bring the watch to life. The watch is primarily made from stainless steel, while its strap is natural leather.
According to the watch brand, more than 20 million tonnes of coffee grounds are wasted and collected every year in Germany. This inspired Lilienthal Berlin to come up with the Coffee Watch, in an attempt to reduce the amount of waste created every year. Kaffeform uses the waste coffee grounds picked up by bicycle couriers from cafes all over Berlin! The waste is then dried and processed, and prepared for final use. They are then upcycled into an “eco-friendly and traceable” material.
“With the Coffee Watch, we want to show just how exciting a sustainable lifestyle can be. That it’s worth challenging the status quo. That it’s possible to make a watch out of something as seemingly useless as coffee grounds – that good-looking accessories can be compatible with premium quality and sustainability,” said the brand.
The watch also comes in a variety of colors, and their names are pretty cool too – Americano, Expresso, Latte, and Macchiato. They’re basically various shades of brown, ranging from dark to light. A Bauhaus-style dial with a “subtle sun-burst effect” is an attractive element of the watch.
“We are also doing more than just showing a nice watch here,” concluded Lilienthal Berlin. “When it comes to lifestyle products, sustainability still doesn’t play a big role as it does when it comes to food, fashion, or many other products we see every day. In our industry though, things are developing a bit slower. And this is exactly what we want to change.”
Kudos to the brand’s attempt, to strengthen the presence of sustainability in the field of lifestyle products. Not only is the Coffee Watch aesthetically pleasing, comfy to wear, and functional, but it is also a prime example of great upcycling.
The Apple Watch Ultra is the tech equivalent of “Do you even lift, bro?”
With 8 years in development, Apple has firmly cemented the Watch’s reputation as a device that saves lives. The Apple Watch isn’t just a smartwatch, it’s also an incredible medical and safety device that’s helped people in emergencies. Every year, Tim Cook even spends a few minutes on covering real-life stories of how the Watch saved its wearer’s life. The Apple Watch Ultra, however, doesn’t share that reputation. It’s built for extremes, for the ultra-human, whether they’re scaling mountains, crossing deserts, diving in oceans, or just pushing their bodies to the limit in the pursuit of a goal. In Apple’s own words, the Watch Ultra is an “essential tool for essentially anything”… but here’s the part Apple didn’t say out loud. They know that regular people will want the Watch Ultra too, just for the ability to portray themselves as limit-pushing ultra-humans. It’s the watch equivalent of owning a Peloton, having a bike mount attached to your car’s rear, or just taking gym selfies. The Watch Ultra is an exceptional device, but it’s also a status symbol of sorts for people who want to be perceived as adrenaline junkies and adventure lovers.
The Ultra suffix tells you practically everything you need to know about what this new smartwatch was made for. Apple doesn’t envision this to be the watch someone wears to the office, or an elderly person wears it to monitor their heart levels. This watch was designed absolutely push the limits of what a watch can do and endure. The watch sports a rugged titanium design that’s more resilient in inclement weather, including snowstorms, and is rated WR-100 water resistant as well as EN13319 certified, which means you can use it as a dive computer during scuba diving sessions.
The watch’s new design was made for easy operation even when you’re wearing gloves. The crown is thicker, grippier, and the power button more accessible. There’s even a new Action button on the opposite side for controlling the watch’s various ‘ultra’ activity tracking features, whether you’re competing in a triathlon, deep-sea diving, or even marking your position on the watch’s own mapping system during a trek. It sports a redesigned home screen interface, called the Wayfinder, that gives you access to all the important features you need during your activities, including a compass, GPS coordinates, altitude, and other useful metrics. The watch’s battery can last for 36 hours, although Apple claims that future updates can push this to 60 hours, so your watch aides you on your long, difficult journeys whether you’re trekking, camping, long-distance jogging, or completing a triathlon. The watch even comes with a ‘night mode’ that’s accessible simply by rotating the crown, which turns the interface minimal and red, retaining visibility while conserving battery… and an internal 86-decibel siren lets you attract attention to yourself in the event of an emergency.
The watch comes with a rugged titanium alloy construction and sports three different strap styles, an Alpine Loop, Trail Loop, and Ocean Band. The Watch Ultra by default comes with GPS and Cellular, and sports all the other features of the Series 8, including a much more advanced temperature tracker and period tracker, crash detection, international emergency calling, fall detection, and an always-on display. With all those advanced features, the Watch Ultra doesn’t come cheap. At $799, it costs as much as the iPhone 14 (yes, the new one), making it the most expensive smartwatch money can currently buy. However, for people heavily invested in an active or extreme lifestyle, this one might just be a doozy.
Myopia or nearsightedness is an extremely common vision condition that afflitcs a lot of people, including me. Essentially what this means is that we can focus on objects that are close, with ease, but struggle with items that are placed further away. These items seem blurred or unclear to us. This usually occurs when a person spends too much time focusing on nearby items, causing our eyeballs to actually change in shape over time, making it too long front-to-back. And with people spending most of their day interacting with screens, it isn’t a shocker how widespread this condition is. In fact, this common condition is growing so rapidly, that it is predicted that by 2050, half of the world’s population will be affected by it. This is where Japanese pharmaceutical startup Kubota decided to step in. They’ve designed special eyeglasses that can improve or even cure Myopia!
Kubota’s wearable design has been amped with an array of nano projectors, which project light at the wearer’s retina in a specific pattern, to cause blurring at short distances, in turn forcing them to look further away. This helps the eyeball to morph back into its original shape and allows one’s vision to return to normal. You’re supposed to wear the glasses for a couple of hours a day, usually when you’re simply relaxing or unwinding in the comfort of your home. With the help of AR tech, the glasses create, “an image environment that makes you feel as if you are looking far away even when you are at home.”
“Projection of a blurred image onto the peripheral part of the retina (myopic defocus stimulation) resulted in a reduction in the axial length of the eye (the length from the cornea to the retina) compared to the target eye — proof of concept has been confirmed.”, said Kubota, after conducting multiple tests in May and August 2020, using various devices.
At the moment only 20 pairs have been produced and gone on sale in Japan. Each eyeglass costs $5700 and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee – basically a complete refund if they don’t work. We can’t wait for the glasses to be launched globally, and witness how they could actually help people with Myopia…who knows maybe I could be one of the early bird shoppers!
Apple’s mixed reality headset is slated for a 2023 release, and the race for a winning pair of smart glasses is getting enticing. Lenovo has just announced a very practical set of glasses that act as a secondary display for your Windows PC, Mac, or even a phone.
A very unique product in its own rights, the Lenovo Glasses T1 is a personal mobile display solution that works when connected to another device. The primary motivation behind the design of the glasses is to bring a private viewing display when you want to work on sensitive data from prying eyes, especially out in public spaces.
Revealed at the IFA 2022 and the brand’s virtual showcase, this is Lenovo’s progression from the ThinkReality A3 glasses, which are majorly targeted for custom enterprise solutions. The Glasses T1 are a toned-down version of the expensive A3 glasses and are meant for everyday, practical usage. There are full HD micro-OLED screens in each lens which creates a second virtual display only you can view.
Unlike the ThinkReality A3, these glasses don’t have any sensors or other hardware which makes them ergonomically comfortable to wear. The Type-C cable powers the thing when plugged into a PC or phone. Lenovo has even given the option to use them with prescription glasses courtesy of the in-box attached frame. Everything from the nose clips and bridges to the temple arms are customizable to the user’s liking.
The glasses should not be confused with the more advanced AR versions, as they only overlay the view of the display in front of the eyes. The only similarity is that they maintain the view of the world without disrupting anything, just like AR glasses. Talking of the specifications, the Glasses T1 has a high contrast ratio of 10,000:1, 1920×1080 resolution per eye, and 60Hz refresh rate. To enhance the viewing experience and reduce eye fatigue, they also have the TUV Low Blue Light and Flicker Reduced certifications.
Lenovo has fitted the glasses with speakers, too, so you won’t need a pair of headphones unless you want to completely shut out disturbing ambient noises. Overall, the glasses make complete sense for the current tech-infused world without being too gimmicky. Lenovo has not let out any word about the pricing, but they’ve hinted at a late 2022 launch in China and then later in other markets in 2023.
Our current civilization lives and thrives on information. Although there’s no escaping physical reality, much of this information is now stored and transmitted digitally. And it’s not just the usual culprits like emails, messages, videos, and photos. Even locations and physical objects can sometimes have digital information attached to them, information that we can’t see with just our naked eyes. Augmented or mixed reality is one of the technologies that try to bridge the worlds of physical and digital, but experiencing it in real life isn’t as magical as it may sound or look. Headgear and eyewear designed for XR use have yet to become practical for everyday use, and this concept design tries to find a compromise between form and function for smart glasses that won’t make you look like a Borg.
There have been various attempts at designing AR glasses that can be worn by normal people, and Google Glass may have been the most popular attempt. Its popularity, however, comes not just from the brand but also from how it failed. While the second-gen Glass still exists for some enterprise customers, the consumer version’s chances for success have pretty much died by now. And it’s probably for the best, considering the first Google Glass’ design was rather uninspiring and its functionality severely limited.
There have been many attempts since then to come up with the perfect design for AR-powered smart glasses. Some look like overgrown shades, while others were more promising as traditional-looking eyewear, albeit with thick frames and arms. The latter, however, is still limited because comfort and aesthetic might become compromised as you try to cram more electronics into its body.
The One-Week AR glasses try to solve that problem by moving all electronics, lenses, and projectors to modules on each side of the glasses close to a wearer’s temples. Yes, they do look like big plastic clips hanging off your glasses’ arms or temples, but their shape also follows what would have been the form of regular eyewear with thick frames. Despite the unconventional appearance, this design actually brings some advantages over designs like the Focals North, especially in terms of flexibility.
For one, you can have two displays, one on each side, if you can sync the displays to work together. Alternatively, you can split the electronics between the two sides, leaving the left or the right as the sole projector and controller. The top edge of the module has a long strip that can be used for touch gestures like tapping, sliding, or even pinching. The modules can have a wireless charging coil so that the glasses themselves can be charged without a cable.
Although it’s not explicitly stated in the design, it seems that it’s possible for the One-Week AR Glasses to be modular, mixing and matching parts and designs to taste. It might need to have extensive use of wireless technologies or at least have conduits inside the frame of the glasses, but it would definitely be doable from a technology standpoint. Such a design could open the market of smart eyewear to more people, particularly those who view glasses both as functional tools as well as fashion accessories.
We have a limitless resource in the form of energy on the planet and in the universe. Keeping it within the realms of planet earth, for the time being, researchers around the world have long been on the lookout for alternative sources of energy that capture energy from the most unusual resources.
In a similar endeavor, researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University have devised a novel way to capture the energy dissipated by our body and turn it into a battery for numerous uses.
So, you could be charging up a wearable lithium-ion battery as you run, walk or while breathing. Consequently, the stored energy can be used to charge gadgets. And where is the energy stored with all this technological goodness? In the clothes one wears. Yes, the researchers have created a prototype of this never-before-seen fabric capable of harvesting energy. According to them a 3cm by 4cm piece of such fabric can generate energy equivalent to powering 100 light-emitting diodes for around 5 months. That’s around 2.34 watts of power per square meter. Now that’s a lot of energy that otherwise goes to waste.
The durable material made out of polymer converts mechanical stress into electrical energy. Things like pressing, stretching, or squeezing the fabric with any kind of body movements, 24×7. So, you could be a source of energy as long as you are running, moving around your arms or legs, or even while tossing and turning in your deepest sleep. This is the perfect development for the power-hungry wearables of today that demand an abundant energy resource in a very small form factor. Your clothes generate energy without you even being conscious about it is the ideal solution.
Moving onto the technical part of the body battery, the researchers screen-printed electrode pattern on the material made out of silver and styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene used in bicycle handlebar grips. Then they attached it to a piezoelectric nanofiber which generates an electrical charge when moved or touched. They fitted the fine fabric with perovskite material to increase the electrical conductivity. The smart textile was tested for durability by washing and tossing around since it is waterproof as well.
So, we are slowly inching towards times where Matrix-like smart energy generating systems could rule the future. Human batteries are powered by smart textiles that won’t weather with use, to be precise.
While we’re all living with the fear of an impending ‘port-less iPhone’, one company’s got a clever workaround to the charging woe. Meet the Urbanista Phoenix, a set of TWS Earbuds with solar panels built into their case. Sure, the Phoenix comes with a USB-C port to conventionally charge your earbuds, but it also ambiently charges every time you leave the case on a table with access to sunlight. It’s a clever, elegantly-executed solution that works without cables, wireless chargers, or even human intervention!
Don’t you hate it when you pop your AirPods into your ears only to get a notification that you forgot to charge them? Well, the Urbanista Phoenix seems to have an unusually sensible fix. Equipped with a Powerfoyle solar panel on the charging case, the Phoenix just keeps charging your TWS Earbuds whenever it has access to sunlight or any bright light. This isn’t the first time that Urbanista’s incorporated solar panels into its audio solution, though. Just last year, the company announced the Los Angeles, a pair of wireless headphones with a solar panel built into the headband. The Phoenix builds on that rather clever idea by introducing solar panels onto the charging case instead (because the TWS earbuds themselves are too small to put solar panels on). This effectively allows the earbuds to charge in their case without you needing to physically plug them in or place them on a wireless charging mat. It’s incredibly convenient, quite literally effortless, and seems like the kind of idea that other companies should rapidly adopt too instead of pushing us to buy chargers, dongles, and expensive phones with ‘reverse wireless charging’ capabilities.
The earbud themselves are just like your average TWS earbuds. They come with a familiar stemmed design that’s practically a design archetype now thanks to the AirPods, but they also sport silicone ear-tips for a better seal. They even have touch-sensitive controls built onto ths stems that let you control the Phoenix’s features, including being able to summon and talk to your phone’s voice assistant. Unlike the AirPods, however, the Phoenix also has built-in active noise canceling and is even equipped with noise-canceling microphones for crystal-clear audio conversations and calls. Other features include IPX4 water resistance so you can wear it while sweating it up during workouts, onboard sensors for in-ear detection, a companion app, and a battery capacity of 8 hours for the earbuds, and 32 additional hours with the charging case. Combine that with solar charging and it’ll probably be weeks or months before you even need to find a USB-C cable to charge the Phoenix.
The Phoenix’s game-changing feature still remains its solar charging ability. The only minor trade-off is that as a result, the Phoenix has a slightly large charging case to fit the panel, but the benefit absolutely outweighs the con. The result is a pair of TWS earbuds that, at least in theory, never need plugging in. As long as you can keep the charging case near a source of light, the Phoenix will run perpetually without requiring a charging cable or a charging mat. Moreover, and this is the biggest win so far, you don’t need to REMEMBER to charge the Phoenix. Something most scatterbrained people like me will really appreciate!
The Urbanista Phoenix comes out later in the year, priced at $149.