You will find below featured news and archives covering the period 2004-2008.


Featured news

[13 December 2007] NPO法人ウェアラブルコンピュータ研究開発機構定例会 (regular meeting of the Wearable Computer Research & Development NPO) held in 東京 (Tokyo, Japan)
Keywords: wearable computing, progress, , research and development, Japan.

In the frame of its regular activities, organised a 4h30 seminar entitled 離陸直前のウェアラブルの諸相 (Various perspectives on wearable computers before takeoff) at in 東京 (Tokyo, Japan) on 13 December 2007. It described the state of the art in 2007 and recent Japanese works.

During his talk ウェアラブル離陸直前 (Wearable computers before takeoff), explained that the general public uses much more pocket computers (e.g. cellular phones, digital cameras, electronic dictionaries, music players) in everyday life and may adopt head-mounted displays as soon as 2008 at home if not in public places. He evoked three critical challenges discussed afterwards by other speakers: system platforms, safety and raw materials (e.g. textiles for smart clothing). As for his research, he still designs smart clothes. As a member of his team, introduced during his talk ウェアラブルのシステム(Wearable systems) an illuminated tree controlled by worn sensors and a toolkit to create rules for wearables based on sensor data.

During his talk ウェアラブルの安全性 (Safety of wearables), presented in depth investigations on head-mounted displays to understand their physiological and psychological effects on humans. To study fundamentals, his group carried out experiments with young adults in laboratories and outdoors, displaying combinations of stripes, which is standard for vision-related psychological experiments. Penetrating results will require much effort and should involve children and older adults to cover the influences of growth and decline, which is not planned yet.

During his talk ウェアラブルの素材 (Materials for wearables), introduced several technologies to create color-changing clothes presented by others at Tokyo Fiber 2007 - Senseware in Paris (France) on 26-28 June 2007 or developed by his group. He then quickly evoked the potential for applications.

Finally two special talks were given: 人間のI/Oを拡張するためのインタフェース技術 (Interface technologies to extend human input/output) and 21世紀の人類は「i-borg」になる!?:常時装用インタフェースによる脳力強化人間 (21st century humans become i-borg!? Usually worn interfaces that extend human intelligence). discussed novel and sometimes artistic input/output paths for human-computer systems, with numerous illustrations from his research, and concluded with a question: "After wearables, will we really get implants?". discussed replacements for usual elements of Japanese cellular phones, with a long focus on the detection of typing shocks (using fingers or feet) to replace keyboards with systems such as FingeRing and UbiButton.

The main participants were: from , from , from , from , from , and from .

[28 September 2007] IBM avatars to visualize and interact with medical records in 3D
Source: IBM Research <http://www.zurich.ibm.com/news/07/asme.html>
Keywords: virtual reality, avatar, medicine, research and development, Switzerland.

IBM announced on 26 September 2007 the creation of the Anatomic and Symbolic Mapper Engine (ASME), a prototype software that allows medical doctors to visualize medical records as a 3D avatar and to interact with it. The system enables intuitive anatomical queries for a specific patient, with e.g. zooming used to narrow the query space. Possible results include related text records, results of laboratory analyses or medical images such as radiographs. One IBM Researcher compared the service to Google Earth, which is currently dedicated to geographical and astronomical data.

Using advanced machine learning and state-of-the-art 3-D modeling techniques, the IBM researchers are working to overcome key technical challenges including integrating heterogeneous data sources and complex text-based information—so-called unstructured data—and linking that data to the anatomical model in a meaningful and easy-to-navigate way. ASME also uses SNOMED, the systemized nomenclature of medicine that encompasses approximately 300,000 medical terms, to create a bridge between graphical concepts and text documents... [Read the article]

[09 September 2007] 脇田研究室 第1回展示会 - 情報の官能 (Wakita laboratory 1st Exhibition - The Senses of Information) held in 東京 (Tokyo)
Source: <http://horizons.free.fr/seikatsu/eng/events/2007-09_jp-tokyo_wakita-expo.htm>
Keywords: wearable computing, fashion, , research and development, Japan.

The first exhibition of textiles and garments by , entitled 情報の官能 (The Senses of Information), took place in 東京 (Tokyo, Japan) on the 8 and 9 September 2007. It featured binary ("0"s and "1"s)-based compositions, tools and artistic works such as dresses based on the Fabcell technology and on the Wearable Synthesis concept.

Fabcell is a square textile created by , woven from flexible non-emissive yarns connected to electronic components, whose color can change depending on the temperature. The color of the exhibited dress (see photo) changed from green to red, controlled by the application of specific voltages to its conductive yarns. This technology can be exploited for fashion, or to provide information such as a wearer's emotional state. The application of strong voltages to quickly change the temperature–and thus color–of the textile poses a significant risk to the wearer and bystanders. Additional problems include a limited resistance to washing and the difficulty to create small cells.

The Wearable Synthesis concept defines clothes and accessories as modules with both input (e.g. temperature sensor) and output (e.g. colored LEDs), which connect to each other to provide a variety of effects. For example, a dress may change its color according to other worn items, or to the presence of an acquaintance nearby. Such a model was presented at the exhibition but did not work when I went by.

The was founded by at in 2004 to investigate the future of information design. It is therefore involved in Internet-related technologies, interactions and fashion.


[2007] Device art and robots benefit from a special coverage. The former with a symposium held in 東京 (Tokyo), and the latter with legal considerations in South Korea.
Learn more...

[2005] Biomimicry and wearable computers benefit from special events. The former with a TED Talk by Janine Benyus, and the latter with a fashion show held in 大阪 (Osaka).
Learn more...

[2004] Affective computing and wearable computing are the stars, thanks to the creation of the HUMAINE portal, and to a speech on the future of wearables in Japan.
Learn more...