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2014 Wearable Computing Gift Guide

There is little to dispute that 2014 will be the year of wearable computing. Smartphones are now fast enough to receive and process real time feeds of sensor data. Sensors are now low power enough to be easily worn or transported. And devices are small enough thanks to extremely small microcontrollers and high density on flash memory. There has been a lot of attention to Google glass, but the ecosystem of sensors has been neglected and it is extremely difficult to find information on which sensor will reach consumers first. Look no further, I have been reaching out to the most promising wearable computing projects and here is a glimpse at the first wave of wearable computing, ready for in time for the next holiday season.

Multi-Sensor Motion with Notch ? Capturing Movement Anytime, Any Place.
The Notch is the first mobile multi-sensor motion capture system to hit Kickstarter. It uses a combination of acclerometers/gyroscopes/magnometers with defined body positions to capture body motion. You simply place the tiny sensors on your arms, legs, head and torso and tell your smartphone where they are and you are capturing motion. Battery life in these diminutive devices is stunning at 3-5 days. It?s so small that it can fit in a wristband and legwarmers. It looks so good that it could redefine the cufflink. Each sensor shuffles data to a master which provides data directly to your mobile phone. The Notch is coming to Kickstarter early in January and has a signup here in the meantime.

Multi-Sensor Video with Quebee ? Capturing Video from Any Angle
Quebee is the first mobile multi-camera system on Kickstarter and works with your iPhone camera and multiple Qubee cameras to capture video simultaneously from multiple angles. Quebee has a wide angle lens and can capture video continuously for 5 hours or 2 days in time lapse mode. You can control multiple Quebee cameras with a smartphone app, synchronize video, and stream video over the Internet. Quebee is available in multi-camera packages and there are still early backer rewards available on Kickstarter so you can get a Quebee for $149 or a full 3 camera rig for $499. Quebee just release video from a Skatepark and Autocross rally to show just how far along they are.

Multi-Display with Vuzix ? Augmenting Reality for Both Eyes
Vuzix has created glasses ready for augmented reality by placing waveguide displays on both lenses. It employs a waveguide directly on the glasses lense. Just like the Oculus RIFT demonstrated that using a mobile display with split optics was the best solution for virtual reality, this solution may be the best and ultimate solution for wearable augmented reality. Unlike Google glass, the image can directly overlay the background scene in view (rather than hang off to the side) making possible direct, on scene visualizations of augmented overlays.

Multi-Dimension with Structure ? Capturing 3D
After an extremely slick Kickstarter which placed a Primesense sensor on an iPad and showed 3D capture almost too good to be true, we have subsequently seen amazing videos and models coming out of the Structure sensor. Using Kinect-like devices for 3D capture is not new, but trying to make it accessible to the mainstream is. The question remains, what will consumers do with pretty good 3D models with pretty good texture overlay? With the Apple acquisition of Primesense, it looks like we are all about to find out.

Anti-Sensor with The Shield
The Shield is a tech jacket that recently became among the most successful apparel Kickstarters in recent memory. Designed for an era where we need to enable and disable tech, the jacket protects privacy by shielding devices or properly pocketing others. Avid Union, the makers of The Shield are integrating technology into innovative and affordable and forward looking designs. The Shield Kickstarter just finished, but it is available for pre-order now.