There is a lot of wristband news to report on from the past few weeks, including a leading UK bank launching a wristband that allows users to spend money, the latest wristbands from E3 (the Electronics Entertainment Expo), a wristband designed to assist people with Parkinson’s and wristbands that track and rescue at-risk people with dementia or children with autism. What a broad and eclectic mix of news and events!
New Banking Wristband: Are Barclays barking mad or barking up the right tree?
Let’s start in the UK, where Barclays Bank have developed a new wristband that allows users to purchase a train ticket or coffee with a simple swipe. Whilst we have seen this type of technology in wristband form at some major music festivals, these are isolated geographic locations that are also limited in terms of length of time at the event. The same technology does exist in day to day life with pay-wave bank cards, or similar, but will this demand for fast transactions extend to wearing a wristband 24 hours a day?
Barclays intend to use silicone wristbands for this purpose, and are calling the wristband the bPay band. The idea is that the user can spend up to 20 pounds in one transaction, which does limit the potential for fraud, but what would stop someone with the right portable payment terminal scanning your wrist while you’re not looking. A wristband sitting on your desk at work is also probably also much easier to steal than a bank card safely hidden away in your wallet, but does this wristband idea have legs in the real world? How important is it for us to pay for a cup of coffee in 5 seconds instead of 30 seconds? How often will the wristband need to be replaced? Additionally, how feasible is it that someone will want to wear a wristband all day for the purpose of simply making small transactions?
Here at AAC, we’re not sure about the bPay wristband, but we’ll keep an eye on it as it develops. Let us know your thoughts too! Would you wear a wristband that allowed you to make small transactions?
E3 Wristbands: The Battle of the Bands!
There was the full range of wristband items on display at this years E3, the video game industry’s premier event. Both Microsoft/Xbox and Ubisoft, used similar wristband to the light-up versions Coldplay made famous; these proved popular with bloggers and the like enjoying the way the lights changed with the presentation and music . Whether these bands have much more of a shelf-life, we’re not sure, but for now they seem to be making people smile! Perhaps not the guys from Coldplay though, who reportedly spent far more on the wristbands than they originally intended, though this was possibly countered by the publicity garnered from the use of the bands themselves. As someone who attended a Coldplay concert in Australia that featured the wristbands, I can attest to the fact that they really did create an incredible experience.
EA went with simple Tyvek wristbands, which as we all know, is cheap and cheerful and gets the job done. One complaint people had was that this particular kind of wristband needed to be worn for more than one day, when really it is designed to be a single day wristband. Sony went with an elasticated fabric that was transferable.
Parkinson’s Kinetigraph: A wristband assisting those with Parkinson’s
Global Kinetics, a Melbourne based company, has launched the latest version of their wristband, which is designed to collect movement data that are symptomatic of Parkinson’s. The key is that Global kinetics have developed two software algorithms that turn this raw data in to information that is useful to doctors. Doctors use the information to finely tune the levels of medication given to patients. The benefit of this is that sufferers could have more time in what is referred to as the ‘near to normal’ stage at the beginning of the symptoms, which is a fantastic improvement to the quality of life of patients. It also allows patients to be treated with less invasive oral therapies rather than the more invasive therapies used in the later stages of the disease.
These wristband items are currently used in 50 hospitals in 9 countries, with Global Kinetics now seeking to develop the product further in the US and Euro markets. They are also working on new versions of the band that will record more data from all over the body, thus providing yet more information for doctors that will assist with medication. Great work all round we say! The more technology, wristband or otherwise, that is used to assist people suffering from Parkinson’s, the better.
Project Lifesaver Wristbands: Keeping people safe
Another fantastic initiative is that of the Project Lifesaver Wristband. Project Lifesaver’s primary mission is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, autism, and other related conditions and disorders. As part of this special wristbands can be obtained that container a small transmitter that emits an individual tracking signal. Some small communities, like Upper Arlington, have invested in a number of these wristband products and provide them to residents to use as a community service. If the wearer goes missing, a trained emergency team is notified and collects the individual. The average recover time for clients is 30 minutes.
This is a fantastic initiative and again, a great example of how wristbands and other devices can be used to assist people in the community suffering with disorders.
And that’s a wrap for wristband news from June 2014 folks
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the wristband technologies used above, and any ideas you have that might lend themselves to wristbands in day to day life, whether at events, venues or as a community service. Have you seen anything else in the news that is worth us reporting on? Touch base and let us know.
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