Once again we have stopped, taken a moment, composed ourselves and compiled the latest and greatest from the world of wristbands and wearable technology. Don’t worry, there will be no mention whatsoever of the Apple Watch because that has been covered in incredible detail in approximately 42,752 other blogs, magazines and social media.
Here at AAC, we love to see what new ideas have been launched, trialed and discussed. We live in a society where there is a such a drive for new ideas, and so many of these ideas are aimed to HELP people. Think of all the hours, day, years going in to some of the ideas and products we present below, because some of them could really make a genuine difference for a lot of people.
Wristbands designed to reduce the risk of alcohol fueled social dangers
The “Vive” wristbands is a concept by 6 students from the University of Washington. The concept started as a run of the mill class project but has quickly taken shape with potential real-world applications. So much so that the students recently won the “Best Product Concept” at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit and Design Expo in 2014.
So what is the Vive concept? Basically the concept combines wristbands, Bluetooth, transdermal sensors, GPS and WiFi. Wearers are encouraged to activate their wristband before entering a bar, nightclub or similar kind of social scene that could be described as a “high-risk, alcohol fueled social situation”.
The wristband monitors alcohol and dehydration levels throughout the night and periodically starts to vibrate. The wearer must squeeze the wristband to stop the vibrating, which will continue until deactivated. The idea here is to ensure the wearer remains alert and under control. Now here is where the wristband gets very clever. If no response is received, other Vive wearers in the vicinity will be alerted to this by their own wristband vibrating very strongly.
This way, multiple people may be alerted to someone needing assistance, and directed to that person via the wristbands use of GPS and/or WiFi triangulation. It is also envisaged that the wristband will be able to detect a wearers movement, especially if they have fallen down.
Right now, the wristband is still a concept but the team behind it are fielding numerous offers for its development. Good luck to them; because this seems like a fantastic idea to us.
Wristbands storing medical information
The idea of alerting people to your existing medical conditions is not a new one. People have been carrying around medical alert cards and identification in their wallets for years, or have worn dog tags to alert emergency staff of a unique condition they may have. In many cases, this is clearly a life saving activity because it can influence the kind of treatment a patient receives at the scene of their accident or incident.
But how to alert people to your medical condition if you are swimming at the beach, where it is not really feasible to carry any other kind of identification? The Safe Mate wristband aims to solve this problem, and is starting with kids.
This concept is being extended to the Manly Surf Life Saving Club, with the introduction of the Safe Mate wristband. All new Nippers will be provided the option of utilizing the free wristband, which will be set up to supply crucial details about the child’s medical conditions, if any, which can be used by rescue teams if the child has an accident.
And the rest…
We don’t quite get this one but David Bulman, CIO of Virgin Atlantic, announced at the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London that Virgin would be experimenting with a new biometric wristbands that would measures the heart rates of their customers. Why you ask? Good question. The idea is apparently that each customer has a unique heart rate (really?) and that this will help Virgin service staff to recognise a customer and allow them to offer a personalised service. Are you as confused as us? I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that this won’t include cattle class.
In big event news, the Ryder Cup (23-28 September at Gleneagles, Scotland), will be utilising RFID wristbands to enhance the visitor experience. Mostly, they’ll be used for special “official partner activities” in the Ryder Cup Spectator Village. This will include the Ryder Cup Experience with Standard Life Investments, where spectators can compete in a simulated team competitions with live scoreboards around the venue.
In a take on the usual “treasure hunt” concept, the Active Scotland initiative (designed to encourage and promote physical activity) will host the “Walk the Course” challenge, where spectators will be rewarded with prizes for checking in at various partners of the course.
There will also be the BMW Owners Cafe, accessible only to BMW owners, which sounds a little sad but makes you feel better about spending all that money on a BMW I suppose.
Of course, there will also be the normal social media integration, with spectators able to automatically update their social media status at certain areas.
All of this sounds great, but with 55% of spectators aged in their mid 40’s or above (see below from the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales), I am not sure how exciting all these RFID brand activation opportunities will be. Sometimes these ideas ENHANCE an event and sometimes that just DISTRACT from the event.
Free mobile health care
An often under-valued purpose of wristbands is to ‘limit’ the number of people allowed access to an area. This is used frequently at autograph signings, but recently wristbands were used to control the number of visitors to a free mobile health clinic in Exposition Park in Los Angeles. The wristbands were handed out in advance. The clinic is run by Care Harbor and is in its third year already. Great initiative and great use of wristbands!
That’s a wrap!
Thanks for reading and please do send in any other great uses of wristbands you have seen or heard about from anywhere in the world. We’ve love to hear about it and to promote any great ideas.
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