Wearable Computers Essay

1709 words - 7 pages

Wearable Computers

ABSTRACT:
Wearable computers are computers that are worn on the body. This type of wearable technology has been used in behavioral modeling, health monitoring systems, information technologies and media development. Wearable computers are especially useful for applications that require computational support while the user's hands, voice, eyes, arms or attention are actively engaged with the physical environment.
"Wearable computing" is an active topic of research, with areas of study including user interface design, augmented reality, pattern recognition, use of wearables for specific applications or disabilities, electronic textiles and fashion design. Many issues ...view middle of the document...

" The system was a concealed cigarette-pack sized analog computer designed to predict roulette wheels. A data-taker would use microswitches hidden in his shoes to indicate the speed of the roulette wheel, and the computer would indicate an octant to bet on by sending musical tones via radio to a miniature speaker hidden in a collaborators ear canal. The system was successfully tested in Las Vegas in June 1961, but hardware issues with the speaker wires prevented them from using it beyond their test runs.[2] Their wearable was kept secret until it was first mentioned in Thorp's book Beat the Dealer (revised ed.) in 1966[2] and later published in detail in 1969.[3] The 1970s saw rise to similar roulette-prediction wearable computers using next-generation technology, in particular a group known as Eudaemonic Enterprises that used a CMOS 6502 microprocessor with 5K RAM to create a shoe-computer with inductive radio communications between a data-taker and better.[4][5]
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Evolution of Steve Mann's WearComp wearable computer from backpack based systems of the late 1970s and early 1980s to his current covert systems.
Another early wearable system was a camera-to-tactile vest for the blind, published by C.C. Collins in 1977, that converted images into a 1024-point, 10-inch square tactile grid on a vest.[6] On the consumer end, 1977 also saw the introduction of the HP-01 algebraic calculator watch by Hewlett-Packard.[7]

1990s

In 1993 the Private Eye was used in Thad Starner's wearable, based on Doug Platt's system and built from a kit from Park Enterprises, a Private Eye display on loan from Devon Sean McCullough, and the Twiddler chording keyboard made by Handykey. Many iterations later this system became the MIT "Tin Lizzy" wearable computer design, and Starner went on to become one of the founders of MIT's wearable computing project. 1993 also saw Columbia University's augmented-reality system known as KARMA: Knowledge-based Augmented Reality for Maintenance Assistance. Users would wear a Private Eye display over one eye, giving an overlay effect when the real world was viewed with both eyes open. KARMA would overlay wireframe schematics and maintenance instructions on top of whatever was being repaired. For example, graphical wireframes on top of a laser printer would explain how to change the paper tray. The system used sensors attached to objects in the physical world to determine their locations, and the entire system ran tethered from a desktop computer.[12][13]
In 1994 Edgar Matias and Mike Ruicci of the University of Toronto, debuted the "wrist computer." Their system presented an alternative approach to the emerging head-up display plus chord keyboard wearable. The system was built from a modified HP 95LX palmtop computer and a Half-QWERTY one-handed keyboard. With the keyboard and display modules strapped to the operator's forearms, text could be entered by bringing the wrists together and typing.[14] The same technology...

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