Before I went to sleep, my dad would tell me stories of the future – electric cars, robots and everything to make life easier. I guess between my dad, Lost in Space, Star Trek: The Next Generation and other SciFi shows on television, I was hooked on learning more about technology.
My friend, Jeris JC Miller of Dakini 3 reached out to me a month or so ago. She told me she was speaking at The Wearable Tech Expo conference and if I wanted, she would get me a comp. I was thrilled. I immediately booked a round trip flight from JFK to LAX for $300 on JetBlue. It was meant to be!
The conference, held on December 10 and 11 at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, was packed with interesting presentations from fitness wearables and smart watches to Google Glass and technology in clothing.
Conference highlights included Phillipe Kahn of Fullpower opening the conference with a strong presentation on the next generation and the future of wearables.
Business Development of Vuzix, Dan Cui’s presentation on the Smart Glass Revolution, was incredible too. He talked about the evolution of glass and where it’s going. He was so impressive!
The Wearable Tech Demo was fantastic! There were nearly 20 companies that presented their products in a ten minute time period. I loved the presentations from Lumo Back, a wearable belt that vibrates if you slouch, and HzO, a company that protects cell phones and other devices from water damage, to Hexoskin, a company that actually makes skin tight clothing with wearable technology to monitor your heart rate, breathing and more, and Pivothead, a sunglass company that incorporates a cross between a GoPro camera and Google Glass into one.
Day two opened with a presentation by Adidas, trying to get a foothold in the running market with a new “upscale” sports watch that tracks mileage, route, heartbeat, and more. It also has a personal trainer.
The presentation by Plantronics was sensational. I’ve actually been a consumer of their products for years purchasing headsets for my office phones. But they are taking their company one step further by doing amazing work in the wearable space.
There were three other sessions that stood out on day 2 that included the Augmented Reality panel. Companies like Vuzix, Epson, Sulon Technologies and DAQRI are doing incredible things using augmented reality. I was also impressed with the wearable technology in the Entertainment Industry panel. It made me realize that the entertainment industry has always been ahead of their time.
But to me, the last session of the conference was outstanding, and I’m not saying this because I’m biased, I really believe that this is true. Jeris JC Miller of Dakini 3 and Cecilia Abadie of Byte An Atom were both remarkable. Miller talked about the social effects of Google Glass and specifically focused on Seattle. She also talked about “Glass for Good.” Abadie, who is a glass developer and also known for getting the first ticket wearing Glass, showed us some of her new projects. (She’s a Google Glass app developer.)
The best thing about the conference was seeing my tech girl buddies, meeting new people and learning about new technologies.
Although there were some technical problems and forgotten lunches, Tony Rizzo and his staff did a great job making sure that the conference ran smoothly and stayed within the time constraints. Although there was ample time for networking, I would have loved some more. The people, the show and the presentations were well worth the investment! I can’t wait for Wearable Tech Expo to come to New York City in July!