Would so-called “wearables” win you over with a quadcopter that doubles as a slap bracelet?
Last January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, tech giant Intel announced the Make It Wearable Challenge, which tasked inventors to kick off the next iteration of wearables — technology you can wear — with fresh, market-ready ideas. Since then, dozens upon dozens of makers have submitted 1-minute videos, and those were culled down to 10 finalists (in the “development track”) by the CEOs of Intel, Best Buy, executives from Nike, Loius Vuitton, and others. Along the way, these finalists received thousands of dollars in funding and hours of intense mentoring.
Today, the winners of the grand and second place prize have been announced, receiving 500,000 and 200,000 dollars, respectively — Team Nixie and Team Open Bionics. But what got them so far? A selfie drone that attaches to your wrist and a highly functioning yet cost-effective 3D-printed robotic prosthetic hand.
Here’s Team Nixie’s grand prize-winning selfie drone in action:
Team Open Bionics, taking cues from the many other inventors making 3D-printed prosthetic hands, shows off why Intel thinks their hands can go so far, below:
Using Intel processors, the Nixie selfie drone is a robust little robot that weighs less than a tenth of a pound and will communicate with your smartphone to take HD images of the wearer. It can be programmed to “boomerang” to and from you, follow you, or even take 360 degree panorama shots. It won’t be so much of a drone as it will be a personal photographer, Team Nixie says.
Team Open Bionics capitalized on a growing trend of 3D-printing prosthetics to craft a wearable worthy of the second place prize. While there are prothetics that can return a surprising amount of functionality to amputees, those high-end robotics can cost well over 10,000 dollars. Open Bionics’ winning design seeks to give a hand (or Iron Man glove) for under 1,000 dollars. And for that price, the team promises both sensitive robotics and touch-sensing capabilities (developed with Intel products).
Team Nixie and Team Open Bionics will now get even more mentorship to bring their winning ideas to life. Though there isn’t any information on availability or pricing for either winner, the two teams are poised to make wearables, well, much more wearable.