Wearables: from the bionic to the bizarre

Following on from our recent item on wearables for new-borns comes a recent item on a “bionic arm” to assist people with muscle weakness or whose job requires them to  lift heavier weights than they are able to. What always worries me when I see items like this is what happens to the rest of a person’s body when they find their arm can effortless lift 40lb more?  Unless they have a particular problem just with that arm, can their back take the extra stress, and their hips and knees? I would suggest that only when there is a realistically-usable full body exoskeleton that is able to measure stress across its totality will technology like this have applicability beyond those with a particular limb weakness.

A rather different form of wearable is the ‘smart bra’ featured by Gizmag aimed at identifying emotional state to modify eating behaviour.  In spite of the involvement of eminent organisations such as Microsoft, the research work is heavily panned by the author of the article, so perhaps not yet a viable proposition… (And he wasn’t the only one…it made the pantheon of ‘Blue Blazes’Ed. Donna)

…which takes us to the, at one level, truly bizarre wearable of 3D printed wings.  Readers of a delicate disposition are warned that the article does end with a ‘supermodel’ wearing said wings, albeit with what looks like a 3D printed snowflake falling off her head.  Could this be the ‘killer app’ for 3D printers, at least for those households whose children may be angels in next year’s school nativity? At another level, given the supposed rapid advance in human organ & flesh printing, perhaps it won’t be too long before someone decides to print themselves a genuine set of wings?

Hat tip to Dr Nicholas Robinson for the ‘smart bra’ item.


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