Heading away from the game to grab a beer or nachos? You might
not miss any of the action if you’re a Washington Capitals hockey fan because APX Labs
is testing Google Glass on select fans during each

APX built a platform to provide fans with instant stats and
replays via Google Glass. The platform is also used for other applications in
sectors including healthcare, manufacturing and retail.

“We started looking at smart glasses 3-1/2 years ago to
drive all sorts of experiences whether military, consumer or business,” said
Brian Ballard, CEO of APX Labs. When Google Glass came out last year, the
concept of using the platform to provide in-stadium entertainment was a natural
fit, particularly for fantasy football fans who want to keep up with stats as
they watch the game, he said.

There were questions to be answered before the high-tech eyewear could
be available to fans. “We began looking at the rest of the puzzle piece. How do
you get data into a stadium? What does the infrastructure look like? What can
capture your attention and imagination for the entire game? By the time those
issues sorted themselves out and we were in the middle of the hockey season, we
were talking to Revolution Growth, we asked if they knew anyone who would think
it was cool. They were tied into the Washington Capitals hockey team. The
Verizon Center is one of the most connected stadiums in the country. It gave us
data that you can only get inside the stadium,” Ballard said.

SEE: Photos: Creative uses of wearable tech

APX began providing select fans with Google Glass in
January, with 10-15 fans using the eyewear during each game. So far, a few hundred fans have tested the product to rave reviews. “If you miss something
during the game, no big deal. You get that instantly popped up in your view,
you get a couple second clip of the replay, you can browse through player
stats. The possibilities are endless,” Ballard said.

The tech wearable is proving so popular that APX is already
talking to other teams, but expansion will be limited to stadiums with the
infrastructure to support a mobile device deployment, Ballard said.

Motorcycle helmets and headset computers

Another creative use APX has found for the platform is the Nuviz Ride:HUD display
for motorcycle helmets. Nuviz was the focus of a recent Kickstarter
that raised $200,000 and, more importantly to Ballard, showed the
public’s interest in the product with APX adding 25,000 followers on Facebook
during the campaign. The head-up display can be retrofitted to existing helmets
and, much like Google Glass, will provide access to navigation, photo and video
capture, emails, texts, music and more.

The APX platform is also being used for deployments in oil and
gas, as well as the healthcare industry so that, for instance, surgeons can get hands-free access to data about a patient while in the operating room, Ballard said.



Motorola Solutions has created a headset computer, the HC1,
which serves as a hands-free wearable enterprise mobile computer that is
especially handy for those in remote locations, or harsh environments, when
it’s impractical to use a handheld device. The HC1 is an enterprise computer
within the headset that gives the user access to a full desktop experience,
said Nicole Tricoukes, a member of Motorola Solutions’ Innovation team.

The HC1 can pull up a full PDF, a manual, or a diagram.
Voice recognition is used to expand the document or pan around to review
information. This is ideal for an aircraft mechanic fixing a rotary blade, for
example, or others who work in fields without room for a laptop. The HC1 is
being used by Areva in its nuclear power plants and in other companies for
which Motorola has signed nondisclosure agreements, Tricoukes said.

“It helps to diagnose, repair and fix in the field. It has
reduced the cost of sending the wrong equipment. It’s used for high value
assets. Think wind farms, military equipment. Anything with a huge engine in
it. It’s also used for healthcare applications. We’re seeing wearables for in-hospital training, as a remote doctor over the shoulder. We’ve even done some
work with folks in relief operations in training trauma care medics,” she said.

Body sensors for public safety officers

Motorola is also developing wearable technology for police
officers to use on the front line, such as body sensors that are built into
belts, vests or other police gear. The sensors monitor biophysical activity
such as blood pressure and heart rates. That tells those monitoring the sensors
whether a police is running, or has fallen down and laying still. This triggers
police backup to be called in case they are in trouble, said Pat
Koskan, senior manager of advanced devices at Motorola

“We also want to understand things that
happen in the course of a stop, for instance. If he’s pulled his gun, or left
his vehicle and started running,” Koskan said. “It keeps the officer focused on
his task at hand and backup can happen in the background. It’s comforting for
the officer to know this is happening. We can provide that officer feedback
with Google Glass or other wearables to let them know that information has been

Mutualink is also working with public safety agencies to
provide wearables. The company is working with first responders such as police
and firefighters, since they have the greatest need to keep their hands free to
do their jobs. Mutualink is working with Google Glass to test the product.
“What we showed in our demonstrations is that you can show a live video coming
to your eye that way. We showed annotated maps of a school, etc, and someone
would be drawing on that map and a first responder would be seeing that in his
or her eye,” said Mike Wengrovitz, vice president of
innovation for Mutualink.

The end result? “I think we need
more lessons learned here. This whole notion of how teams work together when
they’re enabled with wearable technology is right at the edge of innovation and
the way that we think we can proceed there is to do some tests. Do some trials
and some exericses and get some lessons learned. And basically continue to
develop the features from there. We need to continue to evolve the software and
the system and get lessons learned with field trials,” Wengrovitz said.

Fitness uses for wearables

Moving into the fitness realm, EXOS (formerly Athletes’ Performance Inc.) uses
Google Glass to help people train, resulting in a personalized, prescriptive
training program and interaction with coaches. EXOS works with professional
athletes as well as the military and corporations, said Jon Zerden, CTO of

EXOS retrofits training equipment, such as a treadmill, with
its own software so that coaches can prescribe specific training regimens by
determining a person’s optimal speed and intensity. By adding in Google Glass,
it gives more data points and a training program is more precise, Zerden said.

“The more captured data I can get, the
more precise your program can be. What we try to do with Glass in a corporate
setting, is when you come into a facility, say there is a coach on the floor.
We’ll alert the coaches onto the Glass who is in the facility, why they’re
there, and then give them pertinent data about the individuals,” he said.
“We give them specific evaluation results so they know how to
work with the individual. I may have a hip problem or a knee problem … all that
information will come back to the coach.”

Google Glass is also used to video
record parts of the workout so that it can be annotated and given back to the
client for guidance. It’s also used to prevent dropouts.

“Say you’ve been coming to the gym,
then decide to not show up. If we have a better way to figure out how that is
going to occur, and when, we have a better intervention rate. We run analytics
on an individual to predict dropout and we provide that back to the coach. If
you have a high propensity to drop out, the coach will spend more time with you
than the others,” Zerden said.

EXOS has partnered with Adidas to pair fitness wearables with real time
coaching. Anyone with a fitness wearable can download the miCoach app and add
in a wearable with a heart rate sensor that also measures distance. “We can read
those results and prescribe live in your ear and say speed up or slow down,”
Zerden said.

Fashion, Fido and FitBit



And then there’s the wearable for the person who has
everything:  an activity wearable for the
family dog. Yes, for the dog. The Whistle Activity Monitor fits onto a
dog’s collar for feedback on how much a dog is walking, playing and sleeping.
The dog’s owner can use an app to find out if their dog is active during the
day,  sleeping too much, or even playing
too much. Although playing too much is highly subjective, when a dog is the
subject of the analysis.

There are also fashion-related uses. Nurun recently teamed with L’Oreal Paris to use Google Glass at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Madrid, for behind-the-scenes uses including makeup tutorials and backstage footage of designers and stylists. Nurun said this was the perfect pairing because of the futuristic nature of Google Glass and the fashion-forward, tech-savvy audience in Madrid.

In Nurun’s San Francisco office, the team built a prototype using FitBit and Google Glass, where messages from FitBit are displayed on Google Glass so that they can be read and heard with minimal distraction, said David Bliss, executive director of technical R&D at Nurun.

Whatever the wearable, there is usually an out-of-the-box way to use it in various scenarios. And more options are sure to be soon to arrive because some companies, such as Nurun’s Toronto office, are hosting in-house hackathons to encourage employees to come up with innovative uses for wearables.

Khoa Nguyen, emerging technologist at Nurun, said, “The way we structure the hackathon, we don’t require people
to adhere to requirements. If people have a hack idea, we do what we can to
support them. We don’t require them to specifically develop something for Glass. One idea that someone had was to tie Google Glass with an app on a
smartwatch. We’re looking for more ideas like that.”