Wearable technology may sometimes come off as little more than a gimmick (consider the video belt buckle). But for some people, it can mean something entirely different--regaining abilities lost to injury or illness.
This prototype "power jacket" from Matsushita Electric Industrial (parent of consumer electronics company Panasonic) is designed to help patients recover from partial paralysis. Sensors at the elbow and wrist allow a healthy arm to control the eight artificial muscles, which are powered by compressed air, on the paralyzed side. The 4-pound robotic jacket was on display Wednesday at the Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo.
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.