WearON is a prototyping platform for wearable designers to connect their devices quickly and simply to a smartphone, to the web and to each other.
The WearON platform consists of a 4-part tool chain that:
- connects a rechargeable Arduino-compatible wearable device to an Android/iOS smartphone via Bluetooth LE.
- uploads real-time data from the wearable, as well as geolocation and other metadata, to an online time-series database for storage, visualisation and push notifications.
- enables the owner of the device and its data to control who is entitled to access their data (for example to enable the development of ‘social wearables’).
- retrieves contextual data via Thingful from other sensors available in the vicinity of the wearer (e.g. weather, air quality, seismographs, radiation monitors, etc.).
The focus on ‘social wearables’ combined with local environmental and contextual data is to support designers developing projects and products that are not just based on individual one-to-one connectivity, monitoring and control, but rather on ‘many-to-many’, ad-hoc and spontaneous connections and interactions.
As part of a the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival 2015, Ling Tan used WearON to prototype and create a series of sensor harnesses worn by participants to track their perception of safety around the City of Johannesburg, South Africa. The harnesses formed an ‘expressive’ interface that enabled real-time body gesture tracking and were coupled to each other for partners to send signals unobtrusively to each other from a distance.
WearON is a 1 year long Innovate UK funded project. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science will initiate use cases to help inform project development.