12 must-watch TED Talks on wearable tech and the connected self

The best connected self TED videos from designers, developers, scientists and CEOs
12 must-watch TED Talks

There are plenty of TED Talks about wearable tech, the future of health and fitness and connected objects. We've saved you the trouble of browsing the site with our edit of the twelve must-watch talks for wearable tech fans.

Click on the videos below to hear and see the future of tech from VR to exoskeletons to human augmentation - there's enough to fill your commute home or even keep you occupied when you're supposed to be working...

Think we've missed something? Let us know in the comments section below.

Meron Gribetz on a glimpse at the future with AR, February 2016 (10 mins)

If you're not familiar with the name, Gribetz is the man responsible for building the Meta AR headset that's going to give Microsoft's HoloLens a run for its money. Back in February, the Meta CEO unveiled the company's second generation headset, but more importantly gave us all a glimpse into a world where holograms become part of everyday life.

Chris Milk on virtual reality as an art form, February 2016 (17 mins)

Chris Milk is a pioneer for VR and has taken the TED stage previously to talk up the huge potential of the immersive platform. In his latest talk, Milk discusses how virtual reality is truly changing the way stories can now be told. If you were sceptical about VR, you should definitely give this a watch.

Tony Fadell on design thinking, March 2015 (16 mins)

The product designer behind the iPod and Nest thermostat talks about remaining a beginner and noticing the little everyday things that most of us become numb to, like peeling the sticker off an apple. He also gives a nod to the role of machine learning algorithms in rethinking smart home products.

David Eagleman on new senses, March 2015 (20 mins)

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist who is doing really interesting stuff with new interfaces such as a sensory, haptic vest. It can be used for different purposes - to help deaf people experience sound or to extend how pilots interact with quadcopters. If you're into how our brains perceive the world, Eagleman is your man.

Sergey Brin on Google Glass, May 2013 (7 mins)

An oldie but a goodie, here is Google's co-founder Sergey Brin making the case for Glass on the TED stage two years ago. It's worth remembering that Google Glass is far from dead with high profile execs including Tony Fadell (above) tasked with building a successful, useful, wearable device. He talks about wanting to free our hands, eyes and ears from the tyranny of smartphone screens with smartglasses.

Fei-Fei Li on image recognition, March 2015 (17 mins)

If lifelogging wearable cameras, action cams and smartglasses want to become truly useful, we need our computers to be able to understand and edit our footage. Fei-Fei Li is the director of Stanford's Artificial Intelligence Lab and Vision Lab so she's been involved in teaching machines to understand images with a 15 million strong database.

Chris Kluwe on AR and sports, March 2014 (9 mins)

Unlike Chris Milk, Chris Kluwe a former NFL player turned author, thinks augmented reality is the world-changing tech to beat. Various companies are looking to help sports fans spectate from all angles - Kluwe argues that AR can also be used by teams to win games by putting the tech in football helmets.

Eythor Bender on exoskeletons, March 2011 (6 mins)

An intro to the potential of exoskeletons - for uses as different as military and medical - from the CEO of Berkeley Bionics. Bender demos two robotic devices onstage that he hopes will one day replace the wheelchair by helping patients to stand and walk. Berkeley rebranded and now makes exoskeletons under the name of Ekso Bionics and can now be seen in clinics and construction sites around the world.

Emily Balcetis on exercise, November 2014 (14 mins)

One for fitness tracking types who are interested in increasing motivation to beat PBs or simply exercise more, Balcetis' TED talk is based on her work as a social psychologist. She focuses on how our vision can change our perceptions of how hard we are working - for example keeping our eyes on the prize, or the finish line of a half-marathon, can make us run 23% faster without feeling that we are working harder.

Nick Bostrom on AI, March 2015 (16 mins)

Food for thought around the artificial intelligence revolution from philosopher Nick Bostrom. He asks big questions around machine learning, emotional intelligence and using VR as security. AI has the potential to make wearables and smart homes much more powerful but we also need to make sure AI's values match that of humans. Scary stuff.

Kate Hartman on wearables, March 2011 (9 mins)

Artist Kate Hartman presents a quirky bunch of wearables which explore communication including the Talk To Yourself Hat, the Gut Listener, the Inflatable Heart and the Glacier Embracing Suit. Hartman says this era of communication is "tremendous and exciting and sexy" and explores some zany social protocols we might not have thought about yet.

Chris Milk on VR, March 2015 (10 mins)

Chris Milk's VR production company VRSE (now renamed to Here Be Dragons) has featured on Wareable a few times for videos made for Cardboard, Gear VR and Oculus Rift. Here he talks about making music videos for Kanye, filming a Syrian refugee camp in 360 degrees for the UN and getting viewers through the traditional window of TV and cinema. Or as Milk says: "How do I put you all inside the frame?"

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