Panasonic and the Parsons of School of Design are showing off some interesting connected self prototypes at a Panasonic House showcase at SXSW 2017 this week.
The concept we're most likely to see on sale is Sleepwise, a sleep tracker that uses both a wearable and a smart home device. Here's how it works. The wearable can be attached either to your PJ's or your pillow and tracks your body temperature as well as your movement during the night.
The base station goes on your bedside table and tracks the room temperature, humidity, air quality and light as well as your breathing patterns (via audio). What's nice is that Sleepwise, created by four Parsons design and technology students, is bringing together a few ideas we've already seen in sleep tracking into one automated system.
The idea is that the base station can learn your habits, work out when you need to go to bed then talk to the smart stuff, like smart light bulbs and air conditioners, in your home to change your environment. So the system could make sure your bedroom is the perfect temperature for sleeping or the correct humidity level. It seems that Panasonic is interested in making it a reality too.
"The debut of these products and experiences at SXSW will be the first step toward getting them to market and into the hands of consumers, who can use them to transform the way they manage wellness," said Panasonic's Akimoto Nobuhiro.
Over in the weird and wonderful camp - a big constituency at SXSW - Gobie is a bracelet designed to get us 'playing' to stay social. It was created by Parsons School of Design students Qinzi Tan, Tim Ronco, Courtney Snavely and Jane Mitchell after seeing research that face to face interaction makes us happier.
Gobie wants wearers to take part in 'pop up play' via the Bluetooth connected wearables. There's an LED matrix, an accelerometer and haptic motor so that when you're near another Gobie wearer (unlikely for now) you're prompted via a vibration to high five, shake hands or otherwise playfully interact. The companion app gives you a daily social wellness score and includes instructions for the activities.
Just to be clear, Gobie's promo video features grown-ups taking part in these shenanigans, but this could be a great system to get kids and teens messing around physically in between ever increasing screen time.
Stick around for more crazy concepts from South By South West Interactive throughout the week.