June is almost upon us and that means new wearable tech, VR, AR and smart home concepts from bright design and engineering students. Before we check out the latest round of futuristic ideas and wacky prototypes from this year's graduates, we thought we'd round up the most exciting student projects we've seen so far.
Some of these projects were part of design, engineering or computer science degrees, some were developed shortly after the inventors and designers graduated. This list skews towards UK universities, but this summer we'll make sure to check out the most intriguing concepts from US final shows too.
Not strictly a student project but this modular smartwatch startup was co-founded by two Imperial College London graduates, Ali Tahmaseb and Serge Vasylechko. It also got a head start via the university's Create Lab accelerator before raising $1.6 million during its Kickstarter campaign last year. Estimated delivery was May 2016 so it looks like the team are a bit behind schedule, though the latest update does include photos from the assembly line.
Florent Revest, a French computer science student at the engineering school INSA-Toulouse, has created an open source smartwatch OS based on Linux and currently in beta. Revest's AsteroidOS has been tested on an LG G Watch (it now has the same battery life as when running Android Wear) and will no doubt find plenty of fans amongst hackers, devs and tinkerers. There are already AsteroidOS meet-ups happening in London as well as several workshops over in France.
This smart sports bra prototype, which tracks your heart rate when running and actually alters the BPM of your music to match it, was designed by Northumbria University student Victoria Sowerby. She was on its MA in Performance Product Design course which we'll be keeping an eye on this year. No news on whether we'll be able to buy Keep Beat any time soon, after it got a lot of internet attention, but Sowerby did land a job at Puma after graduating where she planned to pitch the smart bra.
X-Strike is a system of three wearables – smart insoles which track foot-strike patterns from force sensitive resistors, a hand strap and a flexible LED matrix worn on the arm. Duck-soo Choi presented his prototype at 2015's Royal College of Art show where he was graduating from the Innovation Design Engineering course. Choi is now a senior engineer at Dell, having done stints at Samsung and EDF, but we'd love to see a sports tech company build on this idea of multiple wearables around the body.
Robin Spicer took Armis from sketch to prototype in just nine months while he was an Industrial Design student at Loughborough University in the UK. The smart polo helmet features a built-in crash sensor, alerting first responders and medical services in the event of an in-game fall. Spicer's work received a bursary from the James Dyson Foundation.
keyBod is a wearable keyboard that won't let you type if you're sitting still. Simple, really. The work of Parsons School of Design student Nitcha Fame Tothong, the concept places programmable keys all around the body with embroidered letters on top. The idea is to help office workers become more aware of bad posture habits and long periods spent sat down. Tothong's ideas also include a connected shoe that can act as a mouse click.
Teacher is a robotic wearable that teaches you to draw with haptics. It's the work of Saurabh Datta, a student at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. Instead of building robots to do everything for us, Datta wanted to explore the idea of building robots which can help us humans do things – including drawing – better.