Wearables are a game of miniaturization. The smaller you can make your components, the sleeker you can make devices, the better they look and the more comfortable they are to wear. That means that wearables thus far have been the purview of either big corporations or uber successful crowdfunding campaigns.
But now zGlue wants to make it even easier for DIY makers to jump into the wearable world, so it has introduced the zOrigin, a wearable reference design that measures 11 x 28mm and can either be used as-is or turned into other products. It's mostly ideal for panic buttons, smart jewelry, shoe insoles, and fitness/health bands - the sleekest and smallest wearables you can get.
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Sonny Vu, former CEO and founder of Misfit, is one of the big investors and advisors for zGlue. He's someone who knows the wearables business pretty well and how to design for different form factors. With zGlue, he's backing a company that wants to make it easy for anyone to build small wearables.
The zOrigin is packed with sensors and doo-dads, including an ARM Cortex M0 processor, Bluetooth LE radio, accelerometer, heart-rate monitor, temperature sensor, LED, vibration motor, and a 25mAh battery. There's also a 3D-printed enclosure, a USB dock, development board, SDK and documentation.
The zOrigin is built on top of zGlue's DIY platform, ZiP. It basically takes the power and security of a system-on-a-chip and makes it easy to use and affordable for hobbyist and DIYers.
zOrigin will be available for $49 ($149 if you also get the development board) and start shipping in August. You can start pre-ordering now.