Form and function
So far, most fashion wearables are just fitness trackers, or have only the most basic functions, but it’s a start. Check out our suggestions for some of the more appealing wearables designed specifically for women.
The Bella Leaf Urban is a truly adorable leaf shaped clip that can live on your wrist, but pretty much anywhere else too! Not only does the Bella Leaf track your activity and sleep, but it also monitors your stress levels. The versatility of this design is intriguing, and has won many fans already.
The Bloom is a sweet little necklace that will hold on to your Misfit Shine for you. The geometric design is elegant, made of stainless steel, and is easily interchangeable with other accessories if needed.
Sleek and shiny, the Mira is a stylish bracelet alternative to the more functional looking fitness bands. This doesn’t skimp on the technology either – download the app for iOS or Android, and you’ll get tailored fitness advice and updates about your energy levels.
Glamfit offers such a wide variety of fitness jewelry that everyone from your niece to your great grandmother will appreciate something from this collection. From charms for your charm bracelet, to necklaces and bracelets, they all offer a full range of activity and sleep tracking tools.
The design of Joule earring backs is incredibly simple. Designed to go with literally anything you want to wear, so long as you want to wear your earrings. Replace any earring backing with the Joule backing and all your physical activity is tracked. Really!
Stressed and Blessed
The easily frazzled among us will love the Caeden Sona, and greatly benefit from the Heart Rate Variability (HRV) metric, which communicates with you about your stress levels throughout the day. Choose from five guided meditations to reduce your stress and improve your focus. This one goes to the top of my wish list.
Vinaya intends to keep you up to speed on your daily activities, but also remind you of the here and now. Set daily mindfulness reminders and track your meditation while syncing your breathing. This one is for the yogi on the move.
For the Truly Luxurious Among Us
Fashion and technology really go head to head in this collaboration between Opening Ceremony and Intel. The MICA is a wearable that with communication capabilites, and will be made of the most luxurious materials: pearls, sapphire, snakeskin, and obsidian to name a few.
Ringly’s designs aren’t just gorgeous pieces of jewelry. In addition to tracking your activity, a Ringly piece will sent subtle vibrations or light patterns when you receive notifications from your favorite apps. Check out their stunning rainbow moonstone bracelets and tourmaline quartz rings.
Functionally sound and stylish, the Helix Cuff is the world’s first wearable with smart wireless Bluetooth headphones. If you’re looking to take it to another level, they offer a 24k gold cuff with a bright poppy colored band.
The Ungaro Ring is designed to keep you in close communication with that one special person. Set up a single contact to receive updates from, and Ungaro will send a gentle vibration whenever a new call or text comes in.
Made from precious metals, the Wise Wear bracelet has your fitness, social life, and safety in mind. With a simple tap, it subtly sends your GPS location and a distress signal to your emergency contacts with a text.
“Wearable personal assistant” Tiya by Viaware helps remind you about the most important tasks in your day to day life. This piece has customizable hardware with interchangeable straps and cases, but also allows you to personalize the alerts you want to receive through the use of keywords and hand picked contact names.
Young at Heart
This one is almost pure fun. Gemio’s thick band houses a panel of LED lights that can change patterns and colors. Gemio will respond to your mood, music, and activity around you as you wear it. If you want to make a quick connection with another Gemio user, tap your bands together and it will exchange your contact info.
Do It All!
You already know it, but the Apple Watch really does it all. A calendar, text message receptacle, waterproof activity monitor, sleep tracker, and more. And yes, it even tells you the time. With so many bands and styles available, this has something for everyone.
The Moto 360 Smartwatch looks deceptively like the face of many other watches, but it has a secret: It sends you incoming call and text notifications straight from your phone. Oh, and it doubles as a fitness tracker to boot!
It can be hard to know what to get people for the holidays, but these trendy wearables are sure to be a hit. Whether you’re shopping for fashionistas, work out gurus, or just something to introduce your mom to the world of wearables, this guide has something for everyone. Knock out some holiday shopping for the tech savvy women in your life.
Introduce AWS Panorama to add machine learning to any camera
(TECH NEWS) Amazon Web Services has announced a new hardware device that will add machine learning to any camera – AWS Panorama.
At its learning conference, AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a new hardware device that will add machine learning to any camera. Named the AWS Panorama Appliance, AWS claims the tool will improve industrial operations and workplace safety.
The device lets you add computer vision (CV) to your existing on-premises internet protocol (IP) cameras, which is the standard type of digital video camera most companies use today. In doing so, cameras that weren’t built to accommodate CV can now be turned into smart cameras that do.
So, how does it work?
You register your AWS Panorama Appliance with AWS Cloud and install it on your network. Automatically, the device will identify camera streams and start interacting with the existing industrial cameras.
According to a press release, “Each AWS Panorama Appliance can run computer vision models on multiple camera streams in parallel, making possible use cases like quality control, part identification, and workplace safety.”
- Manufacturing Quality Control
AWS Panorama can automate monitoring and visual inspection tasks. For instance, it can detect defective items in a manufacturing line, and send you an alert in real-time. With this information, you can address and resolve the issue to improve product quality.
- Reimagined Retail Insights
Leveraging AWS Panorama’s control vision, you can get insights about the retail environment to improve operations and customer experiences. For example, the appliance can count customers and calculate the length of queues.
- Workplace Safety and Social Distance Monitoring
It can monitor site activity to ensure operating compliance is always in place, and notify you about any potentially unsafe situations. For instance, if a forklift is outside a designated area. You can take preemptive steps to remove it so it won’t come in contact with pedestrians.
- Supply Chain Efficiency
AWS Panorama can track barcodes, labels, or completed products. By doing this, it can help optimize work operations.
Alongside the AWS Panorama Appliance, AWS unveiled the AWS Panorama Device SDK (Software Development Kit). This software kit enables third-party manufacturers to build their own AWS Panorama-enabled devices.
According to AWS, with Panorama SDK, manufacturers “can build cameras with computer vision models that can process higher quality video with better resolution for spotting issues.” Although the SDK isn’t ready yet, AWS says it will be ready soon.
AWS Panorama Appliance is still in preview in US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon) regions, so it isn’t available everywhere yet. However, you can apply for an AWS Panorama Appliance Developer Kit on their website to start building and testing your computer vision applications.
Create a pandemic-friendly sign-in with this touchless technology
(TECH NEWS) In an era where touchless communication is paramount, Wellcome brings touchless employee and visitor sign-in technology to the workplace.
Touchless technology is becoming more and more common these days and for good reasons — health and safety. Due to the COVID pandemic, social distancing is crucial in helping decrease the amount of positive coronavirus cases.
Unfortunately, some work environments require in-person employees, contractors, and visitors. And now, some businesses are even starting to bring more of their workforce back into the office. While we can hopefully assume they all have some safety protocols in place, the front desk interactions haven’t changed much. This makes it difficult to manage and see who’s in and out.
But to fill in that gap, meet Wellcome. Wellcome is a touchless sign-in platform for employees and visitors. According to their website, the app “helps you manage the workplace effectively, making it safe and easy for everyone” who’s in the office.
And the platform does this by implementing the following features in its tool.
Employee Touchless Check-in
By uploading a list of employees to the Admin, employees automatically receive an email with a one-click “Wellcome Pass”. This pass can be added to their Apple or Android digital wallet.
Once at work, employees scan their pass on an iPad at the reception desk. Then, they will see a customizable confirmation screen with the company’s health and safety guidelines messaging. This reminder can help ensure everyone is following the rules and staying safe.
Visitor Touchless Check-in
For visitors without a Wellcome Pass, they can still scan the QR code on the iPad using their device. The QR code will direct them to a customized check-in form where they can select their host and fill out a health questionnaire on their mobile device.
COVID-Safe Visitor Screening
Based on how a visitor answers the health screening questionnaire, it will grant or deny them access to the office. This health COVID screening will help HR managers “protect the office by restricting access to visitors that might be infected.”
Via email, Slack, and/or SMS, Wellcome will immediately notify the host when they have a visitor and send them the visitor’s contact details. It will also let them know if their visitor was granted or denied access based on the health screening. If a visitor is denied access, the host is instructed to not meet the visitor, but contact them another way.
If there is a potential or confirmed COVID-19 case at work, Wellcome makes it easy to identify and notify anyone who may be at risk. To do this, the HR manager just needs to search by a person’s name and date range in the Admin. Search results will pull up anyone that could have come in contact with the infected person.
The Admin will also notify all employees and visitors that need to self-isolate and get tested. If needed, Wellcome also lets you download and submit a tracing report.
Manage Office Capacity
Wellcome tracks workplace capacity and occupancy data to help maintain social distancing. If occupancy reaches the capacity limit, the Admin will be notified to “take steps to reduce occupancy in order to stay within the required limits.”
In the Admin Dashboard, reports are available to view the status of current capacity. It can also predict what the occupancy will be each day so companies can plan ahead.
Employees have the option to pre-book when they want to come into the office. The app displays how many slots are available for each day, and it can send out a calendar reminder. Through the Admin, HR managers can see who will be coming into the office. This is Wellcome’s other way of making sure capacity limits are always within range.
Also, setting up Wellcome is pretty simple. All you need is an iPad. You install the app on it and leave it at the reception desk for employees and visitors to check-in.
For companies who have employees and visitors in and out of the office. Wellcome does sound appealing, and it looks like they will benefit a great deal from the platform. And, if you’d like to check it out, Wellcome lets you use the app free for 14 days. Afterwards, you can select a plan that works best for you.
Scoring productivity: Is this new Microsoft tool creepy or helpful?
(TECH NEWS) Microsoft launched a new tool that helps monitor user data, but it’s not a work monitoring tool – it’s trying to judge productivity.
Last month, Microsoft launched their new tool, “Productivity Score”. According to Microsoft, this new tool will help organizations understand how well they are functioning, how technology affects their productivity, and how they can get the most out of their Microsoft 365 purchase.
But to do all of this, the tool will keep track of how each employee is using Microsoft products. For instance, the tool will monitor how often video or screen sharing is enabled during meetings by employees.
It will keep a metric of how employees are communicating. It will show if employees are sending out emails through Outlook, sending out messages through Teams, or posting on Yammer. It will also keep track of which Microsoft tools are being used more and on which platforms.
So, Microsoft’s new tool is a scary work surveillance tool, right? According to Microsoft, it isn’t. In a blog post, Microsoft 365’s corporate Vice President Jared Spataro said, “Productivity Score is not a work monitoring tool. Productivity Score is about discovering new ways of working, providing your people with great collaboration, and technology experiences.”
Spataro says the tool “focuses on actionable insights” so people and teams can use Office 365 tools to be more productive, collaborative, and help make work improvements. And, while this all sounds good, privacy advocates aren’t too thrilled about this.
Microsoft says it is “committed to privacy as a fundamental element of Productivity Score.” To maintain privacy and trust, the tool does aggregate user data over a 28-day period. And, there are controls to anonymize user information, or completely remove it. However, by default individual-level monitoring is always on, and only admins can make any of these changes. Employees can’t do anything about securing their privacy.
So, user data privacy is still a large issue on the table, but privacy advocates can breathe a sigh of relief. Yesterday, they got a response from Microsoft they can smile about. In another blog post, Spataro responded to the controversy. “No one in the organization will be able to use Productivity Score to access data about how an individual user is using apps and services in Microsoft 365,” he said.
Although Productivity Score will still aggregate data over a 28-day period, it will not do so from an individual employee level. It will do it from an organizational one as a whole. Also, the company is making it clearer that the tool is a “measure of organizational adoption of technology—and not individual user behavior.”
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