Although wearable intelligence has been developed around the world for several decades, the development work is still in progress. The goal is to turn clumsy and uncomfortable smart clothes into attractive, useful, functional and in accordance with user requirements. Clothes are an important part of our everyday lives, as is digital. Connecting these to each other is therefore very natural and part of our digital future.
(Google translated from article originally published in HAMK Beat.)
One focus area of the HAMK Smart research unit is wearable intelligence, in connection with which several projects and research are underway. One concrete development step is the Future Wearables Lab built in HAMK’s Valkeakoski unit, which naturally serves the companies and operators of both Pirkanmaa and Kanta-Häme region.
The idea of the laboratory is to offer companies and other operators equipment and facilities for research and joint development. Development work can also be carried out as an assignment or, for example, as multidisciplinary student projects. In the first phase, the Future Wearables Lab has acquired various exoskeletons for work well-being research, cooling vests, muscle activation measurement equipment and emotion-transmitting technology, especially for e-athlete communication research. Future Wearables Lab enables organizations to test, pilot and further develop new ideas in cooperation with the wearable intelligence team. The goal of the development work is to obtain new research information on wearable intelligence, but also to create new business opportunities for companies.
The construction of the Future Wearables Lab is the result of the cooperation of many actors. In the future, cooperation will play a big role in the laboratory’s operations in various projects and piloting. When designing the facilities of the Valkeakoski unit to better meet the needs of the students, a close cooperation between the two operators started. The start of operations of HAMK Gaming Academy’s Gaming Lab and Future Wearables Lab in the same premises supports the research carried out in wearable intelligence projects. The research focuses on improving the team experience of e-athletes with the help of wearable intelligence. Gaming lab brings together the research target group, i.e. students who enjoy e-sports, and enables them to participate in various projects, testing and pilots.
Soon after the space was found and the cooperation started, concrete plans for the construction of the Future Wearables Lab were started. The goal was to have a credible and professional space with equipment, where you can proudly take companies and other actors interested in wearable intelligence and collaboration to develop ideas.
HAMK’s real estate services coordinate a new look for the space, including furniture parts. Some of the furniture was also made by myself. Here, HAMK’s Design Factory showed its professional expertise. The placement and construction of the furniture was planned in close cooperation with Design Factory. Based on the illustrative 3D plans implemented by Design Factory, it was easy to visualize the final result of the space and also helped in making the final decisions. Design Factory implemented interior design elements for the space, levels for the presentation of wearable intelligence products, and was also building the space itself.
The opening of the Future Wearables Lab was celebrated at the end of March 2022. The arrangements for this event were also an excellent demonstration of what good and active cooperation can achieve. The opening was attended by a large number of educational institutions, companies and other actors interested in wearable intelligence and e-sports, and several future cooperation patterns were agreed upon at the event.
Although the Future Wearables Lab has only just opened, it has already attracted a lot of interest. Wearable intelligence is part of our future in the ever-growing digitization. With the Valkeakoski laboratory and collaborative research and development activities, HAMK is part of the future, developing the region and increasing its vitality.
Without the cooperation and help of various actors, the construction of the Future Wearables Lab would not have been possible. Thank you for the wonderful framework and for enabling future research and development work to all who were involved in building the laboratory!
Author: Heidi Kerkola, project manager/development specialist
Google translated from article originally published in HAMK Beat.