Recently, wearable computers have gained popularity as they have allowed users to freely use computers in motion for various purposes, such as accessing smartphones and gaining information through embedded sensors. The Wearable Computer Contest is a competition where every team of sizes ranging from two to seven participants designs a wearable computer under at least one of the following three categories: “culture”, “education”, and “wellness”. The final winner of the contest is awarded 5 million KRW by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning.
The finals of the 12th Annual Wearable Computer Contest (WCC), hosted by the organization UFC (Ubiquitous Fashionable Computer), was held at the KAIST Institute (KI) Building on November 17 and 18. 108 teams from all across Korea participated in 2016 WCC and the teams who competed in the finals survived two rounds of elimination — documented-based and presentation — in order to compete at the final round.
As expected of the final round, there were quite a few innovative wearable computers presented at the KI Building. A team from Sookmyung Women’s University participated with a doll that indicated a baby’s slumber state and a wristwatch that communicates this to the mother. The doll measured the movements of the baby and indicated when the baby was about to wake up through vibrations and lights on the wristwatch, allowing the mother to peacefully do household chores.
Another team from Chungnam National University (CNU) designed glasses that allowed deaf individuals to enjoy movies. This team designed an application that, once downloaded on the smart glasses, will display the saved movie annotations. This can also be utilized for people without disabilities for use in watching foreign movies or musicals.
There were many other innovative products such as a posture correction waist band designed by a team from Keimyung University, a necklace used to estimate the street cat population designed by CNU, etc. Chairman of the competition and KAIST School of Electrical Engineering Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo stated that “industrial interest in wearable computers is growing”, promoting the “integration of Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI), etc.” to various aspects of our world.