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Women Leader

In: Computers and Technology

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Wearable Computers
EEE 439

What is a Wearable Computer? As we continue to integrate computers into our everyday lives at an ever faster rate, the idea that a static desktop, or even a portable laptop can fulfill all of our computing needs is becoming increasingly more ridiculous. The integration of technology constantly creates situations in which we pause and think, “If only I had a computer,” The wearable computer does this. It goes where you go, it does what you do. Its there when you want to use it, unobtrusive when you don’t. So what is a wearable computer? Why don’t we just put our laptops on a sling? In 1998, Steve Mann gave a keynote address at the International Conference on Wearable Computing in which he explained the operational modes of wearable computers and six defining traits of a true wearable computer. According to Mr. Mann, the wearable computer creates three new modes of interaction between human and computer which have not existed before. These three new modes of operation are Constancy, Augmentation, and Mediation (Mann, 1998). Constancy means that the computer is always on and available for use by the user; traditional devices are turned off and closed when not in use. Augmentation is the idea that wearable computers will augment the user’s abilities instead of merely providing computing power on demand. Mann splits Mediation into two different areas; Solitude – the ability to cut oneself off from material, and Privacy – the ability to block or modify certain information (Mann, 1998). Basically, a wearable computer will be constantly available to the user, will augment his or her abilities, and will allow the user to determine not only what he or she sees, but what others see coming from them.

In addition to the three new modes of operation which Steve Mann laid out in his talk in 1998, he also explained 6 key attributes of wearable computing. For the sake of accuracy, the six attributes have been copied below.

1. UNMONOPOLIZING of the user's attention: it does not cut you off from the outside world like a virtual reality game or the like. You can attend to other matters while using the apparatus. It is built with the assumption that computing will be a secondary activity, rather than a primary focus of attention. In fact, ideally, it will provide enhanced sensory capabilities. It may, however, mediate (augment, alter, or deliberately diminish) the sensory capabilities. 2. UNRESTRICTIVE to the user: ambulatory, mobile, roving, ``you can do other things while using it'', e.g. you can type while jogging, etc. 3. OBSERVABLE by the user: It can get your attention continuously if you want it to. Almost--always--observable: within reasonable limitations (e.g. that you might not see the screen while you blink or look away momentarily) the output medium is constantly perceptible by the wearer. 4. CONTROLLABLE by the user: Responsive. You can grab control of it at any time you wish. Even in automated processes you can manually override to break open the control loop and become part of the loop at any time you want to (example: ``a big Halt button you want as an application mindlessly opens all 50 documents that were highlighted when you accidently pressed ``Enter'' would make a computer more CONTROLLABLE. Infinitely--often--controllable: the constancy of user--interface results from almost-always observability and infinitely--often controllability in the sense that there is always a potential for manual override which need not be always exercised. 5. ATTENTIVE to the environment: Environmentally aware, multimodal, multisensory. (As a result this ultimately gives the user increased situational awareness). 6. COMMUNICATIVE to others: Can be used as a communications medium when you want it to. Expressive: allows the wearer to be expressive through the medium, whether as a direct communications medium to others, or as means of assisting the production of expressive media (artistic or otherwise). The Market for Wearable Computers The potential market for wearable computers is vast, covering a wide variety of industries and organizations; applications for wearable computers include medical, military, industrial, and recreational. Wearable computers promise to make medicine much more effective in both the treatment and prevention of disease. Treatment applications of the wearable comptuer, like the

pacemaker, have been in use in medicine for several decades. It is only recently however that wearables have begun to make an impact in the prevention of disease. For more on this, please see our section on the medical applications of wearable computers. Historically, the military has been the primary driver of research and development in wearable computing technology. The Future Warrior system, discussed further in our section on military applications of wearable computers is a great example of this. The soldier of the future will be a fighting node within a much greater network, able to communicate with and receive data from a plethora of sources. The industrial applications of wearable computing technology are just beginning to be realized, primarily in inventory management as a replacement for bulky laptops. Products like Motorola’s WT4000 gives warehouse employees a device that has the power and connectivity of a laptop in a much lighter and easier to manipulate package. Augmented Reality technology, discussed later on, is likely to have such a large impact on existing industries that it might become one itself. Dominant Wearable Computer Firms The Wearable Computer industry is primarily composed of two different types of organizations, large information technology firms and university research labs. Given the historically high cost of developing wearable technology, small ventures have as yet had little success. These high costs have been falling rapidly in recent years and we predict that within the next five years, the wearable computing industry will have a large number of small entrepreneurial firms turning a profit. Large companies like Motorola, Eurotech, and IBM manufacture wearable computers primarily for industrial applications like inventory tracking. While these large firms do invest

money in research and development, much of the progress made in the field is made at large university research labs with the funding, talent, and time to make real technological leaps. Major wearables labs exist at Georgia Tech, MIT, and Cambridge in the UK. Important Technologies in Wearable Computing The development of wearable computers, as with all computing technology is heavily dependent upon technological processes operating within the framework of Moore’s Law. To the casual observer, progress has been moving slow; “where are our internet glasses?” However, when a tipping point in technologies vital to the development of wearables is reached, a massive wave of innovation will be unleashed. Vital technologies in the development of wearable computers include wireless communication technology, power sources, and materials science. Until significant advances are made in all of the fields, wearable computers will remain relatively primitive. Advances in wireless communication technology will allow users greater bandwidth, connectivity, and coverage; current wireless content delivery systems are still slow and expensive. One of the primary concerns of the military with regards to wearable computers is battery life. Without power the networked future warrior is useless; the exoskeleton that walked for you becomes a prison. The field of materials science promises to impact wearable computing in a big way, with some of the more exciting and strange advances. How about a jacket that computes at a teraflop? T-INK has patented a conductive ink that can be printed from a printer or sewn into fabrics and

washed 1 . And if you’re in the habit of loosing your teraflopping jacket, why not call it from the cell phone that’s under your skin… running on your own blood 2 ! Wearable Computing: The Military

I. Opportunity
Wearable computing in the military differs greatly from the fragile wearable devices most consumers are used to. Wearable computers used in today’s military environment are rugged

and designed for the harsh and hostile conditions found in warfare. While the products are significantly different, military demands are still very similar to consumer demand: low power, lightweight, high performance, and long battery life (McHale). When examining the opportunity for wearable computing in the military it is clear that three of Peter Drucker’s seven sources of opportunity are present. The first being an incongruity; for thousands of years the worlds military powers have tried to develop ways to improve the efficiency and capabilities of their soldiers. Before computing, soldiers could only improve upon their weapons systems and

tactical approach on an analog level. In today’s world, the modern soldier is a master of resources; missions that once took a small army to accomplish now take just one soldier. Thus, a soldier’s restriction to human capabilities is a major incongruity that wearable computing is attempting to improve upon. The second source of opportunity for wearable computing in the military is process needs. Such process needs include: Endurance – A soldier is often required to carry large amounts of equipment and often become fatigued after a short distance. This means that the military must provide obvious transportation for their soldiers such as helicopters, trucks, and boats. These modes are often very conspicuous and are not appropriate for stealthy missions. Thus there is a need to strengthen the endurance of a soldier far beyond the capabilities of any human. Soldiers also become fatigued due to environmental conditions such as extreme heat or cold.


Health – In the midst of combat it is often very difficult to tell who is injured and just how bad. Field medics must quickly asses the condition of a wounded soldier and recommend an appropriate course of action. The faster and more accurate a medics assessment is, the better the chance of survival. It is also important that a group leader knows the physiological condition of their soldiers. A soldier who may seem to be alert and ready for combat may be fatigued or traumatized from a previous battle and may be in no condition to fight. Maintenance - Automotive and equipment repair is a daily exercise on the battle field. However, this requires that either all soldiers are trained mechanics or that each platoon has a specialist. Training would be costly and time consuming and automotive specialists may not be qualified for all missions. Combat - Improved visuals, Combat protection, Weaponry, and Battery life are all very important in times of heavy combat. Another source of opportunity for wearable computing in the military is new technology. The government spends a large sum of money on research and development for new military technologies, specifically; nanotechnology, communications technology, artificial power, and material engineering (McHale).

II. Concepts
The Future Force Warrior (FFW) is a United States military initiative that is part of the Future Combat Systems project (NSRDEC). The FFW project is intended to develop a lightweight, fully integrated infantryman combat system by exploiting new technologies such as; nanotechnology, artificial powered exoskeletons, and magnetorheological fluid (NSRDEC). The potential advantages of such technologies include the following; a reduction in fighting load, a reduction in power requirements, and improvements to the soldier's protection, lethality, and environmental, and situational awareness. Matt Nichols, director of public relations at

Microvision in Bothell, Wash says “The wearable market is expected to grow from $134 million in 2004 to $272 million in 2007, 26.7 percent compound annual growth.” (McHale) The powered exoskeleton is intended to assist and protect its wearer. The newest

exoskeleton prototype, LIFESUIT, can now walk one mile on a full charge and lift up to 205 pounds for the wearer. These capabilities will allow the soldier to travel longer distances without becoming fatigued and can even help a wounded soldier escape a hostile situation. Additional

advantages of the LIFESUIT consist of the following: higher mobility and speed, hazard protection, increased load bearing abilities, and the capacity to field larger and/or more numerous weapons/equipment and ammunition (NSRDEC). These advantages solve many of the process needs discussed above such as endurance and combat. The headgear sub system of the FFW includes sensors, communication devices, and augmented reality. This futuristic headgear system is outfitted with JTRS cluster 5 soldier radio, distributed and fused sensors, organic tactical intelligence assets, embedded training, and on the move planning capabilities (NSRDEC). Such technology provides the soldier with enhanced situational understanding and is made possible through advances in communications technology. Perhaps the most practical and useful of the previous listed technologies is the embedded training and tactical intelligence assets. The tactical intelligence technology ensure that the soldier knows where their current location and provides directions to their intended destination. While the embedded training ensures that the soldier will be ready for any situation that he or she might face. For example, according to Matt Nichols, director of public relations at Microvision, a company that specializes in military technology, “U.S. military personnel currently use Microvision’s Nomad wearable computer worldwide for maintenance applications, Nichols says. Nomad is currently engaged in a trial on ground-vehicle maintenance for the U.S. Army, he adds. Fleets of military vehicles stateside require repair. Most of the experts are overseas, however, so the Nomad will help them improve repair times and more easily and effectively train new maintenance personnel, Nichols says.” (McHale) The next subsystem that deserves discussing is the war-fighter physiological status monitor subsystem. This FFW subsystem collects and monitors information regarding: body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, hydration and stress levels, sleep status, body positioning,

and workload capacity (NSRDEC). The major advantage of such a system is that medics and commanders can be notified if their soldiers have been wounded or have become fatigued. This subsystem is intended to the health monitoring process need discussed earlier.

III. Original Concept
Given the demand for increased situational awareness, the need for real time visual interaction with field soldiers, and the release of new augmented technology we have created an add-on for the current headgear subsystem. Our product is an augmented tactical display that would take the form of a lightweight pair of glasses and would be linked to remote computers. In the event of an unanticipated situation a tactical specialist would be able to assist the soldier using directional, cautionary, and action signals. While some may argue that this technology is a “crutch” for the soldier and may act more as a distraction, we feel that it would be extremely useful in situations where a soldier may not have the experience to fulfill his/her mission due to undetermined events. This technology would also be useful for a solider who freezes in battle and becomes unsure of his/her responsibilities. Wearable Computing: Sports Sports training as a whole is a multi-billion dollar industry. The World Golf Foundation's GOLF 20/20 initiative determined that golf in the United States alone generated $76 billion in direct economic impact in 2005, up significantly from $62 billion five years ago. At $76 billion in direct revenues, the U.S. golf economy is larger than the motion picture and video industries. The report indicates that golf generated a total economic impact of $195 billion in 2005, creating approximately 2 million jobs with wage income of $61 billion and golf facility operations produced revenues of $28 billion, which exceeds facility revenues from all professional and semi-professional spectator sports (PGA Tour). More specifically, revenues are

generated from facilities that house training, instructional videos, equipment, and personal trainers who are professionals or at least highly qualified in the particular field. A recent annual study showed that 2.5 million players took golf lessons at a cost of $482 million and 16% of all golfers spent $1.1 billion on video tapes, books and other instructional aids. However, the study pointed out that these training methods were insufficient and provided little no help. Millions of individuals train and practice for every kind of sport imaginable but the one that involves a very specific technique and skill to master is the golf swing. A team at MIT has a developed and designed a concept that they call TIKL (Tactile Interaction for Kinesthetic Learning). TIKL is a wearable robotic suit that uses real-time vibrotactile feedback to accelerate the learning of movement (motor) skills more quickly and deeply than the visual or auditory feedback from a teacher. The experts and novice’s movements are recorded using a VICON optical motion-capture system at millimeter accuracy. In real time, TIKL compares the novice’s movement to the experts and if that movement is off, small actuators that are attached to a suit on specific joints begin to simultaneously vibrate. When the novice finally shifts into the right movement which was made by the expert the vibration stops. This notifies the novice that their movements are correct. The vibration that occurs creates a mini force field which kind of pushes the individual into the right movement. The study performed by MIT showed that the vibrotactile feedback lowers real-time errors by up to 27%; learning rate is improved by up to 23%; and steady-state learning errors, the measure of performance over time, are improved by up to 27% (PHYSORG). This is clearly new knowledge and provides a clear opportunity to create a product and service where the technology

of the vibrotactile feedback suit will enable users to learn how to perform a perfect golf swing at a much deeper and quicker rate than traditional learners. The company Parsuit, Inc will obtain an exclusive license to the patent of the vibrotactile feedback suit and will develop and manufacture it for sale to golf training facilities which will be a business-to-business entity. Currently on the market there are many training aids available to help develop a good golf swing. There are aids that will help you keep your arms locked and your wrists locked. There are aids to help correct your stance, as well as your backswing, upswing, and even the force with which you hit the ball. People sometimes go as far as even making a video tape, which shows their swing from all angles to help improve their game but most of the time it hardly helps. There is an opportunity for the process needs which are not being met by current products or services that are currently on the market. These people who partake in this activity deserve a product or service that helps them master that swing in a much quicker and effective way. An effective golf swing takes quite a bit of practice to perfect and people spend years working on it but with the vibrotactile feedback suit that time can be substantially reduced and a perfect golf swing can be achieved with this device. The majority of people benefit from a teacher who can provide real-time feedback through a variety of channels: visual, auditory, and tactile (to physically guide the student). The tactile feedback seems like the easiest and most appropriate form to teach motor skills, but it is by far the most difficult for an instructor to give, especially if they are performing the movement themselves. Also, due to human limitations, instructors cannot give tactile feedback over all human joints simultaneously but a suit can. This creates the opportunity of incongruity due to the fact that students or individuals want to learn the movements and have feedback on the exact

location of where they are performing the move wrong exactly when they occur. The results of the MIT experimental study showed that in more complex tests, improvements will increase. It also confirmed that subjects with feedback showed higher level of attention, correcting their motions at times when those without feedback stood idle (TIKL). This product will be targeted towards individuals who are at the novice and even professional level of golfing. The professional golfer could record himself performing what he or she considers their perfect swing and they can continuously practice that specific motion until it is ultimately imbedded in their mind and body. This will allow them to always perform their perfect swing. As of now research is still limited and other areas need to be explored before this product can be marketed and sold. The suit needs to be hooked up to a huge computer tracking system which is quite expensive and takes up a large amount of space. The vibrotactile feedback suit would have to be sold as an entire unit along with the tracking system which may seem extremely costly to potential buyers. However, MIT is researching on a cheaper, smaller portable tracking system that can be used more easily and a suit that contains more actuators. MIT’s long-term goal for this system is to be able to have a low latency, full-time, wearable, highly parallel robotic motor skills teacher that can provide constant motor-system feedback to the student as he or she attempts to learn new motor skills (TIKL). A golfer can purchase all the equipment and training materials in the world but in the end it all comes down to the golf swing and with Parsuit, Inc’s product golfers will be able to learn that perfect swing in a much quicker time and on a deeper subconsciously.

Wearable Computing: Medicine According to a recent Wired magazine article about the current state and future of wearable computers, the technology-savvy magazine ascertained, “While the entertainment usages are fun, medical care could be the biggest beneficiary of wearable computers” (King, 2002). As the world of both technology and medicine changes and provides more opportunities for people to live better lives, it would only seem probable that the two worlds would coincide and offer easy and accessible advancements. There are many various sources of opportunity that exist in the field of medicine for wearable computers. There exists an incongruity in that people should be able to know the status of their health at all times and under all circumstances; however, in today’ world, people can only get these answers by seeing a doctor on the doctor’s time. Another source of opportunity is process needs; there aren’t many accessible forms of technology for the everyday person to check the status of their health. There has been an apparent and recent change in the industry and market structure. Insurance prices are on the rise and health insurance is not something that is guaranteed to all citizens. As insurance prices increase and the availability of health care decreases for the citizens, hospital and doctor visits are costlier than ever. According to a federal analysis released in January 2008, the U.S. health care spending increased 6.7-percent in 2006 to $2.1 trillion, or $7,026 per person (Cauchi, 2008). Other sources of opportunity include demographics (people are living longer; the population is increasing with more health needs), changes in perception (people more concerned about health than ever), and new knowledge (new innovations in the prevention and treatment of diseases). Currently, the uses for wearable computers in the medical field are data processing, patient monitoring, digital imaging and remote guidance. Wearable computers are being used to

help combat, prevent, and understand diseases such as autism, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, bipolar disorder, as well as heart disease. There are three recent and significant innovations that have been made that would help a wide range of people and help make advancements in the study of particular diseases if implemented to the public. The first of these innovations is the Fetal Heart Monitor. Developed by a team from the University if Nottingham in conjunction with the Action Medical Research and Venture Capital, the fetal heart monitor takes the ultrasound technology provided in a hospital that helps keep track of the fetuses heart rate and growth rate and makes it the size of a mobile phone that can be brought around with an expectant mother at all times. It is able to detect 0.0000001 volts, and it can compute fetal readings in real time, and that data can then be sent by wireless technology to the nearest PC or hand-held computer (Emaxhealth, 2007). The fetal heart monitor is helpful in monitoring fetuses whose mothers have medical conditions such as lupus, diabetes, and it also helps monitor fetuses with growth problems or where it is suspected that the placenta is unhealthy and may be compromised due to lack of oxygen. There are some obstacles, such as differentiating between the heart beat/vital statistics of the baby and the mother. But, all in all, this wearable computer will help spot potential birth complications as well as provide reassurance to the parents-to-be whenever they need it. Another wearable computer that has been developed to give patients on-the-spot information about their current state of health is the Diabetes Management Assistant, which is also known as DiMA. Created by two Carnegie Melon Institute of Technology honors students, DiMA is a wearable computer system with wireless communication including glucose meter, digital camera, and pedometer. This gives a person who suffers from diabetes the opportunity to have on the spot, non-evasive technology that can help them regulate and monitor a condition

that needs to be constantly checked. Also, by having the personal information sent to a computer so that doctors and patients can monitor it and identify any trends or changes in the patients health, it will make the daily battle of diabetes better understood by both patient and doctor. The patient gets the ultimate control over who gets to see the information calculated by the DiMA, so although security might seem like an issue, the creators of the device assure privacy. Lastly, the “LifeVest,” created by the University of California, San Diego, in conjunction with Vivometrics, is an important and groundbreaking technology in the battle to better understand, diagnose, and treat the psychological disorders of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Because the symptoms and characteristics of patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia can, at times, seem very similar, many patients are often misdiagnosed and therefore treated for the wrong disease which can lead to disastrous results. The LifeVest is a computerized vest that monitors the movements of patients suffering from both disorders. It monitors hyperactive and repetitive movements, and collects vital statistics such as heart rate and respiration (Science Daily, 2007). Because people who suffer from schizophrenia’s body and movements react differently in certain situations than those people who suffer from bipolar disorder, the study of their body movements and body reactions is crucial to help doctor’s better diagnose their patients in the future. Although the LifeVest does not regulate any aspect of the disease, it helps doctors and their knowledge of both disorders grow, which will ultimately help the participant and wearer of the LifeVest. The main objective of any wearable computer in the medical field is to take the monitoring of health out of a hospital setting to allow patients to test an aspect of their health on their own daily. The health concern surrounding our business concept/model is obesity. According to the CDC’s 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 32.9%

of all persons aged 20-74 in the United States is considered obese (CDC, 2008). Clearly, obesity is a battle that is being fought by millions of Americans, and a battle that Americans need help winning. One needs to look no further than the incessant commercials and advertisements on everything from gym memberships, meal plans, to fat-fighting pills to know this is a market with lots of earning potential. The wearable computer company that we came up with is called BL Inc. (also known as Best Life Inc.), and the product is the BL Band. Basically, the BL Band is a wristband that can track and record levels of food consumption and physical activity throughout the day, as well as the wearer’s heart rate and blood pressure. The device sends information to a personalized computer program which can be used by doctors, nutritionists, and even trainers to help monitor their patients’ battle of the bulge. The BL Band and the information it gathers and records would help doctors, nutritionists, and/or trainers understand their patient/customer more, as well as assist them in creating the proper regimental program which is dependent completely on the patients/customers day-to-day lifestyle. The BL Band would help these profession’s better understand the bodies of their patients. For example, the BL Band would help a trainer monitor how their customers body reacts to exercise at certain hours of the day, which type of exercise is effecting the body the most, and what exercise regimen has been the most productive for their trainee. For a nutritionist, the BL Band would help monitor how their patients body reacts to certain foods at certain times of the day, and therefore help create the most specific nutrition plan possible. As far as the business model for the BL Band goes, BL Inc. would outsource the research and production of the materials needed to make the wristband to companies such as Xybernaut or VivoMetrics, or universities with wearable computer sectors such as MIT or Carnegie Melon University. BL Inc. would then sell the BL Band to doctors, nutritionists, gyms, and even

common drugstores such as RiteAid or CVS, creating a business to business transaction. The BL Band is a non-evasive and simple way for professionals and everyday people to monitor their health, which is a right and an advantage that should be guaranteed to all, any where at any time. Wearable Computers: Gaming Technological Opportunity Overview: The majority of wearable computing in the gaming industry comes in the form of virtual reality or computer devices that can be worn by a user to interact with videogames. PC News described wearable computers as “a computer that is subsumed into the personal space of the user, controlled by the user, and has both operational and interactional constancy, i.e. is always on and always accessible.”(PC News) The first forms of virtual reality games included 1000CS (1991) by Virtuality and Virtual Boy (1995) by Nintendo. These games came with wearable glasses to give the user the feel of being immersed inside the 3D games while using a controller to execute user commands. The 3D images comprised of only red LED lights to minimize costs and having the lowest drain on battery life but the systems didn’t last because they were not cost effective and the virtual reality glasses were easily broken.

Virtual Boy Mario Tennis Image Wearable computer gaming has advanced over time with more elaborate headsets and wearable computer devices to give the user a more realistic experience in gaming. The Contextual Computing Group of the Georgia Institute of Technology are one of the first to create the

WARPING system that uses AR (Augmented Reality) technology. WARPING stands for Wearable Augmented Reality for Personal, Intelligent, and Networked Gaming and allows the user to mix computer-generated 3D images with the external environment. A system spawned from this initial prototype was the Tinmith AR System which is an example of a very sophisticated advancement in virtual reality allowing the user to input, mix, and view computer images within the real environment.

The Tinmith AR system is a wearable computer virtual reality system that allows the user to apply computer-generated 3D images to any external environment. Augmented Reality is the registration of projected computer-generated images over a user’s view of the physical world. By allowing the user to input and interact with 3D images in the physical world, it enhances the gaming experience and allows for maximum mobility beyond that of any current system on the market. Games such as ARQuake are the first types of videogames that take previous games (Quake series 1996 – 2002) and use an AR system, such as the Tinmith AR system, to play the game in a more mobile, virtual reality environment. AR systems are also

being used for programs that enhance military simulation, agricultural and mining visualizations, architecture, and entertainment.

A-Rage system which is a high-end commercial version of an AR system for gaming Despite the recent advances in wearable computing for the gaming industry such as Augmented Reality, wearable computing is still considered in its very early stages of developing. Many AR hardware systems have been built by different independent companies but are still very expensive and lack the volume of software programs to turn these systems into commercial gold mines like Sony’s PS3 or Nintendo’s Wii. Also, many AR system creators have created websites and articles on the technology to get software developers interested in AR and possibly want to create programs and games for their systems. With AR still being relatively young and new to many gamers and potential users, we see an opportunity to capitalize on such revolutionary technology.

Sources of Entrepreneurial Opportunity: • Incongruity – So much designing and gaming, which is supposed to be as realistic as possible, is being done through completely computer-generated images and environments on 3D screens. If you wanted to feel like you’re in a game where aliens are invading the world then you should be able to play this game right in your own environment. Instead of pointing a Wii remote at a limited TV screen to shoot 3D bad guys, why not expand

the screen to fit your complete 360 degree environment to really be engulfed into a shooting game. Also, for designing rooms or buildings, why use computer-generated images on computer-generated replicas of a certain room when you could just use the actual room to see how a sofa would look sitting next to the television? New Knowledge – Augmented Reality is relatively a new technology because it has yet to be refined for use by the general public. Most uses are customized by private companies and are extremely costly to implement. However, with this new type of technology, we see a huge opportunity in becoming one of the first companies to capitalize on the beginning of what we believe is a revolutionary way of simulating and gaming. Process needs – AR systems are still refining their ways to develop and standardize software programs to be used by their systems. With this in mind, we believe we could help facilitate this process and standardize our software programs in a way to fit just about any AR system for whatever the system was designed for (i.e. gaming, designing). Change in Industry or Market Structure – The gaming and simulating world is always striving to become more high-tech and realistic for users. Gamers just don’t want to play videogames button jamming on a controller anymore, they want to feel like they are in the game (i.e. Wii bowling). With AR technology, this allows gamers and simulations to become more real by mixing the environment with computer images.

Business Concept: To exploit the opportunities that were created by Augmented Reality systems, we came up with ARware to create, develop, and engineer software programs and videogames designed specifically AR systems. With the advancement in AR systems, it takes unique designing for software developers to create programs that can be used for AR systems because of the complexity of mixing the computer-generated graphics with the external environment. ARware will develop unique software programs and games written in common programming languages that are fit to be used with various AR systems. These programs could then be used by AR system creators to increase popularity of the new technology and so they could begin to sell their product beyond the scope of just hardcore high-end video gamers. Software programs ARware would create, for example, could be programs for architects to visualize their construction projects using computer-generated images to enhance designing. Other possible programs would be used for military simulations, medical simulation enhancement, educational programs, and of

course videogames. ARware simply designs new programs through software development that can be easily modified to work on the current various AR systems just like how EA Sports makes Madden games which is then modified to be played on multiple gaming platforms such as the PS3 and X-Box 360. Business Models: The business model ARware will be based on is the Manufacturer or Direct Model. First, we must establish relationships with different AR system developers to ensure we develop software with the right programming languages and specifics so they can be used by the various systems. For instance, the Tinmith AR system uses flexible software based off of the C++ language. After establishing relationships and strategic alliances with these companies, we will then develop software programs that are pre-negotiated with the companies to ensure ARware creates popular programs. Sales contracts will be established before the beginning of any software development project to ensure that we are not making programs that are obsolete or that will have no demand. After a program or game is complete, we modify the software to fit the various AR systems and then complete the contracts by sending out the programs to the different AR system businesses. We hope that eventually AR systems will continue to gain in popularity and that technological costs will continue to be reduced so one day the AR systems will become commercially available like the current gaming or DVD platforms. Once this happens, our business model will change from selling to businesses (B2B) to selling our programs directly to consumers (B2C) through burned disks like other videogame developers. The Merchant Model can also be applied because we will wholesale copies of software programs we create. Target Market:

AR system companies, like A-Rage, Tinmith, WARPING, Japanese companies, and other major hardware developers who would like to expand the popularity of their unique systems by having more software programs tailored for their systems. Most of these companies are independent, small private companies who lack the access to major software developing companies. Unique Competitive Advantage: The competitive advantage we bring is being a first-mover tailored for the AR industry. Since so many AR systems are made by completely different companies for completely different reasons, they develop software that is also tailored only for their systems. By developing software on a mainstream channel, we can make programs that are tailored specifically for AR technology but can be also used by the many different systems out there. With such a specific market niche, there has yet to be a program developer specifically for AR and that is the reason the companies are so fragmented still. We want to alliance with all these different AR systems so we can bring them together and increase the popularity of AR to the mainstream audience. We will write programs for AR systems to be used in many fields of work such as real estate development or surgery simulations. The competitive advantage lies in the fact that the current market is so fragmented and has yet to realize the possibilities of standardization and mainstream development. Technological Feasibility: Writing software for AR systems is technologically feasible because the various systems use the same types of mainstream computer languages, such as C and C++, and the systems have similar input/output capabilities just like a normal computer (i.e. disk drive or USB drive). However, software developing for AR systems is very complicated because of the low level of

standardization and fragmented systems. Programs can be made but at a very slow pace because of the complexity of AR systems for 3D images and lack of resources, both human and technological, to create more programs. Through working with the hardware developers and their programmers, we will overcome this slow development by specializing in only software development and programming and leaving the hardware issues to the AR system creators. Through collaboration, we can speed up the process of making more advanced videogames and programs for AR systems. Significant Risks: There is a risk with technological barriers due to the relatively newness of AR technology. With so many fragmented AR companies, many company’s systems will not be compatible with the programs we develop. Our goal is to find the AR companies that have similar technologies and use the same programming languages and then alliance ourselves to these companies to develop standardized software programs for them that allow for simple re-modifications to fit each platform. There is also an issue with costs. With the technology still being relatively new, research and development will play a heavy role in creating a standardized form of program developing. These costs are currently unknown but should not be so high to make the business unfeasible. Why this Business Concept? There are already plenty of AR systems out in the market that are sold to high-end gamers, private companies, and even the military. These systems are abundant and are usually very customized to tailor a few specific programs and needs. ARware just focuses on the software developing because there is a lack of programs that can be used by these systems. Even a few innovators of the technology made a call for more computer engineers to develop

programs for this technology! We also believe that Augmented Reality technology is the future for simulations and gaming because its applicable to the real world instead of a TV screen. Our goal is to take AR technology mainstream to get commercial appeal so many other companies are aware of its benefits to their businesses that involve designing or visualizing how certain ideas interact with the real environment.

Works Cited -- Introduction Mann, Steven (1998). Definition of wearable computer. Retrieved March 25, 2008, Web site: Works Cited -- Military McHale, John. "Wearable computers and the military: The smaller the better." November, 2005. Military & Aerospace Electronics. 15 Apr 2008 . "Future Force Warrior (FFW)." RDECOM. . Word Cited – Sports “ACA-representing doctors of chiropractic.” Facts and Figures. American Chiropractic Association. 09 Apr 2008


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