Wearable technology has taken many forms in its brief history, from smart watches and miniature medical sensors to the short-lived Google Glass. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are now proposing a wearable cloud jacket, with powerful yet lightweight computing capability.
Ragib Hasan, an assistant professor of computer and information sciences in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences, and Rasib Khan, a recent postdoctoral graduate student, pitched the wearable cloud jacket at the 40th Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society International Conference on Computers, Software & Applications in June.
The two modified an old winter jacket with 10 Raspberry Pi’s, inexpensive computers the size of credit cards, along with power systems and a remote touch screen display. The end result is a computing solution much more powerful than that typically found in smart phones or exercise trackers.
The cloud jacket prototype has roughly 10 gigabytes of RAM, while the typical smartphone boasts only one to three gigabytes. The cloud jacket would also have the capability, according to the designers, to better manage data being collected by smart phones, watches and wearable health monitors.
“The wearable cloud can act as an application platform, so instead of modifying or having to upgrade hardware, this wearable model provides a platform, and developers can build anything on top of it, ” Khan told UAB writer Tiffany Westry.
Text by Dave Helms