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SAN FRANCISCO — When you’re riding a bike, you want car drivers to see you. So Intel executive Genevieve Bell showed off a cool solution that embeds LED lighting in a jacket for a biker.

The biker rode on to the stage during Bell’s keynote speech today at the Intel Developer Forum. He turned around and showed that he had lights on the back of his jacket. Those lights could indicate which way he was turning.

“Our clothing can keep us safe,” said Bell, who is director of interaction and experience research at Intel Labs. She is a trained anthropologist, and so her keynote is different from the typical tech executive’s talk.

The demo was created by the Fraunhofer Institute as part of ongoing research on wearable computing. It uses flexible electronic circuitry and each light is attached to a different accelerometer so that the motion of the body can operate the lights.

So far, Bell has mentioned:

  • To understand tech, you have to pay attention to what people do, not what they say.
  • There are 6.3 billion mobile subscriptions on the planet. We’re adding 3.7 million devices every day, or 154,000 per hour. In the U.S., there are 1.9 million U.S. cell towers.
  • The average American has 18 passwords.
  • You can sit in a coffee shop with a dual-screen laptop and send messages to others in the shop with your second screen.
  • People want tech for mobility to be truly personal, unburdened, let them stay in the flow, and help them make them their best selves.
  • There are 7 billion technology futures, not just one.
Intel wearable clothing

Above: Intel’s wearable clothing.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi


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