Disney and McLaren to fund wearable tech competition for start-ups
Disney and McLaren Applied Technologies are among sponsors for a new wearable tech competition run by IC tomorrow, part of the Technology Strategy Board in the UK, which will see a prize pot of £210,000 offered to start-ups.
Six categories comprise the competition, with six winning companies set to win up to £35,000 each and the opportunity to trial their technology with industry partners, while still retaining their intellectual property.
Judges will be looking for commercial, creative and technical innovations in areas such as health and fitness trackers, identity and authentication, and pioneering use of smart textiles. Categories include hospitality, entertainment, design, sport and wellbeing, health and safety, and accessibility.
Disney is asking entrants to create wearables for kids; McLaren Applied Technologies and Loughborough University are looking for sensor technology and tracking performance and Glh Hotels want to see guest centred experience through wearables.
Meanwhile Network Rail is asking entrants for technology that reacts to the local environment; Queen Mary University wants plug-and-play for textile wearables and IT company Atos wants to see entries which unlock accessibility through wearables.
Geoff McGrath, vice president, McLaren Applied Technologies, said: “McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT) is proud to support the IC tomorrow wearable tech contest and contribute to the innovative development of this significant growth market.
“MAT has developed unique expertise in real-time data monitoring and analytics to optimise the performance of both individuals and teams, and we’ve seen first-hand how wearable technology is transforming the health and sports markets. MAT is excited to be part of a contest that will help to drive the next generation of wearable technology, which has the potential for positive societal impact.”
The deadline for applications is 12pm on 10 March 2015. Shortlisted entries will be invited to a live pitch and Q&A with a panel of judges. The final trial launch for successful applicants is scheduled to take place in spring 2016.
Last year Walt Disney World released the MagicBand, a wrist band which sends and recieves RF signals around the park, to enable visitors to carry out a variety of actions including parents allocating money to children to spend.