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Griffith design students create new wearable tech

Image Credits: Griffith Uni, Press Release

Four design students from the Queensland College of Art have created a device to promote better hygiene practices in response to the COVID pandemic.

Georgia Dooley, Shaun Lister, Melanie Watson and Jamie Parker teamed up for the QCA Wearable Technology course where they conceptualised and fabricated a prototype of the Biolight, a product that shines UV light onto the wearers’ hands, or an object, showing bacteria and germs.

“In imagining a future where pandemics persist and worsen, we wondered how wearable technologies could help make this world more liveable,” Georgia said.

Shaun, who worked in a technical capacity on the project, said the group was inspired to design something that could solve new problems related to the global pandemic.

The team’s idea was to make a UV bracelet so that people could detect how clean their hands are. The design intent was to improve self-hygiene while incorporating self-expression, he said.

The students see wide-reaching future applications for the product, in everyday life and healthcare settings. They can see the concept being developed in the real world, possibly to aid the health sector, or even commercially, to help keep people’s hands clean during a global pandemic.

The group was fortunate to receive help from QCA lecturer David Harris and course convenor Daniel Della-Bosca, who were both great at guiding the project and encouraging the team’s potential.

Melanie, who documented the project, describes the tutors at QCA as “extremely dedicated and involved. They really care about our continued development as creative practitioners,” she said.

The best thing about studying at QCA has been meeting like-minded people and establishing connections with creatives that have a broad range of skills.

Jamie, who led the project research, credits the hands-on experience gained in classes as a key element of the project’s success. “Studying at QCA, I’ve found the constant practical based learning really enforces practices of industry-based work,” he said.

Shaun said his studies at the QCA had given him the freedom to explore new ideas. “I’ve had many opportunities to challenge my creative thinking and build on skills with great support from my lecturers,” he said.

Demand for wearable tech growing

According to another article, the shipment volume of smart wearables globally stood at 266.3 million units in 2020 and is projected to reach 776.23 million units by 2026, registering a CAGR of 19.48% from 2021 to 2026.

Wearable technology, an emerging trend, integrates electronics to daily activities and addresses the changing lifestyles with the ability to be worn on any part of the body. Factors, such as the ability to connect to the internet and provide data exchange options between a network and a device, are leading to the trend of wearable technology.

Wearables have gained significant traction, owing to the boom in the fitness trend across consumers. According to an American multinational technology firm, the number of connected wearable devices is expected to increase from 593 million in 2018 to 1,105 million in 2022.

The smartwatch category is experiencing a rise, owing to additional features, like the brand that suits the everyday lifestyle.

The COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown restrictions across the globe have affected industrial activities across the world. The electronics industry is hit severely with a significant influence on its supply chain and production facilities. The production came to stand still in China and Taiwan during February and March, which influenced various OEMs across the globe.

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