41st WT Conference San Francisco Day 1

Zimmer and Peacock is the World's leading ISO13485 contract developer and manufacturer of wearable electrochemical biosensors, we recently attended the 41st WT Conference, and here is a personal blog.


 No conference is complete without the designated sightseeing trip before the conference begins,. Here we are at Golden Gate Bridge viewing the Bridge and Alcatraz Island, for me I think I can escape Alcatraz despite my colleague’s scepticism. 

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I brought along ZP’s wearable sensor technology and the miniature nature of our technology meant we were able to clear the airport security without incident, 


We had several technologies on the both including: wearable integrated circuits, our EC-flex that can be integrated with our hyper value sensors to monitor different biomarkers. The wearable sweat sensors that we have at ZP includes: lactate, chloride, sodium, and potassium.


This sweat detection technologies are useful for hydration monitoring, especially in athletes who are looking to monitor their performance. We also bought along our minimally invasive R&D microneedles that are inserted into the interstitial fluid to detect biomarkers such as glucose and ketones, which is highly relevant for patients with diabetes who are looking to monitor their glucose levels continuously with real-time monitoring. At ZP we are also aware of interest among athletes for monitoring glucose to understand 'fuel-on-board', and lactate for stress/fatigue.

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Day 1 started with keynote speaker Joseph Parasido from MIT who spoke about the “New Ways Wearables Will Bridge Real and Virtual”. He presented the wearable revolution which started with expressive footwear for dancers (Refer to image 6), which then led to speed activity monitoring for the Boston Red Sox team, where sensor nodes were placed on the baseball players to measure the athletes performance statistics.


The first day of the WT Conference had different topics including “Consumerization of Healthcare” and “Wearables for Safety at Work”, however the topic that stood out to ZP was “Wearables as Enablers of the 5 Senses of the Metaverse”. 




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 Aaron Wisniewski from OVR technologies  spoke on the power of smell in the metaverse -  “Smelling the Metaverse:  - How Olfactory Wearables are Changing our Digital and Physical Realities for the Better”.

In Aaron's talk we learnt that scent is a powerful part of every aspect of our lives, and our sense of smell is unique, linked to the limbic system in the brain (indicated in image 7), and that smell plays a major role in memory, emotion and behaviour, and in-part influences our unconscious behaviours and motivations. Not only can smell evoke an emotional response, it is also linked to our sense of taste with 80-90% of the 'taste experience', in fact coming from smell. Did you know that when tasting a strawberry, most of it the favour and essence comes from the smell, where a trillion different smells are detected? 


Smell  plays a large role in romantic kissing and has a big influence on who you love. We all have an odour signature, and it is based on a number of aspects including: our diet, what we drink and our immune system. When 2 people kiss, they are technically exchanging their genetic samples. If you enjoy kissing that one specific person, then you believe they are a good genetic match, with women being most attracted to the scent of a man who has a genetic code highly different from themselves. To take out the “love aspect”, people essentially use odour signatures and are naturally inclined to  scents that would put potential offspring at some genetic advantage. This all makes sense as our sense of smell is developed at just 10 weeks old in our mother’s womb and is a primary way to recognise our mother before the development of  ears and eyes.



However, despite the sense of smell being so significant to our emotions,  it has been forgotten in the digital era, and therefore Aaron has introduced his Digital Olfaction Solution, which is based on using immersive technologies to amplify and focus our sense of smell. His solution is personal, wearable and spatial (demonstrated in image 8). He discusses the architecture of scent, where he explains the creation of a scent unique to each person.



This device can not only help with training to save lives in high-risk industries like defence, oil & gas, and aviation to improve hazard ID analysis, but also wellness. Combing both virtual reality and olfactory training to induce feelings of calm and well-being and to trigger positive emotions, as 75% of emotions come from scent, therefore reducing high anxiety and stress levels in the body.

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 A special mention also goes to Nimesha Ranasinghe who presented the concept of tasting in the metaverse, where it is now possible to virtually taste. Nimesha performed an experiment involving 3 main inputs, virtual stimulation, cutlery and colour, where a base solution of  fresh fruit juice was used and an electrical stimulation provided by 2 electrodes on the cutlery was combined  to produce a virtual lemonade taste sensation.


Nimesha has found that by stimulating and influencing  preconception and perception he can generate an overall lemonade flavour experience.


Tasting in the metaverse can provide the ability to use flavour media to improve peoples' lives in a positive way, for example in elderly patients and COVID patients who may have lost their sense of taste.


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The day ended with the Innovation Word Cup competition with great candidates, however the 3-minute pitch that stood out to ZP was a technology from Articulate Labs presented by Arjun, where they provide wearables for physical therapy and integrate it into everyday activity (Refer to image 11 and 12).


Day 1 of the 41ST WT Conference comes to an end with a networking reception and much excitement for day 2.


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