£210,000 wearable tech competition launched by IC tomorrow

Six start-ups will have chance to work with likes of Disney, McLaren and Network Rail

With 2015 heralded as ‘the year of wearables’, IC tomorrow has announced a £210,000 prize for start-ups and small businesses with innovative ideas for wearable technology.

The competition categories include hospitality, entertainment, design, sport and wellbeing, health and safety and accessibility – with judges looking for innovations in areas such as health and fitness trackers, identity and authentication and the pioneering use of smart textiles.

Six winners will be chosen to trial their technology, receive promotion, support and advice to accelerate their ideas to a commercial stage, as well as receiving £35,000 in funding.

The competition is backed by an intimidating roster of business heavyweights including Disney, McLaren Applied Technologies and Loughborough University, glh Hotels, Amey and Network Rail, Atos and Queen Mary University London.

Recently, a prize of £25,000 was awarded to colour changing cloak The Unseen in an IC tomorrow competition in partnership with Holition. The cloak was one of the leading exhibitors at Innovate UK 2014 and is set for growth in the coming year.

With the global technology sector estimated to reach $5.7bn by 2018, tools once consigned to the realm of science fiction are looking increasingly likely to become part of our everyday lives.

The six categories and their respective partners for the IC Tomorrow wearable tech competition are:

  • Wearables for Kids – Disney
  • Sensor technology and tracking performance – McLaren Applied Technologies and Loughborough University
  • Guest centred experience through wearables – glh Hotels
  • Reacting to the local environment – Amey & Network Rail
  • Unlocking accessibility through wearables – Atos
  • Plug-and-play for textile wearables – Queen Mary University London

IC tomorrow programme manager, Matt Sansam, said: “Wearables will be making an increasingly big impact across UK industries in the coming year. We are looking for ambitious concepts that explore wearable technologies in new ways.

“The early movers identified in this contest will benefit from partnerships with established industry players, who will help bring their ideas to market.”

Geoff McGrath, vice president of McLaren Applied Technologies, commented:

“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.”

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