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A new flavor of french fries—Gilroy Garlic Fries—are currently being tested in McDonald’s restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Using a purée made with world-famous garlic from Gilroy, California—the Garlic Capital of the World—the fries are being served in four restaurants in the South Bay.Chains: McDonald's
Disruptive technologies are all about challenging the lifestyle boundaries that guide us as consumers. These innovations thrust us into the unknown, redefining our daily routines to establish new markets the world never even knew it needed — and no disruptive technology has evolved faster than wearables.
Over the last five years, demand for this fusion of cutting-edge technology, fashion, design and healthcare innovation has completely and utterly exploded. By 2018, analysts reckon the wearable technology market will start bringing in an estimated $8.3 billion per year.
Market pioneers are already reaping the benefits of that growth. Researchers at Gartner are forecasting 274.6 million wearable devices to fly off the shelves in 2016. Yet the sector has rapidly moved beyond your average, run-of-the-mill smartwatch.
Companies like Sensoria have got far more dynamic innovations in mind.Sensoria Wearable Tech
Sensoria Fitness is one of the wearable industry’s fastest rising stars. Established in late 2010 by some of Microsoft’s leading minds, Sensoria has already redefined the potential of athletes across the globe via its cutting-edge textile sensors.
With the aid of a custom-built app, Sensoria’s sleek smart socks, sports bra and fitness t-shirt enable coaches, professional athletes and amateur enthusiasts from all walks of life to track an unprecedented amount of data whilst working out. Sensoria wearable tech is award-winning and can help break down someone’s running technique, tell them more about their heart rate, pace, cadence, stride and how well they exercise.
Yet according to cofounder and CEO Davide Vigano, Sensoria’s innovative take on wearables extends far beyond basic analytics.
“Smart garments are becoming the new standard in the fitness industry,” he says. “The technology serves to not only generally track fitness and health metrics, but data collected can be used widely for self-improvement and potentially for injury prevention.
“We felt that there was an opportunity for the sports apparel and fashion industry to reinvent itself through technology, so we set out to create an integrated family of smart garments that behave like a biometric sensing computer that feels natural with elegant, cool looks.”
Vigano and his team have certainly got a wealth of experience within the technology industry. Having spent over two decades heading some of Microsoft’s most successful divisions, Vigano ultimately settled as the General Manager of its Healthcare Solutions Group. There, he presided over the multinational’s diverse HealthVault range — which includes market-leading brands like Fitbit and SINOVO.
Since launching Sensoria, Vigano has been able to develop these concepts further still — helping wearables to evolve far beyond the sector’s current mainstream offerings.
“What we wear is an expression of who we are,” he says. “Personally I have no appetite to wear more hard plastic or metal on my body beyond my wrist to gather data and quantify myself. The wearable devices should disappear to the human eye and get woven into the fabric of our clothes and our lives.”
With that in mind, Sensoria wearable tech now bases its offerings on the vision that “The Garment Is the Computer” — that the garment itself should replace the clunky plastic of a wearable device.
“What differentiates us from all the other wrist-based wearable products out there isn’t just the novel data we are able to capture and the accuracy of our step counter or cadence monitor, but rather the fact that our sensors are fully embedded into the garment itself and nearly impossible to detect by the naked eye,” Vigano says. “Basically, we ensure our stuff fits seamlessly into our customers’ lives. They don’t even have to think about it.”
That mission certainly rings true with consumers. Sensoria has already earned itself a gaggle of accolades and endorsements that have helped solidify its market position within the up-and-coming wearables sector. Yet more impressive still are the partnerships Sensoria has forged in order to continue rolling out innovative products on a regular basis.
Last year, Sensoria teamed up with racing experts at Renault to construct a ground-breaking racing suit for professional drivers. And Vigano and his team kick started 2016 by unveiling a new joint initiative with Microsoft that will provide soccer teams with an unprecedented level of analytical opportunities using sensors in each player’s cleats to collect data about their performance.
That being said, Sensoria certainly isn’t limiting the potential of its technology to only professional athletes.
Although the company’s products provide clear implications for professionals and coaching staff, early critics have argued the dizzying level of data Sensoria’s smart garments collect may not be quite so useful in the hands of everyday athletes.
Vigano dismissed the claim by pointing out just how simple Sensoria’s innovative garments are to use.
“Our system can be extremely beneficial for professional athletes, coaches and trainers, but we designed the products with everyday athletes in mind,” he says. “It provides a lot of data, but it is all useful data that can be used in real time and after analyzing post-workout feedback. The system informs runners not only how fast and how far, but also how well they run.”
Yet even as Sensoria works to improve the lives of amateur and professional athletes, Vigano and his team are keen to prove that Sensoria’s technology has far greater ramifications for the wider world.
In 2015, the company teamed up with healthcare giant Orthotics Holding Inc. to deliver a pioneering product designed to assist the 14 million Americans aged 65 or older who experience a fall each year. Dubbed the Moore Balance Brace, the device uses Sensoria’s technology to help clinicians detect patient adherence, activity levels, time on the ground when they’ve fallen and future center of balance shifts.
Sensoria is also working with a start-up in Maine that’s been using their Sensoria Developer Kit to offer an innovative solution for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Smartphone app upBed connects to Sensoria’s smart sock to detect when a patient leaves the bed, and immediately notifies caregivers via text message. It also tracks a patient’s sleeping patterns, and uses Bluetooth to keep up to three individuals in the loop at all times.
Yet according to Vigano, Sensoria and its ever-increasing army of industry-leading partners have only just scratched the surface concerning the technology’s implications for the healthcare sector.
“We’ve got even more in the works, stuff that could aid in rehabilitation after a stroke or post-surgery — with the ultimate goal of speeding up overall recovery time,” he says. “The possibilities are endless.”
So long as the wearables sector continues to sail along its current trajectory, Vigano seems absolutely right. Experts are forecasting the overall market for wearable technology to reach $31.27 billion in the next four years. In the short-term, that growth will likely be driven by increasing sales of ordinary smartwatches and first generation plastic wearables.
Yet in the long-term, Sensoria wants to drastically expand that market by redefining what consumers should expect from the so-called Internet of Things.
“Our long term goal is to become the standard ingredient of wearables, but we want to take it a step beyond that,” Vigano says. “Thanks to our new Sensoria Core platform we are more of an ‘Internet of Me’ company that can IoT enable any garment versus a wearable device company.
“If you start from that idea and just assume that every single garment has the capability to become a computer, then everything comes down from that. That is a big assumption, but it is happening today. We are selling products today that have that capability, so it can be done.”
Caribou Coffee will keep consumers cooler all summer long with the introduction of its newly improved Caribou Coolers—made simply, to simply taste better. The blended iced coffee beverages feature real, simple ingredients, continuing the coffeehouse's commitment to superior taste. Caribou is also adding three new Cooler varieties to the menu for the summer season: Mint Chocolate, Salted Caramel, and Raspberry.Chains: Caribou Coffee
Summertime memories are often tied to our senses. Starbucks new Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino blended beverage evokes the smell of freshly made waffle cones wafting from the neighborhood ice cream parlor. The beverage is available in Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada starting May 3 and throughout the summer while supplies last.
Maretta Delacruz of the Starbucks beverage development team described how they brought this year’s new Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino to life.Chains: Starbucks
Members of 10 teams of high school students were awarded scholarships at the 15th Annual National ProStart Invitational after two days of intense culinary and restaurant management competition in Grapevine, Texas.
Nearly 400 student competitors from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) ProStart program competed in two distinct competitions—management and culinary—that showcase the most important skills needed on either side of the restaurant and foodservice industry.
Voting for Small Business Book Awards is now open and will run through May 11, 2016, at 12:00 pm Pacific Time Nominations opened on March 2, 2016, and since then we’ve had nearly 200 business books nominated by the Small Business Trends Community. Over the last eight weeks, hundreds of you submitted the books that taught, moved and inspired you to grow your business and now we pass the baton over to the community.Voting is Open for the 2016 Small Business Book Awards
You can see all of the books and resources that were nominated by clicking on “Search” in the navigation bar. Or click on “Categories” select the category you want to see and browse around.How to Vote
To vote, simply visit the Business Book Awards site and click on the red VOTE button. You can also click on the “Categories” tab and select the categories you’d like to see. We have six categories; Motivation, Social Media, Startup, Marketing, Management, Economics, Technology and Resources. Then simply click on the “VOTE” button for the books you would like to vote for.You Only Need to Vote Once During the Period
You can vote for as many books as you like and you only need to vote once for each book during the entire voting period. For more details, check out the rules page.Support Your Favorite Books with Comments
You can also leave your support comments and feedback for any book using Facebook comments. Leaving a Facebook comment will not only show your support, but will give the community additional information and support for your favorite books.How the Winners are Chosen
There will be two kinds of winners for the Small Business Book Awards; Community Choice Winners and Judges Winners. The Community Choice winners are those books that received the most community votes. The Judges Winners are chosen by our esteemed panel of expert judges who will make their choices based on their area of expertise and review of the books.Winners Announcements
The Community Choice Winners will be announced on May 11 and the Judges Winners will be announced on May 19, 2016. Follow the voting and awards on Twitter on #BizBookAwards and @BizBookAwards for the latest updates.
Voting Is Open For The 2016 Small Business Book Awards
Image: Small Business Trends
In honor of Mother’s Day, Wildflower Bread Company is giving one lucky mom the chance to win Wildflower for a year. Customers are invited to post a picture of an awesome mom using the hashtag #WFMom on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. One lucky winner will be randomly chosen on May 9 to receive Wildflower for a year awarded as $780 in gift cards.
Plus, all moms who dine at Wildflower Bread Company on Sunday, May 8, will receive a free loaf of bread while supplies last.Chains: Wildflower Bread Company