The Intel Make it Wearable challenge winners were announced in San Francisco on Monday, and amid the fanfare it was British company Blocks (opens in new tab) that took home the fan favourite award.
The London-based startup presented a wearable watch created from different links or blocks that can be programmed to offer up different functions - such as social media sharing or GPS capabilities. Blocks plans to make the software open source so any company would be able to develop a block smartwatch and sell it. The idea is that the final customer would ultimately be creating their own wearable device with all functionality they want and none of the unnecessary extras.
Meanwhile, the overall winner of the Make it Wearable Challenge was Nixie (opens in new tab). The wearable and flying camera with autonomous drone capabilities took home half a million US dollars (about £314,500) and a slew of business cards from interested award attendees.
While the idea of a carrying a camera drone on your wrist seems a bit gimmicky on paper, tech nerds the world over would likely be queuing to get their hands on one should it come to market. Even Intel's new device group general manager, Mike Bell, mentioned that he was concerned about the battery life and possible real world functionality of a device such as Nixie - but that it was still extremely cool. He also says that Intel is investigating energy management companies so as to improve hardware and ensure better battery power in our devices in future.
OpenBionics, a company based out of Bristol, took the second prize of $200 000 (£125,819) for their robotic limbs manufactured via 3D printers. The nature of this wearable would ultimately make access to robotic prosthetics far more affordable to those who need them.
While the winners and top ten finalists have produced exciting wearable prototypes that combine ground-breaking technology with real-world functionality, these are still just prototypes. We will have to wait and see if any eventually make it to market.