Disney sponsors wearable tech competition

Six start-ups could test gadgets with Disney and McLaren in IC tomorrow's wearables contest

Disney is one of several companies sponsoring a new competition for wearable technology start-ups.

Six successful entrepreneurs will get the chance to test their gadgets with the film studio and other sponsors of the IC tomorrow's Contest for Wearable Technologies, including McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT), Loughborough University, Queen Mary University of London, IT outsourcer Atos and glh Hotels.

The winner will receive a prize of 210,000 from IC tomorrow, part of the UK's Innovate UK body, which is charged with supporting small businesses.

In addition to being able to work on their ideas with industry partners, the top six start-ups will each receive up to 35,000 in funding.

Network Rail is interested in technology that is reactive to its environment, while Disney wants entrants who have designed wearables for children.

Shira Feuer, Disney's head of social media and innovation across EMEA, said: "Some of the areas of consideration are: is it entertaining, is it user-friendly for kids, is it safe, can it connect to other products, can it be personalised?

"The problem this is solving is that it can be tough to keep children entertained so a fun new wearable device could be the perfect product for them."

MAT will focus on fitness trackers and sensor tech, while others welcome entrepreneurs covering areas including identity and authentification in sectors such as hospitality and entertainment.

Geoff McGrath, vice president of MAT, said: "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."

The deadline for applications is 10 March, with the last trial launch for finalists set for spring 2016. For further details please click here.

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