Solar Impulse: A Wearable Technology Enabled Journey

The world is watching the most incredible journey since mankind landed on the moon, the first round the world solar powered flight.  Solar Impulse is the plane, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg are the pilots and wearable technology is an enabler in the journey.  Today during a Facebook LIVE Q&A session, I asked Piccard, who is the initiator and chairman of this adventure, this question:

You are coming to Silicon Valley, the epicenter of the wearable technology revolution.  Can you talk about the Omega cuffs and other sensing technologies that help you stay fit, alert and safe while in flight?  

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In reply, Piccard shared how he uses meditation and emWave Technology by HeartMath. “Its a mix of technology and meditation and its quite interesting,” he explained with a cheerful grin.

In addition to leveraging wearable tools to meditate, the pilot suits Piccard and Borschberg wear include special cuffs made by Omega.  The cuffs are similar to cuffs used to check blood pressure but include an interesting connected feature, they vibrate in order to alert the pilot of critical information about the plane.

Thus, sensing and notification technology allows the pilot time to relax and even sleep while flying for days on end.  These sensing and notification technologies are being built into all kinds of wearable technologies, including the two smart watches I wear, the Apple Watch and the Moto360.  Both of these wearables have heart rate monitors and both of vibrate with notifications.

But Piccard and Borschberg are leveraging the technology to accomplish something far more amazing than letting me know about a text message arriving.  They are showing the world what is possible with clean energy.  In his response, Piccard also expressed that Silicon Valley is “really the place for pioneers, of pioneers and innovation.”  Indeed, he is right and he will be welcome here as a pioneer in solar energy when he touches down tomorrow.

 

 

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