You may know him as a musician or most recently as Jimmy Fallon’s partner in crime in the series turned pop song “Ew” with his alter ego mir.i.am, but William Adams, AKA will.i.am, is making a new name for himself with the release of his new wearable device The PULS, announced today at Dreamforce.
— mobilefomo (@mobilefomo) October 16, 2014
will.i.am has been a long-time influencer in the tech sector and proponent of utilizing his music and popularity to make technology ‘cool’ among teenagers, and is on a mission to use technology to make science and engineering as appealing to young people as pop music. In 2011, he produced the TV show i.am.First: Science is Rock and Roll. It featured highlights from the 20th annual First Robotics Competition and a live performance by the Black Eyed Peas in front of the international teams of high-school pupils taking part. Now he’s venturing into technology through the wearable world. He says, “The reason I started i.am+ and moved into the tech world is because of what the tech world is calling Wearables.” will.i.am goes on to state in a Huffington Post article:
Through success achieved via my music career, and then venturing into consumer electronics, I have always carved out time for philanthropic activities at the same time. My message has not wavered: a good education is a gift, and that kids should take interest in science, technology mathematics and engineering (STEM).
will.i.am even credited the students from FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) as his biggest inspiration for going back to college to study computer science while accepting the inaugural “Make It Loud” award at FIRST Championship. During his speech, he encouraged kids to keep pursuing their passion for science and technology, saying that the influencers and superstars of tomorrow won’t be entertainers or athletes, they will be coders, innovators, and thinkers. Towards the end of his speech, he invited up Cynthia Erenas, a high school student who grew up in the same neighborhood, Boyle Heights. The atmosphere became very emotional when she thanked Will for giving her and her peers so many opportunities and how grateful she is for choosing education over drugs and gangs.
“Technology is the way out,” – Cynthia Erenas, student app developer for i.am+ #DF14
— Sarah Buhr (@sarahbuhr) October 16, 2014
— Jason Best (@bestmantweets) October 16, 2014
According to will.i.am’s website:
Technology is infused into the world of will.i.am as an essential element. It powers everything that he does. As the Director of Creative Innovation for Intel, will.i.am conceptualizes the next frontier of interactive technology by acting as an idea generator. Earlier this year, will.i.am debuted the first song on another planet, premiering his song, “Reach for the Stars” from Mars to mark the successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover. His interest in the interplay between digital photography and augmented technology, will.i.am also created the i.am+ foto.soho, an iPhone case that dramatically improves the quality and social aspects of the built-in camera.
If you want to see even more of the innovative and inspirational highlights, watch will.i.am’s keynote address, “Wrist Power: The Vision of Wearable Computing and Fashion Tech”.