Technology On The Horizon: Health conscious on minds of developers
Rounding up some of the top new innovations from the annual Consumer Electronics Show, Adam Balkin takes a look at how technology is not just trying to entertain us but also help make us healthier and filed the following report.
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Each year at CES there seems to be one category that just absolutely blows up, everyone and his brother is making one. One year it was tablets, another eReaders, this year without question was wearable fitness devices: Bracelets, watches, arm bands, belt clips, all trying to count your steps, measure your sleep, with companion apps to keep track of it all. And they’re not just geared towards adults anymore, iBitz by GeoPalz tries to get kids moving by making a big game of it all.
"The kid actually gets to play a Tamagatchi character on their phone. So they keep the character alive using physical activity. He's lethargic when he wakes up in the morning and you have to take steps in order to wake him up. It also gives you the opportunity, the steps actually convert to 50 other games we’ve incorporated," said Zan O’Leary of GeoPalz.
For adults looking for one, boy will you have choices this year. Whatever size, shape, and color you’d like, chances are you’ll find it.
If you're the type of person who thinks, 'Yeah, sounds neat but I’d probably use it for a week and then throw it away', well now there's one you can use for a week then throw away.
BodyMedia Fitness, one of the pioneers in this space, is coming out with the View, a waterproof, big Band-Aid type sensor you wear for seven days then chuck.
"Someone who just wants to explore what can be tracked and monitored off the body it gives them an opportunity to look at it for the first seven days, also could be medical applications people who are discharged from a hospital setting. It gives an opportunity for the physician to be able to monitor them for the next seven days," explained Gary Rurup of BodyMedia Fitness.
Finally, to find out how the environment around you is contributing to your health, or health issues, there's the Lapka: Chronic worriers beware of this one.
"It’s a set of four analog sensors for iOS devices that allow you to measure background radiation, the density of high and low frequency electromagnetic fields, whether produce contains a significant amount of nitrates and temperature and humidity," said Greg Fong of Lapka.
The companion app not only makes sense of the numbers for you but also lets you geo-tag readings helping Lapka community members map healthy areas versus unhealthy ones.