AURA Strap for Apple Watch - an accessory for an accessory for an iPhone! This clever watchstrap improves some of the Apple Watch's health/fitness tracking features and adds some sensing in the strap and analysis in their App and adds to the Watches capabilities to keep on top of performance and wellness when doing sports, on a diet or just want to stay fit and be healthy. The new strap and companion app (for Apple Watch and iPhone) help users to measure their body composition (fat/muscles percentage) and hydration levels to track fitness/diet progress and get more personalized insights to improve their lifestyle. Bioimpedance is the core technology which expands the Apple Watch health tracking capabilities. Analyzing the upper body, it can track lungs and breathing changes, compare them with pulse data and even assess risks of heart failure and notify the user, his doctor, or emergency contact about it. AURA Strap cleverly transfers results to the Watch via ultrasound, which is much more energy-efficient than BLE.

Oh, and it's quite a nice looking band as well. Noone will know what you are up to unless you tell them!

I have seen a number of stand alone, smartphone app and accessories over the past few years appearing on the scene. None of them have seemed to make it to critical mass in the consumer space. I'm not sure what the best form factor is, but if in fact the quality of the translation is not right on the money, that will be the stumbling block. This area was often inaccurate, at times humerous and sometimes created misunderstandings. Since this has improved greatly in the last year, the products now have a chance. I came upon this product as I was Judging entries for the Last Gadget Standing Event at CES 2020. The judges selected the Ambassador Interpreter as a finallist. It appears that it is a high quality translation tool for professionals and consumer travelers of all backgrounds. From training to travel, groups to solo, the wearable Ambassador allows you to have smooth conversations free from the constraints of language barriers. A frequent traveller's dream. Its wearable over-the-ear design makes it versatile for natural and professional-grade live translations.

Three main application areas are:
To Listen - As an interpreter, Ambassador actively listens for someone speaking near you and translates their speech into your native language. To Lecture - Ideal for groups and conferences, set your Ambassador to translate everything you say and stream it through your smartphone’s loudspeaker or a paired audio system for your audience. To Discuss and converse - Share one of the Ambassador units with the other person so you can both understand and communicate in your native languages real time.

Withings, pioneer of the digital health movement and connected analogue watches, unveiled its ScanWatch, a clinically validated hybrid smartwatch to detect both risk of arrhythmia (AFib) and sleep apnea – all from the wrist. Helping users and their physicians monitor overall health with a smartwatch that identifies highly prevalent cardiovascular and sleep issues early.
Worn throughout the day and night, ScanWatch can provide an early warning system, collecting and sharing critical health data. 

Although not a new capability in a smart watch/smartphone combination, it does increase the availability of AFib watches to most consumers from the top MHealth brands.  The real groundbreaker in this area was AliveCor who later merged with and incorporated the capability into OMRON’s watches. The latest version of Apple Watch now includes the capability as well. This all bodes well for the wellness/preemptive healthcare area for consumers. Giving early warning of conditions and acquiring important ECG data for personal early warning/physician diagnosis plus a database for further analysis across consumer sectors.  Through continuous monitoring of heart rate and detection of irregular heartbeat,the user can then take an ECG reading and in just 30 seconds get a more in depth analysis and storing of both data and initial determination for further action.

One thing for sure, there were plenty of AR headsets and glasses on show this year at CES! I saw 25 or 30, and probably didn’t see all of them. Lots of new ones. This is a good indication to me that AR has now graduated into the “…it’s going to happen and it’s going to be big…” category. This may also be driven by the emphasis that Apple and to some degree Google (and others) are placing on AR. But most that I saw were just the headgear, not the complete operating systems, apps platforms, ecosystem in place that the likes of Vuzix, Hololens and others have labored over for the past 10+ years and have in place.  For the most part the ones I saw were just headgear without the total solution, sectors and applications in the package or even fully understood. This is really where AR was 5 years ago, so I wish these Google Glass copycats the best of luck, but not where I would invest. There were a few that did catch my eye as being behind the leaders, but moving in that direction, and I have highlighted here six that I will be watching for progress over the next year or two.

 Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.

Published in VR, AR, 3D/360.

The FlexPai Foldable Smartphone is interesting, but it’s the flexible screen technology from Royole that really Caught My Eye! Screens as “Thin as a Butterfly’s Wing” they claim. Their overview of Flexible Display Technology:   “Flexible displays offer many advantages over conventional display technology. They are ultra-thin, light weight, bendable, portable, shatter-proof, unbreakable and low energy”.  Flexibledisplays such as these could profoundly affect the next generation of personal, even wearable products. Potentially enabling technology for brand new form factors and applications. I will be watching this space.

 Select "Read More" below to click on the weblinks in this entry.

Published in Other Amazing Stuff

Last Gadget Standing finalist

 

 Modius from Neurovalens - a few short, relaxing sessions a day apparently does the trick!

More and more, consumer wearables are making meaningful improvements to people’s well-being. Helping people achieve leaner, healthier bodies improves quality of life and could radically reduce healthcare costs and even save lives. So this one got my attention!

This product - Modius, is a non-invasive headset which, through vestibular nerve stimulation claims to do just that. The device was designed to “activate the epicenter in the brain - the hypothalamus - that causes people to struggle with their weight”.
Neurovalens, a neuroscience technology company headed up by Dr. Jason McKeown, launched the product last year after a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign and secured orders on a global scale. Results from users in 80 countries are now pouring in: they claim 80% of users have experienced significant weight loss from using the device and 1 ton of collective weight has been shed!
This one caught my eye and is one to watch in my opinion. I will be watching :-)

Published in Digital Healthcare

The Brainco “mind control” headband from Looxid Labs. Effectively hacks into brain signals with a range of applications — from helping to improve attention spans, to detecting disease, controlling smart home appliances or even a prosthetic device.

According to Zenchuan Lei, the device “translates your brainwaves into electronic signals”

BrainCo. demonstrated how a person could use the headband to manipulate a prosthetic hand using brainwaves or simply turn the lights on or off just by focusing on that.”

Harvard and MIT scientists employ “neuro feedback,” as a means of allowing people to control their brain waves for various purposes. Brainco is developing the hardware and software required and hopes to have it available later this year for less than $150.

Published in Copy of Smart Glasses

Couch potatoes are a dying breed. People are just not sitting in one place long enough to view content these days.

At the Innovation City exhibition at Mobile World Congress this year there certainly were a lot of Swivel Chairs and there was a queue to sit in them. Mostly to view 3D360º content of all types. Everything from games, roller coaster rides to real live video content shot in 3D360º.

An unbelievable Interactive Entertainment experience!

The technology is now with us and very cheap if you add your own Smartphone as the screen.

Unlike couch potatoes and movie goers, they were not all looking in the same direction! Up, down and all around. The swivel chair is a must as without it, a sore neck results!

So my new term for viewers of virtual and real 3D360º content is "Swivel Chair Potatoes".

Pay attention Broadcast, TV and movie industry players! This is a new kind of compelling content for you to monetise. Think news, sports, travel, documentaries, reality shows and lots more...

Published in Smart Glasses

13 March 2015 - I have been an outspoken advocate of Augmented Reality needing to be a Five Senses experience simply because our 'reality' experience involves all five, 24/7.  I have been working with a stealth start up in the process of bringing context driven fragrance and scent dispensing into the wearable technology space. More on that sometime soon :-) 

As a followup to the Wearable Technology Show this past week, I met with Adrian David Cheok, Professor of Pervasive Computing at City University London and Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore. 

He introduced me to Scentee, a scent spraying APPessory to iOS and Android Smartphones. A bit large to fit in your pocket, but not bad for a first pass at producing smells on demand or remotely over long distances. 

Scentee also is the technology for an Oscar Meyer Bacon campaign that made the technology and an APP called "Wake Up and Smell the Bacon" available to lucky contest winners.

Basically when your alarm on your phone goes off, it makes the sizzling sound and produces a puff of the smell of Bacon to get you interested in actually getting up and cooking some!

This all Caught My Eye and my Olfactories!  

It's a start...

More to come! Watch this space!

Published in Stop Press
Sunday, 15 March 2015 17:02

The Premium Watch Brands Make their Move

IMHO   
Starting now (March 2015), the "Connected Watch" (aka, Smart Watch) sector will be dominated by existing watch brands that know their customers well and they will now add appropriate features and applications in their next models. Partly because it's the next value add they can make to their products and simply because they can - the electronics fit in without changing the profile of their products, they know what features would turn on their brand fans next and their consumer base all have smartphones.
These brands, plus a precious few - Apple, Pebble, Martian and a few other "Smart Watch" pioneers will be the dominant players in this category going forward. (R.I.P. to most of the others)
Other notable evidence - Guess Watches with Martian inside. Swarovski Shine with Misfit Shine hiding inside their latest jewellery collection.

Published in Stop Press
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