The Internet of Things (IoT) is a growing scenario in which objects are given the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human interaction during the transferring process. We have previously touched upon this topic during our attendance at the Festival of Media 2014, and now we are back with a dedicated series containing monthly takes on various “connected” objects targeting specific lifestyle genres! Join us as we kickstart the series with introductions towards the health sector, with smart gadgets like Lumo Back, Fitbit’s Flex, Scanadu Scout and Kosmo proving that getting connected is for your good health.
Let’s start with some support from Lumo Back, the latest member of Lumo’s body tech line. It is a posture and activity sensor that monitors your posture and coaches you to improve throughout the day, and its main form of communication takes place through your mobile device when it syncs to keep track of your daily activities like steps taken, time spent sitting, calories burned, and even your sleep habits. It is affectionately termed as a “personal posture trainer” because it gently corrects and offers constant encouragement in the user’s journey toward better posture and a healthier lifestyle! If getting nudged to stand taller is not your cup of tea, then switch out of PowerUp mode and the wearable gadget will passively track your posture.
Lumo Back starts at $149.95 on their main website, and perhaps the price is justified when the gadget is actually giving users data that they can use. Lumo Back could be the start of a new breed of healthcare gadgets, aiming to bring accessible health alerts and/or solutions to the general audience. Sure, it joins the influx of devices that measure our movements, but did we mention that Lumo Back also collects data in 3D space to provide reusable information pertaining to different body awareness areas?
Fitbit is not a new name in this scene, but we are still keeping our eyes on Flex, the wireless activity and sleep wristband. A slim and stylish device that wants to stay on your wrist all day and night, it tracks steps, distance, calories burned, sleep quality, and even wakes you silently in the morning.
In fact, all you have to do is check out the tiny lights on the gadget to see how you stack up against your personal health goals, and accept it as the motivation you need to get out and be more active. Flex syncs a user’s statistics wirelessly to mobile and desktop devices to allow tracking, giving real-time access to all the statistics on the Fitbit dashboard throughout the day; and also comes with free online tools and a mobile app to identify trends and goals in the form of awesome graphs and charts. Going for $99.95, it promises you that Flex never sleeps, even when you do.
“The simplification of healthcare starts with a simple object,” said Yves Béhar, the designer of Scanadu Scout, a scanner packed with sensors that can enable anyone to capture important physiological data — in a snap. This minimalistic device requires the user to place simply it on their foreheads to analyze, track, and trend health data. Essentially, it leaves users with healthcare information in the palm of their hands to share with doctors and others through health conversations.
Aiming to teach the ways different people, locations, activities, foods, and beverages affect a body, it allows connections to be discovered, trends to be watched, and changes to be caught on early and tracked. Starting at $200, the gadget uses a 32-bit RTOS Micrium platform, NASA’s choice for gathering their own data, proving that its powerful internal system is what worth paying for. The gadget is still in its primary stages, so keep a lookout for it!
We are rounding up the list of healthcare gadgets with a smoking-hot gadget, the Kosmo, an e-cigarette that takes quitting to a smart level. It is a revolutionary new smart e-cigarette (or vaporizer) that allows users to track and control how often they smoke via their smartphones. It is one of the first e-cigarettes designed for the connected, social web, and it gathers all the data users having been smoking up in a neat mobile app. It works by informing users visually when they have smoked too much (orange light for regular consumption, and cherry light for excessive consumption), and provides the hard data and an elegant system that can make controlling an urge a source of enjoyment. Users can set goals to reduce their intake, lay off physical cigarettes, and get real-time updates on their smoking habits.
The e-cigarette also allows users to connect with friends on the official app to compare consumption rates, and issue challenges to create motivation for healthy behavior. Going for $59 on their Indiegogo page, this is truly a gadget embodying healthcare, motivation and concrete intelligence to hit their exhaling audience hard.
Connecting to healthcare is getting increasingly accessible these days, and we hope that we’ve drawn a nice path to led the way forward. With connected objects constantly building the bridge between data and humans, we can now take control of our individual concerns and empower them with live information!