Much ado about Airo: the denouement

Like the Maltese Falcon, ‘the stuff that dreams are made of’?

The madly touted Airo fitness band, with its claimed mini-spectrometer built into the band to detect nutritional blood metabolites for passive sensing of food consumption [TTA 30 Oct], has, after a firestorm in the industry press, conceded it lacked proof that it would ‘work as advertised’ and refunded money to its early backers. Very rarely have we seen mass disparagement in health tech, but the fact that the developers ginned up a lot of breathless publicity over a device without a working prototype and no studies to back a future design made it all too easy. To quote from their email to those who forked over money, “Our early testing of AIRO shows tremendous promise, but through conversations with others in the industry, we have come to realize that it requires further testing and calibration through more extensive trials before it will be ready for general market availability.” which they projected for Fall 2014. The website with its direct marketing-ish URL is unchanged regarding features and claims, but the purchase option is gone. Fitbit and Jawbone can breathe easy as right now Airo’s just a painted bird figurine. Perhaps these three founders have met another type of Waterloo. Mobihealthnews.

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