Faux Glass: not just a knockoff, but a sendup

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/gI_147093_Faux-Glasses-Sample-Picture-Spotlight-On.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]Need to impress your Silicon Valley/Alley buds, but the exchequer is low? Didn’t get to be a Glass Explorer on the first round? Fret no more! Faux Glass is here. It’s missing a few things that Glass has–like a phone, photo/video camera, a GPS, internet search access smack in your eye–but does have a magnifier, a spotlight and eight LED indicator lights which light in sequence to a “crack me up” command, like Where the Faux (the product’s built in GPS to nowhere), Faux-to Shop (for fixing photos never taken), and What the Faux (for general searching). All on Indiegogo for $1,480 less than Glass! “They’re not fake anything; they’re real Faux” says Faux-In-Chief Robin Raskin (who’s also a tech journalist, author and founder of Living in Digital Times and FashionWare). The full court press on Faux Glass is of course leading up to International CES in January and their conferences including the Digital Health Summit. Ms Raskin through this also reminds us that crowdfunding and digital tech is not to be taken too seriously. PRWeb release. Website.

Of course there’s the possible faux that presents itself as seriously real, or what’s been dubbed ‘scampaigns’ on crowdfunding sites like…Indiegogo. (more…)

CEWeek NYC (Part 2): wearables, robots, telehealth gone to the dogs!

CEWeek NYC, Metropolitan Pavilion/Altman Building (@CEWeekNY)

Part 2

Over in FashionWare-ville….

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/0625141038.jpg” thumb_width=”170″ /]The Healbe GoBe 100% Automatic Body Manager turned out to be a big draw at this pavilion, for reasons that to the casual visitor were not apparentIts claim: it automatically estimates both calorie intake and calories burned through measurements taken by an impedance sensor to measure tissue resistance, based on blood glucose being converted to liquid in tissues and the amount of liquid released. Having been through the now-vanished-into-thin Airo affair (with its fictional mini-spectrometer for detecting nutritional blood metabolites from food consumption, TTA 23 Nov 13), I was skeptical of Healbe’s claims and told co-founder and managing director George Mikaberydze (left) just that. He patiently explained how it works to me and seemed to be sincerely understanding of my skepticism. He briefly demoed the display on his smartphone, which was hard to track as it indicated negative caloric burn and was partly in Cyrillic, but these numbers were relative to…?

It turned out that I was not the first to question, and he was well prepared.

Healbe turns out to be quite controversial. The company raised over $1 million on Indiegogo this March/April, prominently featured in its well-produced GoBe materials and in its PR communications. It’s promising delivery in September. On researching this, (more…)

Swiss capsule monitors blood fat

Without the hype of Airo, a Swiss research team at ETH-Zurich has designed and is testing on mice a blood fat-detecting capsule that releases a satiation hormone when excessively high fat levels are detected, suppressing appetite. The circuit in the capsule can measure several types of fat, including several saturated and unsaturated animal and vegetable fats. If further developed, this could have impact on weight loss for humans.  Gizmag, Daily Mail

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. (more…)

Much ado about Airo

A flurry of publicity has descended like early snow in the Rockies promoting the AIRO fitness band. Developed by three graduates of Canada’s University of Waterloo, it is building pre-delivery excitement (and pre-orders) around the band’s claimed unique capability to analyze post-eating effects and make recommendations. A mini-spectrometer built into the band uses light wavelengths to look into a person’s blood stream and detect the metabolites released during and after eating. Their program then analyzes the information and makes nutritional recommendations on your smartphone without any separate input of foods or calories. As far as this Editor knows, this is a first, along with using heart rate and caloric burn to measure exercise intensity and recovery. The ‘only health tracker you’ll ever need’ cuff also measures and reports on stress and sleep. The company is taking pre-orders at $149 in advance of the full DTC price of $200 (not sure if in Canadian or US dollars), but according to the FAQs delivery will not be until Fall 2014. For iPhones and Android.

Could Fitbit and Jawbone Up be getting the treatment they meted out to Zeo within a year? Will the spectrometer and blood analysis mean that the device will need FDA and Health Canada clearance? Inquiring minds want to know. Website, video, Business Insider article, CBS-TV Cleveland. (Editor Donna note that the pre-sale over a year in advance is essentially a crowdfunding strategy, but standalone it feels ‘take the money and run’ dodgy.)  Hat tip to reader Lois Drapin of The Drapin Group, New York.

Update 31 October: The somewhat sketchy credibility of this device has increased exponentially, in this Editor’s opinion, since the revelation that there is not a working prototype (due in December, according to the founder) and the spectrometer’s capability and accuracy of detecting blood metabolites non-invasively at the wrist may resemble junk science (MedCityNews). Brian Dolan concludes that as of this point, Airo cannot be what it’s cracked up to be in Mobihealthnews.

In smartwatch 2014 deluge news, Google is also nearing its smartwatch launch within months, according to The Wall Street Journal. The watch will incorporate the Google Now personal assistant.