Rounding up the 10 Ring Vegas Circus-Circus, it’s time for ‘best and worst lists’: hopping with the Kiwi tracker, no one’s kind to Mother, in the kitchen with 3D printers and what may be up with Google, FDA and contact lenses.
ZDNet rounds up its Friday coverage with a Best of CES selection. It’s always interesting to get the broader non-healthcare techie view of ‘what’s hot’–they spotted fitness bands early when even diehard QSers were skeptical– and to then see if their picks make it into the broader market. Their health tech picks are the Mimo Baby onesie + detachable turtle monitor from Rest Devices (sure to be a hit at your next baby shower; TTA 10 Sept], movement profiler Notch(see Thursday; it also made The Guardian’s roundup), MakerBot’s home 3D Replicator Mini (Wednesday) and the Epson Moverio BT200 digital content projection smart glasses (in-market March, @ $699.99 a bargain for what use?). Au contraire, see 11 born-to-fail worst gadgets which includes being mean to Sen.se’s Mother and, in worst design, an iPad video ‘periscope’ from iTOi which looked like it was stolen off the set of the 1956 space opera Forbidden Planet. For today’s market, it definitely could have used a steampunk vibe to carry off its ‘Blue Blazes’ design.
Yet one of their writers gives Mother, a/k/a the “M2M Mollycoddle”, “part-Russian doll and part-Doctor Who monster”, a more thoughtful once-over. He questions the social utility of home systems like these displacing normal, routine family interactions, versus purposing it to solve everyday life problems for the disabled or older adults with cognitive problems. But this Editor’s take is that based upon what angels and investors go for, the former ‘sexy market’ is needed to vet it before they or others move it the distinctly non-sexy latter markets. Also note a commenter on the hacking possibilities applicable to the entire ‘internet of things.’ When the internet becomes a nag (ZDNet)
This Editor is definitely in Wearable Sensor Overload, but one more for the road is the Kiwi Move out of Toronto, which packs more things into one ounce and 1.6″ x 1.2″ than believed possible: accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, thermometer, microphone, 2 GB of storage for syncing later and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE connectivity. Its pitch is the way it can integrated into everyday life activities such as nutrition, fitness, shopping etc. What’s also different is that it’s fully programmable by voice command and gesture, and plays nicely with (but doesn’t constantly need) your smartphone. Clippable and bandable. Expected in-market price is $149 with pre-sale at $99, shipping July. If it does what it says it does…Fave rave by PC Mag, also Gizmag and YouTube video–a disappointment in that the woman is seen solely as a homemaker doing grocery shopping and preparing food while the man’s off working out in a gym loft. There’s no integration into a work context either, which would be a nifty capability to see.
Following up on our Wednesday item on iOptik’s augmented reality contact lens/glasses combo, FierceMedicalDevices has a verrrry interesting item on a Google team meeting with FDA on 18 December. Said Google team has a member of the hush-hush Google X think tank and a University of Washington researcher best known for his research on powered contact lenses with a display, published in 2011. Strangely enough, this Editor picked up the UW research then through Fast Company [TTA 27 March 11] as did EIC Emeritus Steve in 2009. Hat tip to David E. Albert, MD of AliveCor, via Twitter.
CNet is ‘wait and see’ about wearables in its roundup. Their classifying wearables into Notifiers, Trackers and Glasses is a useful discipline and their excellent point about devices throwing in different types of monitoring because it’s cheap and they can is a thought to hold. Everyone seems to be getting into the act (thank you Jimmy Durante)–and is leading to a lot of ‘me-too’ until this market sorts out in Many, many small steps.Whip up those treats, hang the calories and sugar (diet/burn ’em off with WellDoc or Pebble) with 3D Systems’ ChefJet and ChefJetPro. No plastic here–sugar and water base, flavorings like chocolate and sour apple are added, with the Pro model food-coloring capable. Software ≠ chef? They come with a digital cookbook and software that 3D Systems says is easy for non-CAD users. Can’t wait for the Gordon Ramsay edition, but those candies (left) could definitely use a touch of steampunk design sensibility. Gizmag I wasn’t aware of 3D scanners till I saw this item in Engadget on the bargain-priced, cleverly-named Matterform: a crowdfunded, $579 desktop 3D scanner which folds up into its own carrying case.