Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks

Ideal Life

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 10:57 AM on January 26, 2013

Ideal Life Ideal Life has a complete end to end wireless biometric monitoring systems to monitor chronic heath conditions like cancer, diabetes, heart problems. They allow the patient to be monitor daily outside a hospital environment. Currently they work directly with businesses, such as hospitals, insurer and home health care companies who then give the devices to patients as they are being discharge. This way the patient can be monitored daily, The more data that can be provided the better it is for both the patient and the doctor. This allows an action to be taken before a situation becomes an emergency. The idea is to cut down on readmission to the hospital. Which is a major cost for everyone involve including society.

Ideal Life is currently working on a direct consumer model. This model is being tested by their partners. The expected prices for the devices will be from $50 to 150.00. There will be a monthly data or software plan that will run from $10.00 to $20.00 a month. The release date for the direct consumer model was not given. More information is available at Ideal life Online. Ideal life also announced a new partnership with ADT, the home security system company.

Interview by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Health Tech Weekly

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Dreambots WheeMe Massage Robot at CES 2013

Posted by Andrew at 6:34 PM on January 24, 2013


There’s nothing quite like a really good massage to relax and remove all the stress from your body but few of us have a masseuse on hand, Jeffrey excepted. The WheeMe Massage Robot from Dreambots might be able to help with this problem, as Jeffrey Powers finds out from Cobi.

The WheeMe is a small massage robot that runs over the back of a person lying down to give them a massage. Completely autonomous, the WheeMe uses tilt sensors to ensure that it doesn’t fall off and it has a couple of programs for different types of massage. The WheeMe uses vibrations, wheels and the long fingerettes to give different sensations.

Available now in a choice of red or blue from retail stores worldwide and online for around $100 (or €70). Additional accessories are coming soon.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine for the TechPodcast Network. Robyn must have the best job in the whole of CES!

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Withings Makes Technology to Keep You Healthy

Posted by JenThorpe at 5:54 PM on January 24, 2013

Withings Smart Body AnalyzerWithings was at CES 2013 with two products that are designed to help people track certain aspects of their health. The idea is to use the information to improve one’s health and to be able to stay healthy. Many of us have sedentary jobs and are very comfortable with using technology, so these products seem like a perfect fit for today’s world!

The Smart Body Analyzer is not just your ordinary bathroom scale! It is the first smart scale. Use it to find out your weight, body fat, and heart rate. Put it in your bedroom, and it will monitor the air quality and CO2 level for you.

The Smart Activity Tracker is a new device that was announced at CES 2013. Put it in your pocket, and it will measure your heart rate as you go about your day. It can also calculate the number of steps climbed and determine your blood pressure.

Both products will be available at the end of March 2013. The Smart Body Analyzer will cost $149.00. The price of the Smart Activity Tracker has not yet been announced.

Interview by Jamie Davis of the MedicCast and the Nursing Show for the TechPodcast Network.

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Star Trek’s Tricorder Becoming Reality with Scout by Scanadu

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 5:15 PM on January 11, 2013

Scout If you have kids you know how hard it can be to take their temperature when they are sick. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if you could simply place a device up to their temple and get the reading. That is one of the ideas behind Scout by Scanadu. Scout by Scanadu does a lot more than measure temperature. It also measures important biometric information such as blood flow,blood oxygen level, heartbeat, and electrical heart activity. You simply place it up to your temple for about 10 seconds and the Scanadu Scout will capture the information. Scanadu is also producing a mobile app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone that the Scout can sync to by Bluetooth 4.0. The Scout still has to go thru FDA review and isn’t expected to be available to the public until late 2013 for around $150.00.

Scout by Scanadu won best of innovation award for personal electronics at CES 2013. It is a project of Walter De Brouwer, Ph.D and is located at the NASA Ames Research Park in California

This article written and if seen anyplace else has been illegally re-posted.

4iiii Innovations Announces Viiiiva at CES 2013

Posted by JenThorpe at 2:33 AM on January 9, 2013

Viiiiva4iiii Innovations has created the first heart rate monitor to enable an athlete’s ANT+ devices to “talk” to their iOS devices without the need for awkward adapters. This incredibly handy device is called Viiiiva. It can easily communicate with your iPhone or iPod touch in real time.

Viiiiva is a lightweight, comfortable chest strap heart rate monitor. The Liiiink Connectivity Module inside it is what turns your iPhone into a cycling computer or running monitor. Go get some exercise while wearing Viiiiva, and it will seamlessly deliver all the data about it to the free 4iiii app or any of the popular fitness apps. It uses an ANT+ to Bluetooth Smart bridge to do it.

This allows athletes to monitor their heart rate activity on an iPhone as well as a sport watch. You can adjust settings, review activity summaries, and receive performance feedback from your iPhone or iPod at anytime, anywhere.

Here are some quick features of Viiiiva HRM:

* Works with Garmin, TIMEX, adidas, and other popular displays
* Accurate heart rate measurement on your Bluetooth Smart iPhone without awkward adapters
* Liiiink can send heart rate, cadence, power, and speed, data to most popular iOS fitness apps, including Endomondo, MapMyFitness, Runtastic, Runmeter, Strava, Training Peaks, and Runkeeper. (when applicable ANT+ compatible sensors are connected)
* Viiiiva stores your data in .FIT files
* No need to recharge – Viiiiva runs on a coin-cell battery for over a year.

4iiii Innovations is at CES 2013, where they will be displaying Viiiiva HRM. Find them in the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, at the ANT+ booth #26700.

Image by 4iiii Innovations

Withings Smart Activity Tracker Reminds You to Be Active

Posted by JenThorpe at 1:50 AM on January 8, 2013

Smart Activity Tracker Withings Many of us have the type of jobs that require us to sit behind a desk for several hours a day. Whether you work from home or in an office, one thing is the same – your job encourages you to be sedentary. One way to stay healthy is to make sure you are active. It can be difficult to remember to do that as you are working toward a deadline, or when you are tired after coming home from work.

Withings has a small, but powerful, device that will remind you to get up and be active. It is called the Smart Activity Tracker. You can have it send you alerts to indicate inactivity, and reminders to be active, directly to your smartphone.

It is an activity tracker that can take pulse measurements, record the number of steps taken, strides run, distances covered, calories burned, and even the quality of your sleep. It also records your heart rate.

It can differentiate between moderate and vigorous activity. It also can calculate the number of stairs climbed and calories burned depending on the user’s body composition. Wear the device while sleeping, and it will keep track of the duration of sleep as well as the quality of it.

The Smart Activity Tracker is small. Its dimensions are 43.3 x 22.1 x 8.3 mm. Put it in your pocket, or wear it with the included belt clip and/or arm band. The front of it is a functioning touch surface that lets you navigate from screen to screen. The device has a two week battery life and an on-board USB port for recharging.

The Smart Activity Tracker syncs via Bluetooth Smart with the Withings Health Mate mobile app. The app is where your data is collected and stored in real time. It will categorize the data into 3 categories: Activity, Heart, and Sleep. You can share the data with your physician, dietitian, coach, or on Twitter and Facebook.

Withings will be at International CES 2013. It is going to unveil its Smart Body Analyzer, which has been awarded with a 2013 CES Innovations award.

Image by Withings

Smart Body Analyzer by Withings at CES 2013

Posted by JenThorpe at 6:32 PM on January 7, 2013

Withings Smart Body Analyzer One of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to lose some weight. Others might expand upon it by making the goal of “getting heathy”. Withings has the perfect device to help you monitor how well you are achieving those goals as the year goes by.

The Smart Body Analyzer is the first smart scale that can monitor health and environment through heart rate measurement and air quality monitoring. It can also give you a rich weight analysis through its Position Control technology in order to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. The scale can connect wirelessly through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and it pairs nicely with both iOS and Android devices.

Step on the Smart Body Analyzer scale just like you would the one that you are currently using. It will give you accurate weight, body fat, and heart rate readings. It will also take a reading of your resting heart rate, which is a good indicator of your overall fitness level. If you place the scale in your bedroom, it will monitor the quality of the air by taking a reading of the temperature and CO2 level.

The readings are then transmitted to the Withings Health Mate mobile application through the built in internet connection. You can choose to share the results with your doctor or dietician, and even on Twitter and Facebook. The Health Mate app is an open platform that can aggregate measurements from other Withings devices and third party sensors and apps.

Withings will unveil its Smart Body Analyzer at the 2013 International CES. The device was awarded with a 2013 CES Innovations award. It is slated for a Q1 2013 release date at a suggested retail price of $149.95.

Image by Withings

Your Own Personal Weather Station

Posted by JenThorpe at 2:38 AM on November 21, 2012

What’s the weather like today? Each of us asks this question at least once a day. We need to know if it would be a good idea to wear a winter coat, to carry an umbrella, or to put on some sunscreen. Netatmo can reliably and accurately answer that question for you.

Netatmo has created the world’s first personal weather station with air quality sensors. It includes two Stations. Each has been constructed from a single piece of aluminum that is UV-resistant. One station is an indoor module and the other is an outdoor module. The Stations communicate with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch through the Netatmo app.

You can use the Netatmo app to discover the temperature that it is indoors, or to find out what the weather is like outside. It can also show you the local air quality, air pressure, the CO2 levels, and the current humidity both indoors and outdoors in real time. Netatmo will track data for you so that you can discover patterns. The app can give you notifications about the weather as the day goes on.

Netatmo’s Urban Weather Station, (which is active in more than 50 countries), has been named a CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Award Honoree in three categories. The categories are: Tech For A Better World, Health & Fitness, and Home Appliances. Netatmo can be found at booth number 26809 in LVCC South Hall 2 during CES 2013, from January 8 – 11, 2013.

Image by Netatmo

Lose It! – Now with Premium Features

Posted by JenThorpe at 11:34 PM on November 17, 2012

You might be looking forward to the holiday season, and all the food that goes along with it. It’s difficult to say no to a slice of pumpkin pie, or a Christmas cookie, or a Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino, especially when you know that these treats are only going to be around for a limited time. Those of you who have concerns about weight gain should check out an app called Lose It!

I’ve used Lose It! myself. It helped me to drop a few pounds before my sister’s wedding and the weight has not returned. You start by setting a weight goal and a deadline by which you hope to have lost that amount of weight. Lose It! automatically calculates the amount of calories that you should stay under per day in order to achieve your goal.

Instead of counting calories, you tell Lose It! the foods that you ate on a given day, and it will figure out the calories for you. You can tell, at a glance, how many calories you have left for a particular day. Lose It! also takes into account the type and amount of exercise that you have done. It charts everything for you. This makes it easy to see the progress you are making, or to see where you can make improvements.

Lose It! just added some Premium features. For $39.99 a year (on sale at the time I am writing this blog for $29.99 a year), you can have Lose It! keep track of more health related goals, such as blood pressure, blood glucose, or the amount of sleep that you are getting. You can connect Lose It! to wireless scales, exercise apps, a blood pressure monitor or a sleep monitor.

Those who have purchased the Premium account will be able to connect to other Lose It! users. You can create a challenge for everyone you choose to connect with to compete in. Or, you can help to keep each other motivated in their weight loss goals. If you end up gaining more weight than you like during this holiday season, I would recommend using Lose It! to help you lose the unwanted pounds.

Implant Uses Brain Waves to Move Robotic Arm

Posted by JenThorpe at 11:26 PM on May 18, 2012

A team of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and computer scientists at Brown University and Harvard Medical School have created a specialized brain-computer interface. It is called the BrainGate Neural Interface System. The project has been going on for more than a decade. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The scientists have created an implant that is designed to enable people who are paralyzed to move a robotic arm and hand by using their mind. It is quite remarkable! The implant consists of a sensor chip that is about the size of a baby aspirin. It is implanted directly onto the motor cortex of a person’s brain. This is the part of the brain that controls movement.

The sensor picks up signals that are generated by a person’s brain cells while the person is thinking about moving his or her own arm and hand. Those signals are sent through a wire to a device that connects with a computer. The computer has been taught to read the signal it receives and to translate that signal in order to tell a robotic arm what to do. Together, this allows a paralyzed person to move a robotic arm and hand on their own, just by using their brainwaves.

Here is a video created by the BrainGate Corporation that shows a woman who is paralyzed using the BrainGate Neural Interface System to move a robotic arm and hand. The video also explains more of the science behind the system.

Image: Brain by BigStock