Tag Archives: Health

Xiaomi Ecosystem Updates for the UK



Xiaomi launched in the UK back in November 2018 and has made considerable progress in brand recognition and product availability – I know a couple of people who have bough Mi phones or Smart Bands and say good things. Certainly there’s probably an element of benefitting from Huawei’s misfortune but I think that does a disservice to Xiaomi’s products which go from personal gadgets and personal transport to smart homes and smart phones.

Xiaomi continues to move forwards and recently revealed its plans for UK partnerships for electric scooters and smart phones, plus the availability of the latest Mi Smart Band 5. Checking out these scooters, I definitely need to get one of these in for review…

Motoring and cycling specialists Halfords will be stocking Xiaomi’s new scooters. At the top of the range is the Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 at GB£599. This e-scooter has a range of 45 km and can reach speeds of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) with a 300 W motor, and folds up for easy storage. It’s available now from Halfords.

Also available is the Mi Electric Scooter 1S, a cheaper variant of the Pro 2 at £499, but still coming with a range of 25 km and a top speed of the 25 km/h (15.5 mph) from the 250 W motor. Both the 1S and the Pro 2 have double brakes for safety.

At the bottom of the range is the Mi Electric Scooter Essential at £399 which can cover a distance of 20 km at a speed of 20 km/h. This scooter comes with 8.5″ pneumatic tyres, E-ABS and disc brakes and will be available soon.

Please remember that currently electric scooters can only be ridden legally on private land. UK Government trials are underway using commercial rental scooters. For a bit of fun, check out this race between a Xiaomi scooter and a jet-pack. Really…a jet pack

On the phone side, Xiaomi has partnered with 3 UK to offer the Mi 10 5G and Redmi Note 9 smartphones from 28th August. These are phones at opposite ends of the handset market. The Mi 10 comes with 6.67″ 90 Hz screen with a Snapdragon 865 CPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB storage, 5G and a quad camera setup with a 108 MP main shooter. Photos are analysed and improved using AI to get the best possible image. Priced at £799, it’s not cheap but there’s plenty of value in the Mi 10. On contract, 3 are offering a number of deals, including some with six months half-price.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Redmi Note 9 is only £149 with a 6.53″ FHD+ screen powered by a Mediatek Helio G85. There’s an AI supported quad camera round the back, with a 48 MP primary lens, and comes with 3 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage. Again, 3 have offers on the phone if buying the phone outright isn’t your thing

Finally, the Mi Smart Band 5 has a large 1.1″ AMOLED colour display, tracks 11 different sport types and is water-resistant to 50m, which means it’s perfect for swimming. With a two week battery life and magnetic coupling, it can spend more time on the wrist and less time on the charger. Priced at only £39.95 it seems like a complete bargain!

If you want to see more on all these products, the UK launch video is on Twitter.


Airthings Hub Debuts at CES



Norwegian air quality experts Airthings announced the new Airthings Hub at CES 2020 this week. Centralising the collection of air quality data from the Wave range of monitoring devices, the Hub helps provide a comprehensive understanding of air quality in the home.

Building on the popularity of smart homes and recognising the health benefits relating to air quality, Airthings brought the Wave Plus radon detector to the market in 2008. Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the Wave Plus was recently named in Time Magazine’s list of 100 Best Inventions.

Next came the Wave Mini which measures temperature, humidity and indoor air quality level. The Airthings complementary app provides real-time information on indoor air quality using data collected wirelessly from the Wave devices.

With more people than ever relying on smart home ecosystems to provide them with the critical information they need to live healthy and productive lives, we felt it was crucial to deliver a Hub that will simplify the process of indoor air quality monitoring and make it an essential aspect of our customers’ everyday routines,” said Oyvind Birkenes, CEO of Airthings. “In order to truly gain an understanding of your home’s IAQ and threats like Radon and VOCs, regular monitoring is necessary. Our goal is to educate people everywhere about how air quality can impact their daily lives on both a short-term and long-term scale. By helping people track their air quality in real-time, even when they’re not at home, Airthings Hub will empower customers to breathe easy by keeping tabs on their air quality no matter the time or the location.

The Airthings Hub will be available for pre-order throughout Europe and the US beginning January 6 with an MSRP of US$79.99. The product is compatible with Airthings Wave (2nd generation), Wave Plus, and Wave Mini devices. For more information on the Airthings Hub, indoor air quality and why long-term monitoring is important, visit the Airthings website.

Airthings are at CES in Booth #40646 in the Smart Home area of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.


Get Some Sleep with Kokoon Relax Headphones at CES



Sleep deprivation seems to be the curse of the 20th Century but for most people, the problem is simply living busy lives. According to NHS Choices, 1 in 3 people in the UK are affected by insomnia, with 50% of respondents in a recent survey by Mintel reporting struggles with sleep. All of us will have occasionally experienced those nights, lying awake, unable to switch off, but usually we’re back to ourselves the next night. However, for some, getting to sleep can be a clinical problem that needs help beyond getting to bed early.

For those people, there are CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) techniques that can help with the problem. Tim Antos was one such sufferer and it was his experience of guided audio relaxation techniques that encouraged him to setup Kokoon with the mission to help people relax and sleep easier. After attending many sessions at a sleep clinic he “wanted to make all this knowledge, all these great tools I learnt in the sleep clinic more accessible to the everyday consumer to use on their own terms”.

Developed with staff at Europe’s largest sleep laboratory, the Kokoon Relax headphones combine bio-sensing with adaptive audio within an ergonomic noise cancelling headphone to provide personalised, bespoke assistance to help people switch off and relax. Simplistically, that means it uses EEG sensors to monitor brainwaves, motion and heart rate, and adjusts the sounds depending on how sleepy the wearer is.

The Kokoon app features techniques, tracks and concepts developed with sleep professionals to optimise the chances of falling asleep. The app helps insomnia sufferers by delivering a customised content experience developed for the individual using the sensor data gathered from their body and environment. For example, as the wearer falls asleep, the audio changes in response, fading out the content and introducing white noise to mask out disturbances. The system also tracks what helps someone doze off, then personalising content for greater effect.

On top of this, the Kokoon Relax headphones have been designed with comfort as a priority. There’s no point getting to sleep only to be woken up by uncomfortable headphones digging into the scalp. The Flexmould Comfort patented design helps Kokoon headphones conform to the shape of the user’s head, and by using high quality natural fibre fabric, air flows easily through the ear cups to keep the wearer’s ears cool and comfortable (I often get hot ears). The ear cushions are detachable for washing too.

The Relax headphones can be used just like any other Bluetooth 4 headphone. With great sound from 40mm electro-dynamic drivers, it makes them ideal for listening to music and watching movies whilst travelling, or simply relaxing in a busy place. And at only 350g or 12oz they make the perfect travel companion with folding earcups and a carry case is included too. There’s a choice of two colours, black or grey.

The Kokoon Relax headphones are now shipping internationally from Kokoon.io for US$349 / GB£315, and there are some new year offers on. They can also be purchased from Amazon.com and selected retailer.


HiMirror Expands With Skin Analyser and Scales at CES



Previous CES Innovation Award Honoree (2017) HiMirror are expanding their range of smart well-being products with two new devices announced at this year’s CES. The handheld HiSkin rapidly analyses skin condition and the Smart Body Scale measures a range of body metrics from weight (mass) and BMI, through water level and muscle-to-fat ratios.

The HiSkin is a pocket size hand-held device which connects to the HiMirror (and smartphone) to provide rapid analysis of skin’s condition. By simply holding the HiSkin on the face, the unit analyses conditions that can’t be seen with the naked eye, such as hydration and melanin. For melanin, HiSkin allows for continuous daily measurements to help observe changes in skin colour and evaluate increases in hyperpigmentation. Meanwhile, for hydration, it monitors changes in the skins moisture and evaluates the effectiveness of skincare habit, i.e. is the moisturiser any good?

Through HiSkin’s analysis, users can understand how seemingly small changes in their diet and lifestyle impact their skin, helping them better protect and maintain good complexion. The device achieves this by combining electronic and bio-medical engineering to non-invasively analyse the facial skin’s condition in five parts: forehead, eyes, upper cheek, lower cheek and chin. The HiSkin also detects and analyses dark circles and acne scars.

Interestingly, it’s suggested that HiSkin can also be used while shopping. Users can try desired skincare products before they buy them by using HiSkin to help them know which products or foundation will work best for their skin.

The HiSkin communicates via Bluetooth and works with HiMirror and the user’s smartphone via the HiSkin app, which is available for both Android and iOS. HiSkin is available online from HiMirror for £49.

The Smart Body Scale helps users stay in shape by measuring weight, body mass index, basal metabolic rate, total body water, skeletal muscle and bone mass, as well as muscle to fat ratios. If available, all the data is uploaded to user’s HiMirror in real-time via Bluetooth, or else the data is sent to the HiFit app on the user’s smartphone (available for both Android and iOS shortly).

Using the data gathered, the Smart Body Scale can propose a variety of body improvement strategies and fitness videos on the HiMirror for attaining a healthier, more-toned body, all within the comfort of your own home.  For use outside of the bathroom, the HiMirror Scale has a neutral coloured plush cover which lets it blends into any decor.

The Scale is a certified IEC standard medical device and is available online from HiMirror for £111.

Simon Shen, CEO of Taipei-based New Kinpo Group, which owns HiMirror, said: “We are elated to be exhibiting again at CES 2019, showcasing our brand innovations to some of the most influential and substantial names in the business. Our latest launches are elevating our product portfolio exponentially and filling voids in the marketplace. We strive to evolve with the ever-changing beauty/skincare industry and know these tools will enhance both the consumer and business experience.


Skin Care Gets Smart with HiMirror



HiMirror‘s range of smart mirrors aim to be “your at-home beauty and health consultant”, and use high resolution digital cameras to record and assess skin condition including wrinkles, fine lines, clarity, dark circles, dark spots, red spots and pores to both identify problem areas and track improvement. Simply, the smart mirror takes a picture of the face, analyses it and recommends personal skincare routines to help improve skin quality.

Combined with a database of over 10,000 skincare products, the HiMirror measures and tracks product performance through changes to skin condition. With objective data, it’s now possible to work out which skincare products and routines actually make a difference to the skin, and those that don’t. Using “big data”, the system has been developed in conjunction with professional consultants in the fields of dermatology, cosmetics, skincare and medical beauty, and HiMirror have won awards at CES in both 2017 and 2018.

The device is a mirror with a flat screen display behind it, which lets the HiMirror interact with the user to show skincare information and videos. The HiMirror responds to both voice and gestures, and there’s a handheld remote control too. No self-respecting smart mirror would be without a digital assistant and Alexa is built-in.

Announced at IFA today, HiMirror has a couple of new models, including one smaller version and two aimed at the professional beautician.

The HiMirror Mini Premium is a compact model with a 13″ x 9″  touch screen for easy navigation. As with other HiMirrors, it can analyse skin and offer personalised skincare recommendations. Other features includes Skin Safe which spots allergens in health products and it also provides help with applying makeup for different light levels, such as dimly lit restaurants or brightly lit offices. HiMirror Mini Premium will be available to pre-order from the HiMirror website from 31st August 2018, with products shipping in November. UK price is GB£239.

On the commercial side the Enterprise Lite and Enterprise Pro will be joining the HiMirror line-up shortly. These models are aimed at beauty professionals and beauty salons as these mirrors can have unlimited accounts or profiles. With one profile for each client, historical data and photos can be stored individually to track progress over time.

I particularly like the HiMirror Mini Premium and I can see it being a popular choice in the smaller size. Perfect for dressing tables….