Smarter-than-smart televisions and cutting-edge computers weren't the only gadgets to debut this week at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show. A novel mix of healthcare gadgets was unveiled at this year's CES, spanning the gamut from smart and practical to super high-tech. In 2012, people might be just as likely to tweet their babies' weights as they are to have their genome sequenced during a doctor's appointment. Tech expert Katie Linendoll has the scoop on a few inventions that could enable new possibilities introduced at CES...
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The Baby Watch is being advertised as the first wearable baby monitor. It utilizes a touch-screen that's built into a wearable accessory, such as a watch, necklace or belt clip, that has a range up to 500 feet. With the watch, parents could have more freedom to go about their daily lives while still being able to keep an eye on their baby. The company offers several different models with a range of features, including water resistance, night vision and a 12-hour battery life.
Using a pulse sensor, emWave2 graphically displays your heart rhythm patterns in real-time, so that users can see the relationship between your emotional reactions and your body's physiology. A promising solution for improving general health and wellness, emWave2 could more clearly delineate the source of emotions like anger and frustration, so you can train yourself to react to daily stressors in a healthier manner.
Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale from Fitbit
Off the success of its Fitness Gadget, Fitbit broadens its lineup with the new Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. The Aria Scale was created to help users better identify patterns in weight loss in order to set goals and motivate themselves to lose weight. The scale tracks weight, body fat percentage, and BMI over a period of time, and integrates wirelessly with Fitbit's online social and motivational tools to share weight loss progress with other Aria users.
According to LG, their latest smart refrigerator knows its own contents and monitors their freshness. To input the data, users scan product barcodes or receipts or can even use voice recognition. Also, recipe suggestions are given automatically, and the fridge and can relay digital grocery lists directly to a smartphone. A "Health Manager Feature" was also showcased, with customized meal plans for each user.
Cost: ~ $3071
The Origami is a next-gen, power-folding baby stroller with built-in generators. The stroller charges automatically while you walk with it, but can also be plugged into an outlet if needed. Other features include daytime running lights, pathway lights for evening use and an on-screen LCD which allows you to see weather, how fast you're strolling, battery charge, and if your child is safely strapped into the stroller.
DNA Sequencer from Ion Torrent
The Ion Proton Sequencer is second generation technology which claims to sequence an individual's entire genome in about two hours. In comparison to existing sequencing systems, which cost $500K-700K, the Ion Torrent model will sell for $149,000 and be more accessible to the public for under $1,000 per use. In short, it utilizes DNA to track family history, comparing genetics between grandparents, parents, siblings, etc., so that physicians can make quicker, more accurate diagnoses or tell you what diseases you might be genetically predisposed to develop.
Cost (base unit): $149,000 Cost (test for patients): Under $1,000
Credit: Life Technologies
Wahoo Fitness: Blue HR heart rate monitor
Wahoo Fitness introduced Blue HR at CES 2012, a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor for smartphones. Blue HR wirelessly sends heart rate info to an iPhone or other "smart ready devices", with no additional hardware required. It also allows you to continue to take calls, texts or use other apps in the meantime. Blue HR claims compatibility with most popular fitness apps, as well as wireless upload capabilities.
Credit: Wahoo Fitness
The Smart Baby Scale from Withings
Withings, makers of a Blood Pressure Monitor that links up with iPhones and iPads, unveiled a unique internet-connected baby scale at CES 2012. The device can be customized to weigh infants or toddlers by using a basket or the platform of the scale itself. Weight is then recorded and sent via wi-fi or Bluetooth directly to Twitter or Facebook for easy sharing with loved ones.