After a few years of showing off less-than-impressive smart gadgets at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, companies stepped it up this year by showing off innovative, but also useful, products.
From a food scanner that reveals the nutritional makeup of your meal to a refrigerator that tells you what’s inside while you’re at the grocery store, there was a creative spin on traditional high-tech tracking.
On the fitness side, wearables went beyond the wrist to include smart sneakers and a sports bra that tracks your steps, heart rate and overall workout. There was also a growing movement (thanks to Lego and Fisher-Price) around teaching young kids tech concepts, such as the basics of coding.
Here’s a look at some of the most buzz-worthy smart gadgets announced this week.
OMBra is the smart sports bra concept from clothing company OM, known for making web-connected workout shirts. The core of the OMbra, a small black box that sits above the torso, houses a range of sensors that track running performance indicators, such as distance, cadence, pace, heart rate and calories.
Positioned in a similar place to where a heart-rate strap may sit on the body, the bra collects data about your workout — like activity, breathing and heart rate — and sends it directly to a corresponding app. The start-up kit is $149 for a bra and the fitness tracker — additional bras are $59 (the fitness core can be detached from one and connected to another).
French startup DietSensor’s gadget promises to reveal the nutritional value of your meal by scanning its chemical makeup. The pocket-sized, Bluetooth-connected molecular sensor is called SCiO. It uses near-infrared spectroscopy (the analysis of how molecules interact with light) to determine the chemical makeup of food and drink. SCiO can analyze substances based on how their molecules interact with light. The SCiO scanner is available for $249, while the app is free to download but requires a monthly $10 fee.
Withings’ WiFi-connected thermometer, Thermo, ($99.95) is used by hovering over the skin. While it’s designed for babies — allowing parents to take readings in the middle of the night without disturbing the little one — it works just as well on adults. Plus, it’s less invasive and more hygienic. The Thermo is placed just above the temporal artery, found at both temples on the forehead (now considered by medical institutions to be the most accurate spot to get a temperature reading).
The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator has a giant touchscreen — 21.5 inches and 1080p — on the front and packs a small camera that lets you see what’s inside while you’re at the grocery store. It’s also the first third-party home appliance to feature Amazon Alexa, the digital voice assistant in Amazon Echo. The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator should ship sometime in May and list for roughly $5,000.
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SOURCE: Mashable, Samantha Murphy Kelly