Health and Wellness Wearables

BioRing tracks your biology for a better body

The hectic pace of the modern world is leaving more people stressed, sleep deprived, and lacking the proper nutrition to get through the day. That’s why information on all these various elements of daily life is crucial to make better choices. The team behind the BioRing is looking to help people do so in a tiny, unobtrusive package.

The BioRing is a simply designed, scratch-proof ring equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer, a bo-impedance sensor, and an optical heart rate sensor. The ring uses all of these sensors to track calorie, fat, and protein intake, stress levels, sleep status, heart rate, water levels, distance, and steps. The sensors by themselves aren’t enough to accurately track such a wide a range of factors, which is why the ring uses a proprietary algorithm to help make up for the gaps in technology, resulting in a margin of error of 14% for now, something the team expects to improve by the time of its expected delivery in November 2016.

Sleep Wearables

Oura ring puts a finger on how your sleep affects your day

Since the success of Fitbit, there’s been an endless parade of activity trackers offered through crowdfunding platforms and via traditional channels.

While many of these either treat sleep monitoring as a secondary feature or focus exclusively on the sleep experience, the Oura ring starts with sleep experience monitoring as a foundation for determining optimum activity levels. The ceramic scratch-resistant finger adornment gets an impressive three days of battery life from its tiny battery and charges in about an hour.


AllBe1 offers one for all in a palm-sized personal security system

Several portable security devices have either reached the market or been introduced on one of the crowdfunding sites, including the multi-function Tye.

patent-claimedBut AllBe1 is out to top them all, offering about 10 features in one small device with multiple sensors. Those functions are each available to the user via mobile device apps: an out-of-range lockdown mechanism that will prevent anybody else from accessing one’s mobile device when the user steps away, a fitness/steps tracker, the ability to track people or pets, a car alarm, drawer opening detection, theft detection, and the ability to send alerts when the user’s body needs more sun exposure or less. AllBe1 also offers a smart button that can be used to alert somebody at a pre-set number if the user senses danger.

Connected Objects Technology Wearables

Multifunction dog tag boosts luck of finding lost pooch

Dog owners dread the idea of losing their pooch. So, the idea of a smart, wearable device is a no-brainer for many pet owners.

The new Lucky Tag, developed by Los Angeles-based Beaconpliance, is a dog wearable device that combines three main features into one. The on-collar tag can be used as a tracking device to find a missing dog, but also offers location-based service social functionality among nearby dog owners, along with pet healthcare functions. The tag uses beacon technology to help users find their dogs. Each device has a unique ID configured for each dog and constantly sends out a Bluetooth signal as far as 250 feet for Android and iOS smartphones nearby to detect and locate the ID.

The “Find My Dog’ feature helps users locate their missing pooches with the collaborative efforts of Lucky Tag devices nearby. Lucky Tag owners can also exchange contact info with each other, enhancing the device’s social functionality. The device, meanwhile, tracks and logs each dog’s activity level and ambient temperature, and syncs the data with the user’s smartphone. Early bird backers can get a Lucky Tag by pledging as little as $29 and are expected to get the device in February. Beaconpliance is looking to raise $40,000.

Lucky Tag supposedly consumes less power than similar devices like Pawda and Tagg that use GPS technology. But GPS devices cover a much larger area. As Beaconpliance concedes on its Kickstarter campaign, the biggest challenge with beacon technology is that it relies on the collaborative support and power of a mass community. That means unless many consumers buy the device for their dogs, a key part of its functionality will not work well. That is a major downside of the device. But the relatively low pricing may be enough of an incentive for some consumers to buy one.

Watches and Jewelry Wearables

Ear-O-Smart measures activity levels in an earring

Most wearables devices come as wristbands that can be pretty bulky. Companies are just now getting around to the fact that most people don’t want to wear these ungainly devices despite whatever benefits they may offer, and designs are starting to reflect that. In all of this, though, the market for women-worn wearables is practically non-existent.

BioSensive Technologies Inc. has noticed, and has designed the Ear-O-Smart, a connected earring aimed specifically at women. The earring is Bluetooth LE enabled and syncs with any iOS/Android phone to provide an activity tracker, heart rate monitor, and a calorie monitor to better inform users of their body states. The campaign is looking for $30,000 CAD (~$26,300 USD) to get the $149 CAD (~$130 USD) earrings out by June 2015.

This company has truly taken a chance in designing an accessory for women as the challenge, first and foremost, is a design one and not a technological one. In addition, that market is extremely saturated and most women enjoy a large selection of accessories at any one time, so asking for the repeated use of just one will be a long shot. The Ear-O-Smart attempts to address these points by being customizable, but even a few different looks may not be enough.


STAR blends fitness, safety tracking

At this point, a wearable activity tracker is hardly the way to make a splash in the tech marketplace. It takes more than just calorie counting to make wearable tech worth purchasing.

The STAR by SenseGiz handles activity tracking just fine, but serves a more utilitarian purpose by enhancing the functionality of a phone as well. Offering gesture control, call notifications, sleep monitoring, workout reminders, and more, wearing a STAR either by strap or clip keeps information easier to access than by fishing a phone out of a pocket. Additionally, STAR offers a number of safety features including crash monitoring, panic buttons, and emergency notifications to local response services or friends and family. SenseGiz needs $30,000 to release the STAR, while buyers can clip one on for as little as $89, shipping out at the end of this year.

STAR is essentially trying to take the best features of several wearable devices and combine them into one easy to use package. The screen is well designed, but doesn’t have the technical punch of a smartwatch or high-end dedicated activity tracker. For those looking for just one device to handle as much as possible, STAR is worth a look.

Health and Wellness Wearables

Aqua 100 swim trainer provides strategies for your strokes

Activity trackers are great ways to not only stay in shape, but improve a workout from the ground up. Plenty of devices handle this task easily, but for those that prefer to push themselves through swimming, there are a number of hurdles an activity tracker needs to jump beyond just being waterproof.

The Aqua-100 is a personal swimming coach that gives real-time information without interrupt the rhythm and motions of swimming. Worn by strapping it onto the back of the hand, the Aqua-100 monitors laps, distance, number of strokes, stroke rate, and even what direction the swimmer is moving in. Because it’s worn on the back of the hand, swimmers can see this data as they extend their arms forward in mid-stroke, keeping the swimmer afloat and active. The information displayed can be changed by twisting the wrist twice, keeping the device easy and intuitive to use.

With a standard digital LED display with backlighting, the Aqua-100 is as easy to read as it is to use. The data tracked using the device during swimming can be uploaded to a computer as well, allowing avid swimmers to track their performance over time. The Aqua-100 is nearly ready to go to market, but needs $40,000 to be prepared for production. Swimmers can get their hand in one for $129, shipping in February 2015.

Having a dedicated tracker for a specific kind of workout is a must-have for athletes at any level and those who are passionate about a particular form of fitness. The Aqua-100 is an extremely functional device great for those that prefer to swim laps or just enjoy the water, but aesthetically the device lacks the flair of what people expect from activity trackers. If function trumps form, and swimming is the preferred exercise of choice, then Aqua-100 will be a sure buy.

Running Wearables

Universole steps up to measuring pressure tracking in your shoes

For most readers of this site, it will have been decades since learning to walk, and most would probably consider it a skill that they’ve mastered. UniverSole is a smart shoe insole that houses several pressure sensors to point out the ways in which one can improve their walking, running, or sitting to prevent strains or injuries. The sensors in UniverSole are paper-thin, and the feel of the insole is comfortable and familiar, preventing users from walking differently while using the product. Also because the design is so thin, UniverSole fits virtually every kind of shoe available for sale.

By acting as the point of contact for tracking, UniverSole offers more accurate data than a wrist-worn activity tracker, while also not advertising to the world that you use a gadget for fitness. With a Bluetooth 4.0 module built right in, data about weight balance, stride, and distance are all tracked and transmitted immediately to any smartphone or tablet.

UniverSole is looking to collect $75,000 in donations to finalize moldings and start production. Backers can run out and get a pair for $200 in November 2015. It’s a great way to discreetly track fitness data, and is a great addition to the new wave of sole trackers we’ve seen recently, joining similar products like the runScribe that tracks while you go.

Aquatics Health and Wellness

Oar Inspired teaches you the right way to row, row, row your boat

As activity trackers have given way to digital workout coaches, each sport has begun to receive tools that are priceless in improving one’s technique and form. To handle this task for the sport of rowing, there’s now Oar Inspired. Oar Inspired is essentially a fully-featured suite of devices designed to measure every aspect of the row and then report it through the on-boat computer that is easy to attach and is protected from the environment on the open water.

The RowCom display of the computer displays this data in real-time, meaning that not only can things be improved for next time, but adjustments can be made in the middle of the race to right the ship. Also, this data is fully customizable, so that whatever metrics are most important can be displayed where they are easy to read and interpret. Australian inventor Des Jacobsen is asking for $70,000 AUD (~$60,000 USD) to release Oar Inspired. The complete Oar Inspired set starts at $990 AUD (~$850 USD), though if single components are desired instead, those are available at lower tiers, shipping in February 2015. It may be a niche, but ultimately all fitness coaching devices fall under this umbrella. Passionate rowers will love Oar Inspired.


Bat an eye at remembering long passwords with FiDELYS

fidelysDigital security is too big and too serious a problem to ignore. There have been several attempts at finding new ways to keep files and accounts safe, but nothing’s as readily available and effective as biometrics at this point. FiDELYS gives security-minded tech adopters more than just a way to keep things safe. Operating as a fully functional smartwatch with features like activity tracking and notifications, FiDELYS also includes an iris camera that can scan a user’s eyeball to grant access to any number of websites or applications. The details of the watch are a little glossed over in favor of the iris scan technology, but with something that incredible and flexible, it’s easy to understand why. FiDELYS is out January 2015 to backers who pledge $199.