Health and Wellness Smartwatches/Bands

IBeat smartwatch monitors every beat of your heart

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S., and every minute that passes without defibrillation and life support intervention reduces the possibility of survival.

patent-claimedIBeat is a 24-hour, heart-monitoring smartwatch that can immediately notify the user, as well as his or her family and 911 in case of a heart-related emergency. Its medical-grade sensors constantly monitor heart activity and detect emergencies.

IBeat ships in July at future pricing of $459. But Indiegogo backers have been able to reserve one for a pledge starting at $99 for early birds. Its makers hope to raise $50,000 by Oct. 30.

There are many other smartwatches on the market already, many of them that feature heart monitoring, including Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2. But few rival products continuously monitor heart rate around the clock like iBeat does. Not all rival products include GPS and some that do, unlike iBeat, charge extra for that feature. Unlike most rival products, iBeat users also don’t have to use it in conjunction with a smartphone.

There are, however, potential negatives for some consumers. First, after a free year of monitoring service, the iBeat watch monthly monitoring fee becomes $17. It is, meanwhile, a single-profile device that’s not designed to be used by more than one person. It is also only being targeted at the U.S. market for now, but its makers say that, in the near future, they plan to offer an international version of iBeat with multi-language support.

Fitness Smartwatches/Bands

Avid is a cheap fitness watch with a Pebble-like button layout

We’re definitely in the era of the smartwatch, but the sad part is that they pretty much all do the same things. The Avid Multi-Sport Smart Watch adds to that massive list by being a watch you’ve seen before with a different name. It has a bevy of features for sports, including auto-course recognition, distance to the green, and scorecards for golfers, or calories burned, distance ran, and route tracking for runners. When you’re not out on the green or trying to best the time for your favorite path, the watch can control music on your smartphone and activate the shutter on your smartphone. In addition, its native push support can keep you up-to-date — it just won’t look too stylish doing it. The campaign is seeking $150,000 CAD (~$134,000 USD), with the opportunity to get your own Avid watch for just $99 CAD (~$88 USD).

The little things usually do count, but not when products like the inWatch Z are capable doing just the same with the addition of an HD camera, but even that watch didn’t hit its funding goal. The Avid would have been better served being a more focused product like the Zoi running system. Because it isn’t, the Avid suffers because it’s doing too many, already explored things at once.


Modillian lets you slap some smart on the strap of your watch

modillianSmartwatches are the next must-own mobile accessory, and already the market is full of enticing options. For those that like the look and feel of a classic mechanical watch but still want to be notified of important phone calls, there’s Modillian. Modillian is a strap replacement for a standard watch that can be used with its own app to set alerts to discreetly vibrate if certain people call or text, or even at a certain time, so nobody feels as if they’re less important than a phone. Just don’t leave that wrist on the table when a notification comes in, or all that effort to be discreet might be wasted. Modillian beta straps and apps are ready to go in January 2015 for $99.


GemWhere smartwatch gives you a daily read on your wrist

The Premise. The internet is absolutely full of content that would take several lifetimes to sift through. Even the stuff that may be of interest comes out too often for a busy person to keep up with. To get through it all takes an assistant to give out only the relevant details.

The Product. The GemWhere is like any other smartwatch out there right now with one key difference: GemWhere will read through news reports, tweets notifications, and more, and read aloud a breakdown of the most key points of each. The watch has a built-in speaker or can be paired to any Bluetooth audio system. With a dual-core processor, GPS, Wifi, Bluetooth, and 3G, this Smartwatch can hang with the big boys while also saving  time by reading the important facts (and only the important ones).

The Pitch. Taking a cue from the introduction of the Macintosh, the GemWhere watch cleverly narrates the video introducing itself. At the Gem Web site, viewers can see what the GemWhere does to articles and preview multiple news stories broken down into what the GemWhere watch would read aloud. The photos are primarily tech-oriented, showing off the design materials and even a sample of the code that GemWhere uses to pick out the right snippets to read. Creator Steve Chen will ship GemWhere if it reaches $100,000 in pledges; enough to finalize the software, purchase the components, and enter production. A stretch goal is available at $350,000 to replace the boxy, classic watch design with something sleeker and more fashionable.

The Perks. The GemWhere smart watch will launch in October 2014, with supports who pledge $199 receiving one for themselves complete with the pre-loaded software.

The Potential. Unfortunately, GemWhere seems like kind of a one trick pony. The idea of having an AI read the news during a commute is helpful to only the most connected and busy of individuals, and if the technology is really that desired, it won’t take long for assistants like Siri to follow suit. As a smartwatch, the GemWhere looks like it’ll function just fine, but lacks the extra power under the hood that its competitors in the market are already offering, and driving a speaker can require a lot of power for a constrained device. What’s left is a functional concept, but nothing else unique enough to set this wearable tech apart.

Imaging Smartwatches/Bands

MADICE brings the “smart pair” of watch and camera into the mobile space

The Premise. The internet of Things continues to boom with smart this and smart that, but these products should do more than just talk with the cloud, internet, or social media. They should talk to each other in an integrated way.

The Product. Designed at its core to cooperate with each other, the MADICE smart camera and smart watch are pocket-sized, sturdy devices that bring a wide range of features in a small, wearable package. Both products offer 3G connectivity, quad core processors, and resistance to water and dust. The camera offers 13 megapixel resolution and has the ability to stream video live over 3G to any device, including the MADICE smart watch itself. Combined, these Android devices can display 1080p high-definition video, run standard Android apps, with the added bonus of the smart camera functioning on its own.

The Pitch. MADICE is a team comprised of creative individuayls from artists to musicians and more, so the campaign for the device is framed naturally to a similar market. The MADICE sells itself as a powerful hands-free tool that can give complete control over a phone or capture the creative spark with pictures nad video. MADICE wants to raise $30,000 to finalize the mobile app for the smart pair and to test and optimize the firmware and hardware.

The Perks. The MADICE smart camera is available for pledges of $139, the smart watch for $189, and the pair for $309. All are expected to ship out at the end of the year. Each item is also available with a 64GB variant compared to the standard 32, for $329 and $379 for camera and watch, respectively.

The Potential. The built-in 3G on these devices make them really great for streaming live video or events as they happen. The overall design is a bit plain, reminiscent of the boxy calculator watches of the 1980s, but the internal power and capabilities of the MADICE smart watch are tempting alone. Paired with the smart camera to create the advertised “smart pair,” that only opens up new opportunities for MADICE to carve out a niche in the already crowded market of smart watches and digital cameras. Without the pair, the devices are certainly powerful, but not so much that they stand high above the competition.


iOne offers smart band on a smart budget

iOneWith the vast deserts of technology stretching out endlessly before us all, what could else could they possibly come up with?  How about a wireless device that transfers some functions from your phone…to your wrist?  For 90 bucks and a wait that lasts til July 2014, the sleekly-designed iOne will allow you to answer calls and texts, play music, display the time and chime one the hour.  You also get Bluetooth connectivity, 240-hr battery life, and grey, red, orange and blue color options. But, with competitors like the Vachen, which shares all of the iOne’s features plus a calendar, stopwatch, and multiple digital clock face,s for about double the price, and the HOT Watch which does even more for even less,  it looks iOne may be the Ryan Gosling of the smart watch world: looks really cool, but doesn’t actually do much.