Health and Wellness Smartwatches/Bands

Embrace smartwatch watches out for epilepsy, other conditions

There are lots of smartphone apps out there that measure our health. When the necessary information is put in, the app interprets high levels of stress, not enough sleep or other detrimental health effects. The one huge flaw with this model, however, is that the app assumes the information it’s given is correct. It’s difficult for people to measure their own vital signs if they’re not doctors.

Embrace cuts out the guesswork. This smartwatch monitors health and then relays that information to an accompanying app so that the data it provides is accurate. Embrace looks at sleep patterns, heart rate, stress levels and is especially adept at helping those with epilepsy. For parents or spouses who have loved ones with epilepsy, they too can wear an Embrace. When a seizure starts, the information is given to the app which will then alert designated caregivers that help is needed.

Embrace comes in different colors and two sizes: large for adults and small for kids. Best of all, the campaign is matching each smartwatch purchased 1:1. That means that for every Embrace given to a backer, one will be given to a child in need with epilepsy. The body of the watch is medical grade, but the band is Italian leather, secured with a magnet.

This smartwatch takes the very idea of a smartwatch even further. Most focus on receiving texts or e-mails or even monitoring run times. Embrace serves a bigger purpose by monitoring help and has the potential to save lives. Other than the fact that the magnet may not be the best securing method for a watch, Embrace sets itself apart from other frivolous smartwatches. Backers can have their very own for a donation of $189 for delivery in July 2015. Embrace hopes to raise $100,000 on Indiegogo.

Safety Smartwatches/Bands

Bluetooth iChild tracker monitors skin temperature to detect a snatching

With the ubiquity of smartphone use, child tracking solutions continue to surface. Some are hit or miss, but all are better than walking around with your child on a leash. The iChild is another product that promises to make keeping track of your little one easier. It comes in the form of a red or blue watch that pairs with a companion smartphone app and does exactly one thing only: every 10 seconds, the watch sends a ping to the smartphone with your child’s temperature.

How does that help? This ping of information does two things: receiving the information at all lets you know your child is within 50 feet of you, and also alerts you to abnormal temperatures as well so that you can head off that cold or fever. While the iChild is a novel idea, its premise is a little flimsy and does more to fuel worry than actually help you solve the problem of a lost child. With no GPS, it can hardly compete with the scores of other child safety wearables. In addition, even if you were to receive abnormal temperature readings, wouldn’t it be too late to do much of anything? The iChild’s one saving grace is its $40 price point, but even that is too much for a product that isn’t really useful in the long run. The campaign is aiming for a ridiculously high $1,000,000 funding goal.


What the hex? Comb720 neatly organizes your smartwatch notifications

All these new fancy smartwatches have forgotten one little thing: their ease of use! Sure, us techies will be able to grasp all the different taps and gestures to get the most out of our new devices but watches are not just technology. Watches are much more widespread than that, and if companies want to capture the average watch user, they’ll need to do more to simplify the interactions with our wearable technology. The Comb720 is trying to do that by being a smartwatch that utilizes seven tessellated, hexagonal tiles that include e-mail, fitness, and messages.

This 7th grade inventor, Davis Barrow, hopes that since these tiles never move, users will quickly become accustomed to where they are, therefore more quickly able to obtain information compared to most other competing smartwatches. The Comb720 comes in a leather-banded, bronze-bodies version, while the active version sports a carbon fiber construction and a durable paracord band, both compatible with iOS and Android. The Comb720 currently costs $250 with a delivery date of February 2015. Its campaign goal is $5,000.


Epic cell phone watch is another spin on the wrist communicator

Google, Apple, Samsung, and other tech giants may not always agree on much, but if their product lines are any indication, they all seem to agree that the smartwatch is the next big thing that people won’t be able to live without.

Add Epic to that list of companies. This new startup has developed working prototypes of “watchphones” that can be worn on the wrist or on a necklace or lanyard. Unlike some smartwatches, the Epic Mini Pendant Phone and the Epic Signature Edition watchphone function completely independently of any other devices, with touch-screen displays, activity tracking, and a 74-hour battery with 6 hours of talk time. Team Epic has set a curious goal of $300 to begin production. Backers can pick up an Epic Signature Edition watchphone for $249 or the Mini Pendant Phone for $200 in February 2015.

The rise of smartphones was predicated on giving people PC functionality on a portable, powerful device. While wearable tech is a great step in the next direction, consumers may not be willing to scale back those functions in the name of being able to wear their devices. While it’s great that Epic watchphones are independent of other devices, people would still likely keep phones in their pockets for the heavier tasks.


Tempest tempts with wraparound smartband color display

The smartband and smartwatch boom has seemingly died down a little bit now that the major players each have their products either on the market or ready for launch later next year. However, it’s arrogant to expect that nobody else can come up with a better idea to push this market forward.

The Tempest Smartband is a smooth, sleek wristband that also happens to have a crisp display over the entire top half of the band. Running its own operating system and syncing up with all major smartphones, the Tempest performs on all the levels that everyone expects from a smartwatch. Where it sets itself apart is in its customizable desktop, the stacking notifications that wrap around the band, and the computing power inside. In addition to controlling camera shutters and music players, the Tempest’s display and processor are strong enough to even handle wrist-based gaming, as strange as that sounds. The Tempest team want to crowdsource $100,000 worth of donations to handle the testing and production of this device. Getting one over a supporter’s hand and onto their wrist takes a pledge of $140 and should be out in May 2015.

The display on the Tempest looks gorgeous, and would almost certainly blow competitors out of the water if it hit the market on looks alone. Like the Moment’s wraparound display, the idea of using more than just a calculator watch’s worth of a display is appealing from a design aesthetic. The issue that arises is that with just a 20-second pitch and very few photos of the device itself actually in the wild, tempering anticipation with expectation makes this project seem like it’s just a little too far down the road to support at this point. If more information and demonstration could be shared, then this would absolutely be a great choice for wearable tech enthusiasts.



StopMee removes wires from the smartwatch market

stopmeeWe’ve seen many smart watches lately, but most people don’t appreciate the inconvenience of having another device to look after. If such a smartwatch charged wirelessly, that might be another story. StopMee is a wrist wearable that offers helpful reminders relating to hygiene, incoming phone calls, and even health, all powered by Wi-Fi signals in the area. The campaign video is flashy, colorful, and promises a great deal about the device, regrettably without showing the device working in the real world. Backers beware, this little band may be too good to be true, but those who can keep the faith may want to pick this up. StopMee will launch for $250 to ship in August 2015.


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.


Moment breaks the smartwatch mold with a wraparound digital touch display

editors-choiceThe Premise. The smartwatch arms race is on, with developers all over the world scrambling to one-up their competitors and come out with the first must-own wrist wearable.

The Product. Moment is a new kind of smartwatch, with full wrist wrap-around display and a battery life that lasts a whole month. The entirety of the Moment’s exterior is a touch-sensitive input device, allowing for a full keyboard to be displayed or data on any side of the surface. Incoming messages are displayed privately on the interior of the wrist to maximize comfort while minimizing any chances a snooper might have of being nosy. Moment is also modular, allowing new hardware to be installed into the device to offer features like GPS, inductive charging, and activity tracking.

The Pitch. Momentum Labs, creators of the Moment, offer a rather subdued and low-key introductory video to their product.  Giving a close look at how the super-thin device came to be, viewers see a few simple examples of how the Moment is used to send and receive messages, keep updated on game scores, and like any good watch, keep track of the time. The campaign also shows some basic screenshots of the device controlling cameras and PowerPoint presentations as well. Momentum Labs wants to raise $100,000 to complete prototyping and enter full production.

The Perks. The Moment Smartwatch will be available December 2014 in white on gold or black on silver for $174, with free charging cradle to all backers. For $188 there is an exclusive black-on-black color scheme, and at $189, developers can get their hands on the last batch of prototypes in order to begin developing apps for the Moment.

The Potential. As far as futuristic smartwatch design goes, Moment is at the top of its class. The nearly seamless wrap-around display with complete interaction looks stylish and sleek while also not sacrificing the economy of space on such a small device. The e-paper display looks bright and easy to read, but may limit some of the device’s functions on the application side. Those looking for a wide array of functions on the watch itself will probably want to look elsewhere, while those who want something that stands out more stylishly will take what the Moment has to offer.

Smartwatches/Bands Wearables

Glance hugs a watch’s band to deliver inconspicuous intelligence

The Premise. Smartwatches are the go-to gadget for 2014, it seems. Big companies are starting to jump in, people are already buying them, and they are bringing out the most of other connected gadgets in a way that is convenient and easy to use.

The Product. At first glance, the Glance is a sort of fake-it-until-you-make-it smart watch. The device hugs the band of any wristwatch and offers a display that can show text messages word by word or identify someone calling so that a conversation doesn’t need to be interrupted unless truly necessary. However, the Glance has even more functionality under the surface, sending out auto-texts when a response is warranted but can’t be typed out at the moment, controlling other smart devices with simple gestures, and even locate a missing phone by calling it automatically.

The Pitch. Keeping it short and sweet, Glance Team shows off all of the device’s key features in a brief video that confidently sells Glance as more than a discount novelty smartwatch alternative. Some other features, including that Glance is waterproof, are touched on later on in the campaign materials alongside the technical specifications and hardware details. Glance Team wants to raise $150,000 CAD in order to finalize all of the designing and manufacturing. Stretch goals are available: At $300,000 CAD, the option to engrave a message on the Glance will be unlocked. At $500,000 CAD, Windows Mobile and Blackberry compatibility will be added on top of the existing iOS and Android functionality, and at $750,000 CAD, a microphone and speaker will be added to every Glance.

The Perks. A Glance is available for $70 CAD and should arrive to backers in October of this year. An advance version is available in September for $700 CAD and a stylish sterling silver edition is available at the end of the year for $1,000 CAD.

The Potential. As an entry point into the smartwatch market, Glance will suffice for some people. It offers a surprising number of features but still isn’t quite as fully-fleshed out as a typical smartwatch might be. It is, however, still a cost-effective solution for calls and texts, and the auto-text feature is great for those that can’t always pick up a phone and send a text out right that minute for whatever reason. It’s a simple concept that looks right at home around the standard watchband, but as the competition begins to become less expensive, the temptation of an upgrade may steer consumers away from Glance.


Groove learns your habits, keeps you motivated to workout

The Premise. The tech market has spoken, and people want devices that track their physical activity to motivate their workouts. Mobile devices work best when they do more than one thing, however, and so one company is rolling out wearable tech that does more than count burnt calories.

The Product. Groove is a hybrid smartwatch and fitness tracker. The device is worn just like a regular smartwatch, but also can schedule, track, and report workout data both personally and among fitness buddies. With the ActivLite band, notifications can pop up through an attractive light-up band so that owners don’t have to keep checking their watch as if impatiently waiting for something to happen. The Groove can monitor heart rate, observe sleep cycles, is waterproof, features voice commands, and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

The Pitch. The image of the Groove is what you would expect from wearable fitness – clean, young, active, and lively. The video does a good job of showing off the different things the device is capable of, and the campaign’s pictures flesh those ideas out by comparing the Groove to seven other popular smart watches and fitness trackers. The team behind Groove want to raise $200,000 to complete the companion app, get Bluetooth certified, and handle the production and distribution of their product beyond the initial crowdfunding step.

The Perks. The Groove Watch is available with app and charger for $179. In addition to the basic black and white colors, an Indiegogo-exclusive gold variant is available for $249. Both rewards will ship in January 2015. For those who want to start meeting goals earlier, a beta version will be out in October for those that pledge $1,499. Those that want to custom the colors and finish of their watch can design their own for $2,499.

The Potential. By integrating smartwatch features, an attractive design, and social tracking and goal-oriented aspects like the Samsung Gear Fit, the Groove lets other people offer something to strive for when outside motivation is needed, and a reason not to take off the device when it feels like a lazy day. While it may not be the most unique in terms of design or style, it bridges two products that are beginning to heat up into one concise, effective package.