Over the past few years, the innovation around health and fitness gadgets has exploded. Here are just a few of the amazing pieces of kit you’ll be able to use to keep you feeling great.
Smart health tech has its problems: there’s no denying that. But there’s also no denying that the health and fitness industry is becoming technologically incredible. Looking at just a few of the new gadgets you can now purchase gives a glimpse into where this industry is at, and where it’s going.
You may find some of these devices too specialized. Others may be absolutely perfect for your needs. Either way, they’re undeniably impressive.
Skulpt Aim Fitness Tracker
The Skulpt Aim ($149) is a potentially revolutionary device that’s an alternative to using mirrors, tape measures, and weighing scales to measure fitness.
This small piece of kit houses 12 different sensors. By placing the device against your biceps, triceps, abs, and quads, you’ll instantly be told your body fat percentage and muscle quality. You can also measure muscle quality in many other muscles, showing you where you need to improve.
Koto Air Pollution Monitor
The Koto Air (pre-order for $139) is a small device that measures air quality in your home and office. You’ll receive real time alerts when there is an excess of dust, pollution, too little moisture etc. This is particularly useful for those who suffer from allergies. The Foobot ($199) is another device offering similar functions.
FOODSniffer Chemical Detector
FOODSniffer ($150) has been developed from a successful Indiegogo campaign. This is a device which detects chemicals near food produce you’re afraid have gone off, and tells you if they are safe to eat.
Used alongside the FOODSniffer iPhone or Android app, an advanced bioorganic test is carried out, which “sniff[s] out when your meat is starting to spoil.”
Sportiiiis Sports Feedback
The Sportiiiis ($150) is a real-time performance device that gives you feedback on your fitness activity, without distracting you.
By using colored LEDs and audio prompts, you’ll be shown feedback such as your current heart rate, cadence, speed, and energy output. The device can be attached to virtually any pair of glasses, and set up to encourage you to meet pre-set targets via the mobile app.
Kolibree Smart Toothbrush
This smart sonic toothbrush ($149) helps to turn brushing your teeth into a game. The 3D motion sensors are used alongside the mobile app. The app contains a selection of games that are controlled by the movement of the toothbrush. The app also records how often you brush you teeth, just in case you need to know, so you can keep an eye on your kids’ brushing habits.
Beddit Sleep Tracker
Beddit (from $120) is the world’s first ambient sleep tracker, which tracks snoring, breathing, movement, heart rate, sleep patterns, and environment. The beauty of this product is that it isn’t wearable like most similar devices.
The tracker is placed underneath your bed-sheets, thereby “turning any bed into a smart bed”. The recorded data is then synced with the Beddit mobile app, allowing you to see your overall quality of sleep. You can use this data to see how relaxation techniques or changes in diet can affect your sleep quality, for instance.
Cue Deep Health Tracker
Cue (open for pre-order at $199) is a sleek device that gives you access to a variety of data simply from a sample of saliva. This enables you to see the effects of changes in your routine and diet extremely quickly, while accessing and logging the data on your smartphone. Different cartridges for the device allow you to track testosterone, fertility (there are specific apps for that), inflammation, Vitamin D, and influenza.
TellSpec Food Scanner
The Tellspec food scanner (pre-order from $399) is a device that claims to be able to tell you what’s actually in your food on a molecular level. This is, in essence, a spectrometer, which measures the light reflected by foods. This provides a lot more information than you might think, including sugar content, various pesticides, gluten, etc.
The smartphone app that you use alongside Tellspec is also extremely comprehensive. You’re able to track the foods and micronutrients you consume, along with how certain foods effect your mood and health.
SoundHawk Listening System
Soundhawk ($349) isn’t actually a hearing aid, nor is it a fitness device, though it can improve your standard of life. It’s called a Smart Listening System. This is a device designed for “people who struggle to understand soft speech, have difficulty hearing conversation over distances, or difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments.”
In essence, anyone who struggles to hear in some situations could benefit. By de-emphasizing background noise (with the aid of a mobile app), you’re able to hear what you want to hear far more easily.
iBGStar Blood Glucose Meter
For just over $70 you can purchase this blood glucose meter that connects directly to your iPhone. It differs from your older glucose meters by allowing you to more easily track your levels over longer periods. The results are then displayed in sharable graphs and logbook tables, allowing you to see how different food items are affecting your blood sugar. Another similar product is the excitedly named Wireless Smart Gluco-Monitoring System ($30), which may come in handy while you wait for Google’s glucose monitoring contact lens.
iSpO2 Pulse Oximeter
Unfortunately, this device is only available for iOS, but the iSpO2 (from $249) uses your pulse to “track and trend your measurements”. These measurements are in SpO2 (blood oxidation), pulse rate, and perfusion index. The technology behind the device means this data can even be tracked while you’re moving. All data is viewable and sharable from the accompanying smartphone app.
Vessyl Cup Drinks Tracker
The Vessyl drinks tracker (preorder for $99) is a surprisingly impressive “smart cup”. The device knows what drink you pour inside, and can thereby calculate calories, alcohol, caffeine, protein etc. based on this. It helps you to try to meet goals, maintain hydration, and also syncs with many popular fitness trackers.
HAPIfork Smart Fork
You may have thought your fork was the last thing you wanted to be “smart”. But the HAPIfork ($100) may make you think twice. By monitoring your eating behavior, it can let you know when you’re eating too fast. It does this my measuring how long it takes to eat a meal, how many “fork servings” you’ve eaten, and the interval between each fork serving.
By reminding you to eat more slowly, this can help with digestion, weight loss, and gastric reflux. You can see all of your data displayed on the HAPIfork app, or the online dashboard.
Kinsa Smart Thermometer
The Kinsa Smart Thermometer ($25) hooks up to your smartphone, and keeps a log of all readings. Based on these readings, and other symptoms that you can select within the app, you’ll be offered medical guidance, helping you know you’re doing the right thing.
The company is also releasing interesting updates such as warnings of outbreaks of certain illnesses in specific nearby schools and neighborhoods, as well as reminders to take medication.
Scanadu Scout Medical Tricorder
The Scanadu Scout (under development) will enable you to “see the fingerprint of [your] health in minute detail”. This includes all major vital signs that you usually only have checked occasionally. Simply hold the device to your forehead, and a couple seconds later, the data will be in front of you.
This data includes your heart rate and ECG, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, and blood oxygen levels. All of the readings are stored, and can easily be shared with your physician. The aim here is eventually to create “a doctor in the palm of your hand”. Exciting times are ahead!
The Sensoria Smart Sock is offering a “smarter way to run”. The pressure sensors within the sock inform you in real time when you’re landing on the wrong part of your foot, and if your cadence needs altering. All the data is tracked for later analysis to help you improve your running technique. There are plenty of other running apps and tools if a smart sock isn’t for you.
Finis Neptune Underwater MP3 Player
The Finis Neptune ($160) is an 4gb MP3 player designed specifically for listening to audio while swimming. By using Bone Conduction Technology sound waves are safely sent straight “into the skull”. The ear can then make sense of these sound waves in a way that’s not possible for most other MP3 players while underwater, due to lack of air. Now instead of swimming in silence, you can use music for added motivation.
It’s clear that health tech is undergoing a revolution right now. Which of these gadgets, or others, will make it to the mainstream, is an exciting question to ponder. But it also gives us an idea into what’s likely to come next.
The increased automation and simplicity when it comes to tracking and recording our health data is well underway. When our doctors and physicians are easily able to access this same information, we’re onto something huge. And when scientists can use the big data that’s collected to make new discoveries, treatments, and cures, medicine will never be the same again.
What other health devices have you come across lately? And do you have any ideas for those that are much needed?