The shimmering ring at the Consumer Electronics Show isn’t just a piece of jewelry – it’s equipped with sensors that can detect body temperature, breathing, and more.
At the annual Las Vegas gadget extravaganza, startups advertised high-tech accessories designed to look attractive on the outside, while looking inside the inside of their owners.
“We want to democratize personal health,” said Amory Cosman, founder of the French startup behind Circular Ring.
While this goal was shared by many exhibitors, some experts feared that the tendency to constantly monitor steps, time spent in a seated position, heart rate, and more could lead to risks of stress and addiction.
According to Cosman, the circular ring provides the user with a daily “energy estimate” based on the intensity of their activity, taking into account the heart rate, body temperature, blood oxygen levels and other data.
“It continues at night, we track the sleep phases, how long it takes you to fall asleep, whether you are following your circadian rhythm, etc.,” he said of the ring, which will cost less than € 300 ($ 340). when it hits the market later this year.
“And in the morning it vibrates to wake you up at the right time.”
According to the founder, the ring-sync mobile app is designed to provide personalized lifestyle recommendations for better health based on collected data.
High demand for wearable devices
The demand for wearable body tracking devices is high. CES organizers predict over $ 14 billion (about Rs 103,578.37 crore) will be spent this year on a category that includes sports technology, health monitoring devices, fitness trackers, connected exercise equipment and smartwatches. This figure is more than double the amount spent on this category in 2018.
The growth has been driven by smartwatches such as those made by the giants Apple and Samsung, as well as internet-connected sports equipment that exploded during the pandemic and personal tracking devices.
Companies are also struggling to meet the need for tools that provide reliable data in the face of the remote healthcare pandemic.
Swiss Biospectal uses smartphone cameras to measure blood pressure when a finger is placed on the lens.
French Quantiq develops algorithms that calculate heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure from a selfie.
Meanwhile, Japanese startup Quantum Operation has developed a prototype bracelet that continuously measures blood glucose. Diabetes patients will be spared the needles for frequent blood sugar testing.
Wearable body care devices can provide valuable health data, but some fear that the trend towards “quantifying self-awareness” blurs the line between wellness and stress obsession.
South Korean company Olive Healthcare has unveiled the Bello infrared scanner, which analyzes stomach fat and suggests how to lose it, as well as the Fitto device, which evaluates muscle mass and how to increase it.
Society needs to find out whether such tools solve problems or “generate new dependencies,” says German political analyst Niels-Eijck Zimmermann.
The danger is that the digital self created by such technology is not true, explains Zimmermann, who blogs on the topic.
He also saw danger in gambling features such as rewards and peer competition, which put pressure on users who might be unhealthy.
Withings’ US sales director Paul Buckley was convinced that people could manage health data available through devices such as the Body Scan smart scale, unveiled at CES by the French company.
“I don’t think this is too much,” Buckley said, demonstrating a scale that can take EKGs and analyze body composition.
“You can be better informed about what’s going on in your body.”
Old OnePlus 9R wine in a new bottle or something more? We discussed this on the Gadgets 360 podcast on Orbital. Later (from 23:00) we’ll talk about the new OnePlus Watch. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.
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