Health, fitness, and fun: The many applications of Bluetooth
The uses of Bluetooth isn't limited to just headpieces. At San Francisco's Westin St. Francis in Union Square, companies show off how they're using wireless technology to better shape your world.
Motorola's MotoActv fitness tracker
Bluetooth wireless technology connects electronic devices together, and has changed the way we gather and share data since its creation in 1994. In June 2010, v4.0 launched with faster speeds, tighter security, and lower energy output. Recently in San Francisco, tech companies from around the country came together to display its limitless applications.
Touted as the world's first GPS fitness tracker and smart MP3 player, the Motorola MotoActv watch tracks your stats while you run, bike, or golf. It syncs all the data online and even suggest music to workout to. (Available now, $249.99).
Developed for epileptics, and currently in clinical trials at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, SmartWatch uses computer algorithms to identify if its user is having a seizure. When it detects rapid motion, it can communicate with the patient's Android phone to send a notifying text out to family members. (Available now, about $800).
You can do a lot of things with the WIMM One (named because it measure 1 inch by 1 inch), as long as there's an Android-based Micro App developed for it. So far, there are apps that can monitor your health, remotely control other media (like the Jawbone Jambox), and connect with social networking portals. Additionally, it can hook up with your smartphone so you can hang up calls and receive push notifications on your wrist. (A developer preview kit is available now, $199).
Do you have those friends who make you loathe yourself because they post on Facebook about how long their morning jog was? They're probably using MapMyRun. At 25 million downloads, it's one of the most popular fitness apps on the market. With a robust online social community, it connects with other devices to store your fitness data, including how far you ran, where you ran, and your heart rate. Information on how much your self-esteem has fallen the two weeks after New Year's, however, is not given. (Available now, free).
Wahoo Fitness' Blue SC cycling speed and cadence sensor
Built for cycling enthusiasts, the Blue SC sensor kit lets you attach a magnet either to your bike wheel (right) or your pedal (left). The magnets keep track of every rotation, and sends that data to your phone. Your phone can be attached to the handlebars of your bike (middle), so you can keep an eye of your progress in real time. (Available in a couple of weeks, approximately $100).
Winner of the 2011 DiabetesMine Design Challenge, the CoreMD is a prototype product for diabetics that monitors your insulin level. Although it looks like a black doughnut, it attaches to your body and sends data to your smartphone app. From your phone, you can initiate an injection of glucose or glucagon into your body.
(Availability is estimated for 2015, about $150).
If you're always losing your phone, keep Zomm's wireless leash around and it'll beep every time you're a certain distance away from your handset. It's also a Bluetooth speakerphone that you can clip onto your person or your car seat visor. If you lose track of your keys more often than your phone, you can download the MyZomm app, clip the leash to your keys instead, and locate them that way. (Available now, $89.99).
Sure, you think you have a better, stronger, and faster golf swing than your neighbor, but you just can't prove it. Now you can with the Golf: Blast Series. These little sensors only weigh 2 grams, but they collect data on anything they're embedded into, like golf clubs, baseball bats, and tennis rackets. Blast is currently partnering with a number of sports equipment manufacturers so you can get some real numbers and put an end to all your squabbles on the course. (Due out later this year, about $100).
Polar has been around since 1977 and developed the first heart rate monitor/watch devices. Its newest product is the RCX3 watch (top). Used in conjunction with its monitor (bottom), you can tune into your heart rate, your speed, and keep track of your progress with some race-specific features. (Available now, $309.95 or $339.95 with GPS).
Siemens' Aquaris waterproof hearing aid and Aquapac
Promoted as the only waterproof hearing aid in the world, the Siemens Aquaris (left) lets those who have lost their hearing enjoy the water safely again. Comfortable, durable, and offered in a variety of colors, it can connect with a Siemens transmitter (right). Together with an MP3 player, you can listen to music while going for a dip in the pool by placing these devices in the waterproof Aquapac (Available through health care professionals, about $300-500).