The latest CES unveiling: 2015 Bluetooth Breakthrough Awards finalists

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has unveiled the finalists for its 2015 Bluetooth Breakthrough Awards, recognizing excellence in Bluetooth products and applications.

Gadgets
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The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has announced the finalists of its 2015 Bluetooth Breakthrough Awards that applaud the most innovative products and applications developed for the wireless protocol today.

The awards, as designated by the global trade group dedicated to boosting the wireless standard, are broken down into four categories (Product, App, Prototype, Student).

The winners in each category -- along with an overall winner chosen from the first three -- will be announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The overall winner will receive two roundtrip tickets to Bluetooth World 2015 and booth space in the exhibition hall (valued at $12,500 USD). The Student category winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 USD.

As mentioned previously, CNET is the official media partner for the awards, and we'll be choosing the winners from the list below.

Without further ado, here are the finalists for the 2015 Bluetooth Breakthrough Awards:

Apps

  • GN ReSound Smart - An app that interfaces with GN's ReSound Linx hearing aid designed specifically for Apple iPhones, the GN ReSound Smart app lets users receive auditory information from their smartphone, including FaceTime audio, phone calls, music, podcasts and more. Additionally, users can interface with the app to adjust hearing aid volume, assign custom sound profiles for any geotagged location, and set up a "find my hearing aid" tracker that uses GPS to locate a lost unit.
  • Cub Cadet Cub Connect - Designed for use with the Cub Cadet XT Enduro Series of lawn tractors, the Cub Connect app alerts users about necessary maintenance, including oil changes, blade maintenance and air filter replacements. The app also tracks total running hours over the lifetime of the tractor and logs all maintenance tasks to keep machines running at peak performance.
  • Oral-B Application - The Oral-B Application pairs with the company's line of Bluetooth-connected toothbrushes to receive brushing data and create settings for customized brushing profiles. Dentists can create custom brushing routines for patients to focus on problem zones and track progress using weekly or monthly achievements.
  • Riccardo Application - Upon entering a Riccardo shopping mall, users of this app will be informed of current bargains in a particular store, an updated list of products previously selected in online stores as well as a list of customized coupons based on previous shopping experiences.

Products

  • GeoMobile BusAccess - This app uses the Bluetooth module in your smartphone to communicate with a hardware module inside a corresponding public transit bus to make stop requests, display route maps, and notify riders of real-time delays in traffic.
  • Diamond Kinetics SwingTracker - The SwingTracker is a Bluetooth-powered sensor that attaches to the end of a baseball bat to analyze data of any given baseball or softball swing. The sensor measures 15 different aspects of each swing, including power and the exact distance the bat travels in the hitting zone.
  • Microsoft Band - A fitness tracker for your wrist that displays heart rate, workout summaries, sleep trends, calorie tracking, workout guides and goals, incoming call and voice mail notifications, e-mail previews and more. (Read the full CNET review of the Microsoft Band .)
  • Smart Technologies - SMART Kapp - SMART Kapp is a Bluetooth-enabled dry-erase board, marker, and eraser that allows content to be captured digitally and shared to any browser-enabled device. Saved content can be reviewed and sharedby email or by using any number of cloud services such as Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox,OneDrive, etc. Snapshots are easily shared and viewable as high-quality PDF or JPEG files.
  • SneakySquid Nova - Nova is an external flash unit that runs on Bluetooth to take your lowlight iPhone photos to the next level. Without wires, amateur photographers can either point and shoot with their Nova for better photos, or the more advanced user can bounce, tilt and position the light to their own creative vision.
  • Zuli Smartplug - The Smartplug by Zuli uses Bluetooth Smart to give you control over appliances and lighting fixtures. With Zuli's Presence feature enabled, you can set up your lights, temperature and more to adapt based on your preferences, without ever taking your phone out of your pocket.

Prototypes

  • Force Impact Technologies FITGuard - An athletic mouthguard with built-in sensors that seeks to reduce Second Impact Syndrome, a serious and potentially fatal condition in which a concussed brain receives forceful impact.
  • FUZ Designs Noke - A Bluetooth smart padlock that unlocks by proximity to your smartphone. Shared access with others is also featured in the app, along with a history of locks, unlocks and GPS locations. ( Read earlier CNET coverage on the Noke.)
  • hEar Gear FreeWavz - A functional Bluetooth headphone with voice command operation and a built-in microphone for calls. Biofeedback is provided in your ear and reports heart rate, oxygen saturation, calories burned, current and average speed and distance.
  • iCradle GmbH Cobi - A Bluetooth sensor for your bicycle that reports back performance-based metrics in addition to dynamic lighting controls for e-bikes. Cobi also acts as a security lock that prevents anyone except the owner and their trusted network to make use of the hub.
  • Oort - Oort turns your smartphone into a remote control that has the power to turn off lights, control air quality and temperatures, and even keep track of objects, pets and people.
  • SmartMat - SmartMat is a yoga mat with a layer of pressure sensors that presents an interactive yoga class with real time corrections directly on your smartphone.

Student

  • Kenneth Shinozuka's wearable foot sensor detects when a patient has wandered out of a bed or a chair and notifies a caregiver via an accompanying smartphone app.
  • Sarah White's Fitwell system is a smart tape measure to be used in the privacy of your own home, developed out of a need for a more natural fitting system that works in conjunction with retail suppliers.
  • Jody Vankeuren's APD Bluetooth headsets look to replace the clumsy wired headsets typically used in classrooms for children with Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD).
  • Olivia Siller's Bluetooth Diabetic Pump brings a layer of discretion to regulating insulin in public using a wireless pump sensor that alerts users of low blood sugar levels.
  • Santiago Ambit's WeON Glasses incorporate a Bluetooth chip and let you interact with your smartphone hands-free using two buttons mounted onto the frames.

The SIG will announce the overall winner, along with the category winners, from Mobile World Congress on March 2, 2015, in Barcelona, Spain.

Look for additional coverage on some of these products and apps (including photos and video) later in the week as we continue to cover CES 2015.

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