Marc Saltzman, a technology columnist for USA Today and author of 16 books on consumer technology. His radio show, Tech It Out, is syndicated on 240 stations around the US. He is based in Ontario, Canada. MarcSaltzman.com
Thousands of technology companies exhibited their latest products at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this past January. Among the flying cars and next-generation smartphones were some gadgets designed to improve health or provide assistance to people facing physical issues, including these…
Keep your health on track with a smartwatch: Citizen CZ makes wellness-related predictions and recommendations for the wearer, in addition to tracking his/her heart rate, blood oxygen levels and other health data. Example: The watch warns the wearer when he/she is becoming fatigued before he suffers a dangerous loss of alertness…and it provides tips for overcoming that fatigue via an accompanying app. Watchmaker Citizen partnered with IBM and NASA to develop this tech. Bonus: Unlike many smartwatches, the CZ watches look like classy timepieces. It will reach stores in March. $276 to $435, depending on the style.
Monitor your health on your TV: Samsung Neo QLED and OLED TVs have an optional detachable high-tech camera that uses “remote photo-plethysmography” tech to monitor viewers’ heart rate, heart-rate variability, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and stress index. Bonus: Samsung is launching a service and app that will allow owners of these TVs to quickly arrange telemedicine exams with participating doctors. Prices and release dates have not yet been announced, nor is it known whether Samsung’s telemedicine service will be covered by insurance or Medicare. Samsung.com
Reduce anxiety with a robotic pillow: Fufuly expands and contracts as if it were breathing. Hugging it replicates the reassuring sensation of hugging a comforting person or pet. Japan’s Yukai Engineering worked with researchers at University of Tokyo to develop Fufuly and claims that holding this pillow for five minutes can lead to “rhythmical synchronization,” which encourages anxious people to slow their breathing and calm down. No pricing data or release date is yet available. Ux-xu.com