April - May 2006
Narrowing the Rift between Geeks and Jocks
The Kansas City Star runs a
series of great articles on health monitors, aimed at fitness fanatics,
though, as one of the reports notes:
The age-old rift between the geeks and the jocks is getting smaller.
Weekend warriors and everyday fitness buffs are geeking up with high-tech
gear that will do just about everything for them but sweat.
Devices from companies like Olathe-based
Garmin International use satellite tracking to help runners, walkers and
bikers calculate their speed and the grade of that hill they just climbed,
and even show their course on a computer using satellite maps from Google
Heart-rate monitors help them calculate the calories they’re burning and see
whether they’re working hard enough, or too hard.
Sunglasses have built-in MP3 players. MP3 players have built-in stopwatches.
Last week, Nike and Apple announced a partnership to launch a product line
that combines a $29 sensor, a new $100 pair of running shoes and an iPod
Nano MP3 player so users can track distance, time, pace and calories while
listening to music.
Even pedometers have gone digital, calculating walkers’ daily steps and
letting them track their progress by computer.
A separate "gear guide" is
May 29th, 2006
New Breathalyzer from Lifeloc
Lifeloc Technologies has introduced a new model, the Phoenix 6.0.
press release from the company states:
The new Phoenix 6.0 device is highly intuitive, with fast, digital
operation based on patented software design. Its simplistic electronic
calibration, numerous safeguards and self-diagnostics even incorporate a
built-in barometric pressure sensor, all of which help eliminate factors
that might render breath alcohol detector results invalid. Built-in
EasyMode(TM) software guides the operator through testing sequences with
instructions on a large, bright, LCD screen displaying text messages,
graphic icons, and precise test results.
The U.S. Department of Transportation mandates that test results must be
printed, recorded and acknowledged by the individual. The Phoenix 6.0
facilitates this evidential alcohol breathalyzer testing, incorporating a
250-test internal memory, wireless connection, and a new, patented
PermAffix(TM) printing and labeling system. This system produces
tamper-evident, self-adhesive labels perfectly fitted for DOT forms --
allowing convenient and legible documentation of breath alcohol detector
results in just seconds.
May 27th, 2006
Public Library Pedometers
I think this is a great idea. The Huntsville Public
Library in Ontario lends
well as providing 10,000 Steps Walking Kits. My local library has a good
collection of trashy DVDs. I'd prefer they offered pedometers.
May 25th, 2006
The iPod Pedometer
Nike is to
market a kit that allows iPods to function as a pedometer, giving
runners information on the distance they've gone, the calories they've
burned, and the length of time they've been running. The kit will include a
wireless antenna that connects the iPod to specially designed Nike shoes.
May 24th, 2006
Home ECG Analysis
you to Aussie company
alerting me to the Cardy series of ECG products. Of particular note is the
Cardy Home, which allows patients to take their ECG measurements at home.
These results can be analysed by computer. And if the unit detects
significant changes in a readout it will advise a visit to the doctor, who
is also able to download the reading to a computer.
May 22nd, 2006
New Body Fat Monitor
Akihabara News reports on the
Tanita BC-502 body fat monitor, which is equipped with a Bluetooth
module that can transmit data to a mobile phone and then to a website that
can be checked by a doctor. It's not on Tanita's US website, and there's no
indication that it is to be released anytime soon outside Japan.
May 22nd, 2006
AlcoScan Breathalyzer - Love the Contour
Gearlog website continues its (very unscientific) breathalyzer tests, by
taking the AlcoScan AL6000 to a student party. The conclusion:
We consider the AlcoScan AL6000 from AK Solutions the most ergonomic
breathalyzer of them all, considering its fabulous contour design. It's a
great addition to your collection of ergonomic keyboards, desk chairs, and
computer mice. Not to mention, it's a great trend-setter because it not only
comes in standard black/silver, but in a shiny black/red, too! We like.
...Overall Impressions. Simple to use. Fairly accurate. Great party
toy. A bit bulky for your purse or pocket. Comes with an awkward-shaped case
and the device fits too snugly in the case. She wouldn't buy it for herself
since she's a mass transit user, but she might buy one for a friend who
May 18th, 2006
When You Want to Write and Exercise
The latest ballpoint pen from Taiwan - it comes with a
May 15th, 2006
Choosing a Thermometer - Guidance from the Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic website for a useful slide show titled "Choosing a
Thermometer." The first picture illustrates five different thermometers,
and, as the caption says, "If you're over 30, you may not recognize all the
temperature-taking gadgets shown here."
May 13th, 2006
If There's No Sober Person Around To Recalibrate It For You, You're In
Gearlog website continues to review breathalyzers, with a test of the
Brookstone Digital Alcohol Detector:
Everyone at the party stood in line to try the breathalyzer. Bennett felt
that it provided seemingly accurate readings with different people. For
example, it gave a lower reading for the guy having beers as opposed to
himself, who was rocking the hard alcohol cocktails. It even provided a zero
measurement to the most responsible member of the group, who was drinking
Overall Impressions: He was impressed with the Breathalyzer’s accuracy, and
liked how small and easy it is to slip into pockets. But having the same
button that both powers the device and triggers the device calibration
procedure makes it way too easy to recalibrate by accident. And if there's
no sober person around to recalibrate it for you, you're in trouble!
May 12th, 2006
New Mobile Phone with Pedometer
Nokia's latest mobile phone, the Nokia 5500 Sport,
features a pedometer, enabling users to measure distance traveled and
calories burned. Details
May 11th, 2006
AlcoHawk ABI - Handy for Impatient Drunkards
The Gearlog website (which bills itself as "a gadget guide by geeks for
reviews of the AlcoHawk Slim and the AlcoHawk ABI breathalyzers.
It was hardly the world's most scientific test:
I was actually surprised that after only 2 drinks I had a .05, so it just
goes to show it doesn't take much. As for my boyfriend, I put him to bed and
placed a bowl next to him while he slept just in case, well, you know.
And the conclusion?
Both AlcoHAWK devices are designed by the company Q3 Innovations. I liked
the AlcoHAWK Slim because it fits right in your pocket or purse. I felt that
it was pretty accurate, but it takes awhile to warm up. The AlcoHAWK ABI is
a bit bigger than the Slim. It's actually the company's best selling unit.
The ABI takes less time to warm up than the Slim does, which is handy for
impatient drunkards. If I had to choose one over the other, I'd go with the
ABI, just for the fact that it seems more accurate (since it's DOT approved)
and comes with a car charger.
May 6th, 2006
The BreathKey Breathalyzer
Cincinnati Enquirer features the BreathKey, a digital key-chain
breathalyzer that can give people a quick measurement of their blood alcohol
concentration before they get in their cars. According to the article:
BreathKey is about the size of a keyless entry remote for a car. It is
the only digital key-chain breathalyzer to be certified by the FDA. Three
other key-chain breathalyzers certified by the FDA use a color-coding system
to indicate blood alcohol concentration.
BreathKey also is the only consumer key-chain breathalyzer to use a
fuel-cell alcohol sensor, the same type of sensor found in breathalyzers
used by law enforcement.
You can read more about the BreathKey
May 5th, 2006
Digital Ear Thermometers Are Best
digital ear thermometers really accurate? The "Body and Soul" columnist
of The Times newspaper believes they are.
A digital thermometer placed in a child’s ear canal will give you the
most accurate reading.
A team of researchers from Queen Mary’s Hospital, in Sidcup, Kent, recently
reviewed the literature on the most effective methods of monitoring a
child’s body temperature. They found that tympanic temperature, the
temperature monitored in a child’s ear canal, gives the most accurate
reading even when his or her body temperature is changing rapidly.
April 29th, 2006
Bone Exercise Monitor
Newtest Oy, a Finnish fitness technology company, has
launched a bone
exercise monitor, which enables the bone-strengthening power of exercise
to be measured individually.
According to information from the company:
Small enough to be carried on the waist, the Newtest Bone Exercise
Monitor™ keeps track of the user's daily exercise and immediately analyses
it. The device can be used all the time. With it, the user can monitor
everyday physical activity and fitness and health exercises. The monitor
shows how many per cent of the daily and weekly bone exercise the user has
Newtest is also a new tool for physicians, physiotherapists and exercise
instructors, facilitating the drawing up of bone exercise instructions and
ensuring easier guidance and better motivation. With the monitor, it is
possible to keep an eye on reaching bone exercise targets and ensure the
actual impact of the exercise.
April 22nd, 2006
Sunday Telegraph carries a long article on how to
test yourself at home for a wide range of afflictions. For example, it
recommends home blood test monitors for some people. It's a good article,
very sensible, very balanced. But take a look at the photo (right) that
April 10th, 2006
More on Omron's Expansion
A press release from
Healthcare gives some detail on the benefits expected from the
acquisition of Colin Medical Instruments (below):
As the number of Americans with lifestyle-related diseases such as
hypertension and diabetes continues to increase, the need for comprehensive
healthcare solutions is greater than ever before.
New areas of focus that will be created by this acquisition include:
-- Enabling clinicians to assess arterial stiffness through products
utilizing Colin and Omron Healthcare technologies;
-- Identifying opportunities to connect the consumer and the clinician for
more effective healthcare management.
Omron Healthcare's acquisition is also intended to enrich its current
-- Expanding its blood pressure monitoring business;
-- Continuing to strengthen its brand by promoting its blood pressure
monitoring technology and products for the medical workplace (hospitals
and clinics) and home use;
-- Developing the next generation of blood pressure monitoring technology;
-- Enhancing the availability CMI's products in the North and South
April 7th, 2006
Omron Expands in the US
Omron Healthcare has
completed its takeover of Colin
Medical Instruments, a niche manufacturer of blood pressure monitors,
based in Texas. Omron says "the
combination of the two companies will provide a broader range of medical
devices that can be sold to hospitals and for use in a home setting."
April 4th, 2006