Garmin vs Timex vs Nike+iPod
An AP writer
compares the Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS personal training device with the
Forerunner matches Bodylink in basic features and accuracy, and it bests
the Timex system as a training buddy. Try to keep up with a Virtual Partner
at a specified pace; add speed training by alternating between periods of
intensity and rest.
Navigation is also better. The Forerunner automatically remembers your
starting point and can give you the path back - not the shortest point
across a pond, as Bodylink sometimes does.
That said, the input buttons are clunky, and more importantly, the
Forerunner tends to have the most GPS troubles, especially in New York.
...It's a close call, but Timex gets my vote for city running, even though
Garmin can do much more - it can even display sunset time based on your GPS
position. Many mornings, I barely make it out of bed, and I'd prefer not
spending precious minutes waiting for a GPS signal.
Then he looked at the Nike+iPod Sport Kit:
The device is quite limited in what it displays. You get current pace,
but not the average until you finish, nor can you record split times,
something core to most sports watches.
My biggest beef is the requirement for Nike shoes.
For one, Nike didn't have a "Plus" model yet for flat-footed runners like me
who need extra stability. Within days, my left foot started aching - perhaps
a coincidence, perhaps not.
...I may ultimately buy the Nike/iPod system as a backup, but for Sunday's
Wineglass Marathon in Corning, N.Y., I'll be going solo with Timex - all
46,000-plus footsteps in my non-Nike shoes.
September 28th, 2006
More Remote Health Monitoring
this kind of development fascinating:
Intel is testing products that can monitor the health of individuals
remotely and send alerts over the internet to a doctor if it believes the
wearer is in danger.
The project, part of its
Human Activity Recognition research, is now ready to roll out in its
first test phase, and will be used by 40 old people living in Washington
State from early next year – rising to 100 in 2008. The iBracelet is, as the
name suggests, worn around the wrist and when used in conjunction with RFID
tags, can send data to health carers via a base station.
In the up-coming test, everyday products, such as milk, cups, kettles,
tablet bottles, will be tagged. Every time the wearer of the iBracelet comes
in contact with one of these products, it will send a signal to the
bracelet. This information can then be stored on the bracelet’s 2MB of flash
memory and sent once a week to a doctor, or sent immediately.
Health officials can then get a picture of what the wearer is eating or
drinking, and whether they are taking their medication. Intel admits the
system is not fool-proof, and that just because a person picks up a pack of
tea, for instance, does not mean that they made a drink.
But it monitors what other actions the person takes, and how for long. This
is compared to a database of roughly how long these actions (such as making
a cup of tea) should take. It also learns from how long the person usually
takes to do such things.
September 27th, 2006
Medwave's Fusion Blood Pressure Monitor Approved
announced that it has received
approval of its new blood pressure monitor:
The noninvasive system, called Fusion, is a completely sensor-based blood
pressure monitor with a vital signs option. Fusion takes blood pressure and
vital signs readings at the wrist, and, the company said, its accuracy is
comparable to arterial catheters.
Shares of Medwave rose 41 cents, or 30 percent, to $1.79 on the Nasdaq in
afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $1.32 and $3.69 over the
last 52 weeks.
September 21st, 2006
Omron's Latest Body Fat Monitor
A press release introduces
Omron's HBF-400 body fat monitor:
The HBF-400 displays body fat percentage measurements in 0.1% increments
and has a weight capacity of up to 330 pounds. With a four-person profile
memory plus guest mode, the monitor displays a person's previous reading for
easy reference in tracking fat-loss progress. The HBF-400 will be available
on local drugstore shelves and online and will retail for approximately
I hope to write more on it soon.
September 18th, 2006
The Talking Medicine Cabinet
Last week I wrote of the "hospital bed of the future"
(scroll down), from a New York Times article. Now
Newsday reports on how "inventions are ready to revolutionize the
way baby boomers monitor their health.
One day soon, you may hear your medicine cabinet talking, and it won't be
because you've lost your mind.
The Online Medicine Cabinet recognizes faces, speaks if you mistakenly grab
the wrong pill bottle, checks the pollen level, sends your doctor readings
from the attached blood pressure monitor and all but swallows your pill for
...Merging technology and boomer consumerism, as in the medicine cabinet,
promises a bonanza of "smart" devices to transform health care, starting
with tailored checkups at home and going all the way to solutions for the
nationwide crisis of the uninsured. Pilot programs already have been testing
the logistical, health and social impact of various inventions. Their common
goal: Support "health security" and the independent lifestyle that boomers
envision for themselves, their children and their aging parents.
"The biggest promise is that we'll shift health care concerns from a
once-a-year checkup or an emergency room situation to a kind of everyday
life situation through everyday devices," said Eric Dishman, head of Intel's
Proactive Health Strategic Research Project. "There's this consistent
message from boomer-age people: 'I want to be the pilot of my own body. I
want to manage my own health and wellness.'"
September 18th, 2006
More on the iPod Breathalyzer
A couple of days ago I mentioned (scroll down) the iPod breathalyzer. Now
everyone's onto the story.
Sci Fi Tech:
Just fold out the little straw and blow for five seconds to see if you're
drunk enough to have an excuse to be listening to Journey or if you really
just have lousy taste. It seems strange that a breathalyzer would double as
an FM transmitter, as once you determine that you're too soused to drive you
can stream your music to your car stereo. Wha? In any case, if you're
drinking so often that you think a personal breathalyzer is a worthwhile
investment, perhaps you should spend that money on a cab to get your drunken
ass to AA.
I've been writing about iPod accessories since the beginning of time, and
this is no doubt the best one I've ever seen. Call me an alcoholic, but
having a breathalyzer is pretty damn important. A breathalyzer is the
perfect device to determine how ugly of a girl you can take home that night
and still be considered okay—oh and it can determine the legal limit for
You know that people are trying to jump on the iPod bandwagon when
someone releases a breathalyzer that connects to the ubiquitous music
player....Sticking out of the side of the device is the breathalyzer tube,
and within five seconds it'll read out your blood alchohol content level,
accurate to within 0.01 BAC -- oh and if that wasn't enough, it doubles as
an FM transmitter for your car stereo. That just leaves us with one burning
question: will Mr. Steele be sending one to recently DUIed Paris Hilton?
The iPod accessories industry is a big business, and we’ve seen many
weird ones such as iPod toilet paper docking. Introducing another weird
accessories for your iPod called iBreath, an add-on to your iPod featuring a
Breathalyzer and FM wireless transmitter.
September 13th, 2006
The $10,000 Thermometer
thermometer that monitors a child at regular intervals and warns a
parent if the temperature gets too high - it's a new product idea that has
just won a bunch of high school entrepreneurs a big prize:
For most high school sophomores, the usual Saturday morning consists of
sleeping in or sports practice. But for four 16-year-old boys from Newton
and Wellesley, the time was spent learning about the business world and
winning $10,000 for their idea for a thermometer.
The device would automatically take a child's temperature and warn the
parents if it gets too high.
...Their solution involved a patch placed in the child's armpit that takes
temperatures at regular intervals, and then sends them to a watch-like
device. The device warns the parents if the temperature passes a certain
September 12th, 2006
Breathalyzer - the Music
this web page of New Zealand music events to learn of the world premiere
on September 23rd of Breathalyzer, from the Manukau City Symphony Orchestra:
The world premiere of John Rimmer's Breathalyzer, inspired by an
encounter with a police breath-testing unit in central Auckland at 10am on a
weekday morning, has police watching the orchestra closely. Mr Rimmer
comments on his new work, commissioned by MCSO with the financial assistance
of Creative New Zealand: 'The mood of the piece varies from degrees of
anxiety as if a guilty verdict were about to be delivered to a joyful,
romping exuberance, a relief perhaps from a negative breathalyzer test
September 12th, 2006
Hospital Bed of the Future
The hospital bed and waiting room of the future is your home, says a
New York Times article on home electronic health monitors that can
be remotely monitored by doctors.
The centerpiece of her system is an implanted device that regulates her
heartbeat, delivers lifesaving shocks when necessary, and wirelessly
communicates with her doctors via the Internet.
The same communications system is also linked to her blood-pressure monitor
and a bedside electronic scale. By remotely watching data on her condition
for signs of the next potentially life-threatening development, her doctors
have occasionally been able to change her heart medications in time to let
Mrs. Huntoon avoid yet another trip to the hospital.
...“It’s about just-in-time medicine, instead of just-in-case,” said Dr.
Adam Darkins, a care coordination expert at the Department of Veterans
Affairs, which oversees the Veterans Health Administration.
The department is currently using relatively simple home monitoring devices
to help manage the treatment of nearly 14,000 military veterans suffering
from heart disease, depression, diabetes and post-traumatic stress disorder,
Dr. Darkins said. It plans to expand to 21,000 patients by October.
The many companies betting on remote-monitoring medical technology include
makers of implantable devices like Medtronic, instrument companies like
Honeywell and Philips, and countless hardware and software companies ranging
from start-ups to giants like Intel.
September 11th, 2006
The iPod Breathalyzer
press release announces the iBreath iPod Breathalyzer with FM wireless
The innovation called the iBreath® is an iPod accessory that includes a
fully functioning breathalyzer and an iPod FM transmitter that transmits
your iPod tunes to any FM tuner. It’s expected to be one of the hottest
selling items this holiday season with the perfect combination of
entertainment and safety already garnering significant buzz.
You can read more (and buy it) at
September 11th, 2006
Just How Drunk
The TMZ.com website contains a feature, "Just
How Drunk is Steve-O?" It's about someone named Steve-O testing the
AlcoHawk Micro breathalyzer. Or, as the website says:
So what did the shirtless wonder Steve-O think of this product? Our brave
tester informed us that he "went to war with a bottle of vodka" before
giving the AlcoHawk a try.
The result? I don't know. You have to watch an online video, and it wouldn't
work on my computer.
September 7th, 2006
The Laramie Boomerang (lovely name for a
newspaper) carries an interesting report on the
Start program, which involves attaching a breathalyzer to a car
ignition, so that the car won't start if the driver has been drinking. You
can read more here about
September 4th, 2006
Pedometer Quick Links
* "Imagine a little $20 gadget that, just by wearing it,
made you move. A pedometer is just that — a device that rides with you,
counting your steps throughout the day, nudging you ever so slyly." -
Great article on all the benefits of using a pedometer.
* Sony is set to ship its pedometer-equipped Walkman NW-S200 Series Sports
Gizmodo describes it as "dildo-like."
* I thought
pet pedometers were just some kind of joke. Now it seems 4,000 vets are
September 2nd, 2006