Once again, the TDWI team went to the gargantuan annual tech show, the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas. We were searching for interesting stories and products to tell you about…and once again, this year, we found them. We have already published some (but not all) of our video interviews with innovators from cutting edge companies with health products on our YouTube channel—be sure to subscribe so you can see the new videos as we roll them out.
The videos include stories about HaloNeurosciences’ neurostimulator for athletic performance and RightEye’s eye tracking system for early detection of a variety of neurologic conditions, such as autism and Parkinson’s disease, and Sleep Number’s new 360 smart bed that measures your sleep biometrics, calculates your Sleep IQ and helps you figure out how to sleep better. We also interviewed the CEO of OhMiBod, a technology-enabled pleasure and sexual wellness company. Their award-winning product, Lovelife Krush is a device and accompanying app that helps women learn to do Kegel exercises properly.
We also did interviews with other companies that caught our fancy, such as IK Multimedia and GoPuck who have products that can make the lives of Citizen Journalists and Bloggers easier. Finally, we know everyone likes dog stories, so we had to include a fun interview with Kyon, the makers of an electronic dog collar that can pacify, restrain, help find, shut-up, and otherwise improve the behavior of your favorite four-legged friend.
By trolling the periphery of the exhibit areas (you know, the booths that got the least desirable locations for foot traffic), we stumbled on some unusual and less well-known companies that are making things that may not appear to be health-oriented until you really think about it. One of those is Automatic Injury Detection’s sensor technology that will alert authorities, friends, and family if you get shot!
We spent four full days walking many, many miles as we explored the convention floors, uncovering little (and some not so little) gems that we thought you might want to know about. Here are a some of the companies and products that we found very interesting:
Sports-related concussion prevention
We chatted with the folks from Prevent Biometrics. The Minneapolis-based company has created a mouth-guard embedded with sensors that can detect the strength of a head impact that players of sports like hockey or rugby has incurred. It is combined with an app that walks coaches through the recommended post injury exam used to determine if the player should or should not return to the game. The technology was developed by neurosurgeons and engineers at Cleveland Clinic with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and others.
Helping the blind or near-blind to read
OrCam is a company out of Israel that has combined an eyeglass-mounted camera with voice recognition to create a product that can help people with diminished vision read. You hold the item you want to read in front of your face and the camera takes a photo that is translated into the spoken word and whispers it into your ear via an earpiece. It can also be used to help identify what’s in packaged goods, such as foods that are in your home or in the store. It can help people with limited or no vision live more independent lives.
Laser hair products for hair loss in men and women
Home laser treatments can help some men and women with early or mild hair loss. The lasers work by stimulating hair follicles to help them stay viable longer. We looked at a couple of competing companies in the Beauty Tech section of the convention. We found that lasers come in different form factors. There are combs and headsets that you have to manually move across the scalp from HairMax and a hands-free helmet from iGrow. You have to use the products on a regular basis because once a follicle dies, the laser treatment cannot bring it back. (Earlier this year, I chatted about hair loss and hair restoration with Kenneth Anderson, MD, Founder and Medical Director of Anderson Hair Sciences & Research Center and former Division Chief of Hair Restoration Surgery at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta on our podcast last August. It’s a good resource if you want to learn more.)
Products you don’t yet know you need (or want)
Laundroid is billed as the first laundry folding bot. The company’s dream is that by 2020, their product will be built into the walls of your house. And, it will not only fold your clothes, but will also put them in the appropriate drawers. Grillbot’s Automatic Grill Cleaner is designed to clean that disgusting, dirty, sticky grill for you and maybe encourage you to BBQ even more often. TwinWash from LG lets you wash two loads at once. And last, but certainly not least, your own personal helicopter drone!