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February 4, 2016

Get caffeinated with the flick of your wrist

joule bracelet watch
Most of us have joked about plugging caffeine in intravenously… and this may be the first step to make that a reality! Joule has just introduced the world’s first-ever caffeine bracelet using FDA approved transdermal patches. Their aim is to create a caffeine experience that highlights the highs of caffeine experiences (read: productivity and sheer willingness to take on most tasks) while eliminating the lows (read: the inevitable crashing down of your entire universe hours later).

The bracelet can be used in conjunction with regular caffeine consumption for those of us that love the taste and warmth of this sweet elixir of happiness.

This patch claims to provide an immediate energy boost the moment it is placed on the skin compared to caffeine ingested through other forms, which can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes for the body to absorb. 

“The Joule Team is creating a caffeine consumption experience that highlights the highs of caffeine such as a suppressed appetite, heightened athletic performance and mental acuity, all while eliminating the high cost associated with coffee, the jitters and the crash that many caffeine drinkers experience” says Adam Paulin, inventor of Joule.

Each Joule patch is equivalent to one cup of coffee and is slowly absorbed by the body for up to four hours of effectiveness.

Joule - Black
It can also be worn during workouts and other athletic activities to provide a safe boost in energy. And think about it, you’re also cutting down on calories from that double latte!

Joule is available for pre-order at

Would you try miss your barista too much?

January 30, 2016

Higher-Tech Health Gizmos

spire wearable
Photo: Amazon

From an automatic body manager that measures calorie intake through your skin (whaat!) to technology that tracks your breathing and stress and coaches you to be more mindful, the newest technologies to hit the market go beyond counting steps to actually tracking your accountability to your health resolutions! 

HealBe GoBe

Photo: iotnewsnetwork

HealBe GoBe is worn on your wrist and measures calorie intake and hydration through your skin. It syncs with your smartphone to give you intel on calories consumed, burned, steps, heart rate and sleep.

By sending low electrical signals to your tissue on your wrist, it can determine fluid levels in and around your cells so when you eat and glucose displaces water inside your cells and GoBe is able to measure that and can approximate the amount of calories you consumed.

I tested this with a bowl of oatmeal with trail mix and some berries, the caloric intake was 470 – and GoBe reported 410. It also calculates protein, carbs as well. The carb load was 42g and it reported 41; protein was 9g but the app calculated 26g.

It estimates carbs and protein by measuring how fast – or slowly – the conversion happens in your cells. With 85% accuracy it can pick up the sugar in my coffee creamer and those few squares of chocolate I sneak in the middle of the day – I wish I knew how much I mindlessly eat and how bad it could be for me! This hour-by-hour reminder might be enough to make you rethink that strawberry cheesecake, especially if you’re inching closer and closer to your 2,000 allotment per day.

It’s also the only wearable device that can automatically measure the user’s overall hydration level, it sends you alerts for you to reach for that glass of water.
$299 at

This is interesting and can teach you a lot about how food metabolizes and how you might be underestimating your calories, but once you’ve ingested that cupcake, it’s too late. This next technology analyses your plate BEFORE you eat so you can proactively mitigate impending calorie damage! 


Photo: SmartPlate

SmartPlate is an intelligent plate that instantly analyzes everything you eat, calories and macro and micronutrients and keeps an eye on your exact dietary needs.

You take a photo with your smartphone and it recognizes 10,000 USDA approved meals, 300,000 pantry items and 100,000 restaurant meals. Each reservoir has a scale so as the app recognizes the food, the scale weighs it for the most accurate calorie count.

Foods have been photographed thousands of times from all angles so nearly any direction you take the photo the app will be able to recognize it. It even knows the difference between fried and grilled chicken! If you need more healthy unsaturated fats, for instance, the app will recommend you eat an avocado or a handful of almonds before the end of the day and speed warnings tells you when you’re eating too fast.

SmartPlate is a finalist in Sir Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge.
Available for pre-order for $99 at



Photo: Spire

Spire is like a Fitbit, but for your emotions and stress. It monitors your breathing by the second (you can see your breath go up and down in the app) and coaches you to a calmer, balanced state of mind by allowing you to discover when you’re stressed, where it happens, and what you were doing, through its app.

It sends you a smart notifications when you’re getting tense and guides you to calm through meditation exercises when it matters most; maybe before that big client meeting or when you’re dealing with a stressful deadline.

When you know your stress triggers, you’re able to monitor and learn from it, this way if snacking or food if your go-to coping mechanism you’ll be able to consciously put down the donut and take up a healthier habit, like going for a walk or using the app for a guided breathing exercise.

By simply controlling your breathing you can lower blood pressure, reduce tension and increase endorphins. It also tracks steps and calories.
$149.99 at, and on Amazon


Photo: Nima

If you’ve had to go gluten-free like me, every meal is an adventure – that’s putting it mildly! If I ingest gluten my immune system is compromised and two to three days later I’m suffering with a cold, low-grade fever, the works! That’s why I’m pretty psyched about Nima, launching mid-2016, it takes a tiny sample of food and analyses whether there’s gluten present in just two minutes.

It can test liquids, solids and anything in between and uses one-time-use capsules that are pre-loaded with their proprietary chemistry so there’s no need to re-fill or clean. I love also that the app is crowdsourcing data, too, so eventually you may not even need to test the Orange Chicken at PF Chang’s. It was designed by a team from MIT, Stanford, Google and Nike and touts a 99.5% accuracy.

Unfortunately it can’t save you from the embarrassment of ordering food, testing to find it has gluten and having to either send it back – or do what I do – pass it off to my fiancé! Or worst yet, having to pass on that meal grandma cooked it lovingly all day. Ugh.
On pre-order for $199 at

Does the idea of an automatic calorie counter freak you out? Would you try any of these?

January 24, 2016

Your crib sheet: 6 baby wearables making parenting smarter

The newest frontier of wearables aren’t vying for a home on your belt buckle, it’s looking to wrap itself around a sweet chubby newborn’s ankle. From baby wearables that use hospital technology to keep tabs on baby’s breathing and oxygen levels, to a pacifier you can locate under your couch with your smartphone, parenting is getting way smarter and more connected than a 5-year-old with an iPad.

Mimo Monitor


Mimo uses sensor technology to tell you how your baby is breathing, their body position, sleeping temperature, activity level, and whether or not they’re actually asleep! It sends alerts and nightly reports on your little one’s sleep, and uses your smartphone to connect all your caregivers and keep you connected. You can learn over time how junior sleeps best so everyone in the family can get more quality sleep.
Available for $199 at

Sproutling Baby Monitor

sproutling baby wearable

Imagine knowing whether your baby will wake up cranky (send in the spouse!). That future is now here with Sproutling. It’s a wearable band for your baby that senses, learns and can predict baby’s behavior over time. The band sits around baby’s ankle and monitors heart rate, skin temperature, motion and position and communicates with the app to let you know if she’s sleeping soundly, or something’s wrong – like any change in vitals or if your newborn rolls over while sleeping.

The charger is smart, too! It keeps tabs on baby’s environment, from room temperature, humidity, sound and lights to optimize her sleep conditions. You can better plan your afternoon, knowing how much time you have before the little one wakes up from her nap. Better yet, you’ll know whether she’s calm, fussy or angry – before you even walk into the room!
Available for $299 at

Owlet Baby Monitor

owlet baby wearable

A lot of scary things may go bump in the night but nothing terrifies a new parent more than tucking their baby into bed and head to their own for shut eye. Any mom or dad can confess they’ve often snuck into the nursery, oftentimes several times per night, just to check on their little one, even if she’s as snug as a bug.

Looks like a restful night’s sleep might be in your future. Owlet uses hospital technology called pulse oximetry to silently watch over your little one’s heart rate and oxygen levels to ensure they are in range. It sounds an alert to parents if baby stops breathing.

The monitor fits right onto baby’s foot, just like a sock, and comes with three sock sizes to fit them until his or her first birthday.
Available for $249 at


Fever Smart


Fever Smart allows you to remotely – and continuously – monitor your little one’s temperature using your smartphone. The small device is attached with a disposable patch and sends alerts when a temperature starts to spike. The last thing a parent wants to do is wake their child up once they’ve fallen asleep, but now they can receive alerts on their smart phone so that they can treat them immediately.

Women who are looking to increase their chances of becoming pregnant oftentimes monitor their basal body temperature to help track ovulation. BecauseFever Smart allows you to track trends over time, it can help women determine the best times of the month to conceive, too.
Available for $129.99 at


Baby Gigl


Baby Gigl is a smart baby bottle holder that monitors how much your baby drinks from the bottle and tracks environmental data during the meal, sending feedbacks to the caretaker in order to improve your infant’s wellbeing.  Each person involved in the baby’s feeding can have their own smart sleeve which logs to the baby’s account, one for the caretaker, one for the parents, one for the nanny.

Thirty percent of babies are affected by reflux problems and by monitoring meal times, duration, quantity and responding to alerts, baby may just be one step closer to bypassing uncomfortable colic for good.
Available soon for $100 at


pacif-i baby wearable

While I might not have children yet, watching friends- and inevitably getting down on all fours myself – to search for a baby pacifier has been comical. Pacifier always wins. And even when we win, the glamourous prize is rinsing off Fifi’s hair under a scalding hot faucet.

Pacif-i not only uses your smartphone to locate it, it also sends you alerts when it’s being left behind – like near the big slide at Washington West Park.

It also does double-duty, it measures baby’s temperature without disturbing them. With a range of 30 feet, you can monitor their temperature even while they are in another room. You can even record medication and keep a convenient record when baby’s under the weather. Now that’s a smart mouth you’ll want to keep around!
Available for $60 at