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The future of health and wellness is here—and it can be found in Las Vegas.
As the tech industry descends on Sin City this week for the Consumer Electronic Show (CES)—the world's largest tech trade show—so does all the super cool, mind-boggling, thought-this-was-never-possible gadgets. From industry tycoons to hometown startups, hundreds of thousands flock to Las Vegas for a glimpse into the future. But it’s not all about luxury electric cars and smart TVs. Some of the best tech we saw is in the healthcare and wellness space.
With CES badge in hand, I hit the hotels and convention center to get a sneak peek into the future of fitness and wellness, and all I have to say is “what the wow?!” Here are some of the coolest trends and products I’ve seen over the last few days. Viva Las Vegas—the only place where tech really talks.
Catching your Zzz’s is no longer about your typical memory foam. The new age of sleep is here, and it’s just the beginning of a better nights snooze. Nokia unveiled its latest health product, Nokia Sleep. Coming out in the first quarter of this year, the Wi-Fi enabled Nokia Sleep mattress pad uses an “advanced” center to monitor your sleep cycles. Did we mention it can also control the lights and thermostat in your bed? Talk about pure (affordable) bedroom bliss.
Sleep Number also stepped up their mattress game as they unveiled a Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed™ in a truly dreamy booth space. Using two air chambers inside its mattress to contour to the individual, their smart beds measure and adjust the height to prevent snoring so you can drift into a deep sleep via their Sensing SleepIQ® biometrics. A mattress that uses technology to eliminate snoring? Can we get a heck ya!? I tested it out, and it was crazy comfortable—or maybe it just felt nice to get a moment of shut-eye amongst the CES madness.
CES wasn’t all about mattress technology, though. A French startup introduced Dreem—a sleeping headband that you wear overnight. Available now, the headband not only measures your brain waves and heart rate, but it learns your sleep patterns to help you fall into a sweet slumber. Equipped with breathing techniques and meditation inspired sound-based programs, this OM-amazing sleep gear will help you stock up on that shuteye!
Your basic faucet, that cabinet mirror, a typical toilet—the days of traditional bathroom components are long gone. I discovered bathroom technology that I didn’t even know I wanted at CES. Kohler’s® mega booth was a big CES attraction, as they introduced Kohler Konnect™. The line of smart home products is geared towards technologically-driven, experience-focused bathroom products. Kohler’s Verada® Voice Lighted Mirror easily made it to the top of the list. Featuring a built-in Amazon Alexa component, hands-free light control, and a motion-sensing night light, this mirror will redefine your routine. Don’t just take your face washing or makeup routine to the next level. How about your whole life? Ask Alexa to play music, stream the news, and do household chores before you even brush your teeth.
Simplehuman—best known for their trash cans—showed us a whole new side to their brand with smart mirrors. Designed to help you optimize your look, these mirrors enable you to see yourself in an entirely new (digital) light. Featuring a “tru-lux” light system simulating natural light, The Wi-Fi Wide-View Sensor Mirror also has the wide view side paneled smart mirror, which enables you to look at yourself from any angle while accessing smart features like your lighting presets. Oh, and it has 10x magnification detail for close-up eyebrow tweezing. Don’t look too closely at your pores though! I made that mistake.
Dominated by wearable tech, the fitness space at CES was full of fresh, new finds. From “E-Skin” to Health Tags, how you workout is now about how you wear this tech trend. We are instant fans of Spire Health Tags. Featuring a small piece of tracking technology, you can apply the tags to any item of your clothing. Plus, you don’t need to worry about washing the Spire Health Tag—it’s meant to live in the clothes you wear most. Ah, so that’s why there was a lot of bras and underwear at the booth. Spire keeps you completed connected—monitoring activity, sleep quality, heart rate, breathing patterns and stress.
Japanese startup Xenoma upped their smart clothing game with a comic book-style smart shirt—featuring E-Skin technology—which they released last year at the electronic show. Imagine your torso area being turned into a motion controller, so your movements act as a software inputs for games. Now their technology is sleeker and redefined. Not only will you look like a superhero, but the futuristic shirts for him/her also contain 14 sensors and a running mini-game that is just the right amount of silly. While the running game graphics need some work, Xenoma’s E-Skin was altogether fascinating, tapping into my usually dormant nerdy side. So who’s ready to suit up and sweat it out ?
Stylish smartwatches were everywhere at CES. High-end watch brand Skagen blended technology with fashion in their flashy booth. Despite all the smart styles, Falster took the prize. With the full touchscreen interface, the Falster is a round-screen smartwatch featuring an always-on AMOLED screen, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, and is powered by Android Wear. Launching later this month, I enjoyed the simple and sleek design. Plus, I can choose a mesh or leather straps. Talk about #trending.
For us fashion focused, higher-end, brand-loving tech people, Kate Spade New York flexed their tech muscles with the Kate Spade New York Scallop Touchscreen Smartwatch. Keeping their classic scallop design identity, the tech is good—1.19-inch AMOLED display, ambient light sensor, Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor. But what stood out was the watch’s fashion-forward, interactive design. Using an app, you can customize the round watch’s face to compliment your outfit. Day or night, the color of your jewelry, hues of your clothes, the watch will suggest six different faces that work with your look. There’s also a fun component to the face—like a winking eye—which fits the Kate Spade brand. Smartwatches are no longer built to be basic, that’s for sure.
Idaho start-up Black Box VR made quite a splash at CES when they unveiled their full-body workout in the form of a 30-minute virtual reality experience. Complete with a cable-based, strength-training workout machine and a HTC Vive headset, you can get your beast mode on via video game. Currently, the experience involves a virtual arena where you compete against an avatar, and in the future, one another. I waited a while to check out the tech—thanks, news stations—but I was finally able to try a real-life two-minute chest press demo, headset and all. The overall gist? Each chest press shoots out fireballs at the avatar, as the weight you are pulling increases per rep. But yes, you are correct—I was defeating a villain while working on my fitness.
With plans to open a boutique gym in San Francisco, CA later this year, Black Box VR blends mythical with muscle in a gamified environment. I mean, who doesn’t love a virtual crowd of fans cheering you on?