Light therapy smart glasses from Ayo might just change your life
May22

Light therapy smart glasses from Ayo might just change your life

There are plenty of devices on the market that monitor sleep and track energy levels, but very few are designed to actually remedy these issues. Enter Ayo: A wearable in the form of glasses that debuted at the Wearable World Congress on May 19. The product seeks to address health problems caused by “imbalanced biological levels and rhythms due to sedentary artificially lit lifestyles” through what they call Blue Light treatment. Essentially, the glasses emit a specialized lighting solution that realigns your body with its natural rhythm, thus making you a more productive and healthy human all around. Novalogy CEO Branislav Nikolic first began to think about light treatment when he and his team collectively relocated from relatively sunny countries to the gloomy Netherlands during winter. “Soon we had problems with waking up in the morning or feeling low on energy during the day,” he tells Wearables.com. “This actually made us realize the importance of light on our bodies and its profound effect and on general wellbeing.” Wearing Ayo for only 20 minutes may allow you to reap the benefits of light in an easy and non-intrusive way, say, while you are getting ready for work or bed. What the team explains is particularly special about Ayo’s blue light is its wavelength of 475nm — a number that research has found to be strongly linked with the body’s circadian rhythm. The light enters specific cells in the eye that in turn connect to a part of the brain known as the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), a region in charge of regulating levels and release of hormones into the body over a 24-hour cycle. Modernity’s stressful lifestyles and a corresponding lack of natural sunlight throughout the day has thrown humans’ rhythms out of sync, resulting in heightened risk of diabetes, heart problems, obesity, mood disorders, and even certain types of cancer. “There is also an indication that specific health treatments and medication intake have better results when used by a person with in sync circadian rhythm. The research is still ongoing but it’s showing great promise and high potential in many fields,” a rep for the company told us. But instead of merely preventing diseases, Ayo really seeks to improve life quality overall. The device connects to an app on a smartphone whose first task is to determine the user’s “chronotype,” which includes whether you are a morning or an evening person, levels of melatonin onset/offset, highest core body temperature, and other relevant factors. When amalgamated, the findings are meant to give an accurate representation of a user’s idiosyncratic circadian rhythm. The technology can then “indicate when you could be experiencing an afternoon energy dip, when would be the best time for exercise that requires...

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Fitbit sleep tracking lawsuit draws attention after IPO announcement
May12

Fitbit sleep tracking lawsuit draws attention after IPO announcement

Not even a week after Fitbit filed for a $100 million IPO was the company slapped with a lawsuit by a disgruntled customer for “willingly, falsely, and knowingly” misrepresenting “the character and quality” of its sleep tracking functionalities. Fitbit’s activity trackers are designed to record metrics like steps taken, heart rate, and calories burned, and the Plaintiff of the lawsuit kindly agrees the company does these things well. However, Fitbit also promises its devices can monitor the amount a user sleeps, as well as the quality of his or her shut-eye. As it turns out, the devices do indeed record sleep metrics, they just may not be doing so accurately — and boy, oh boy, is James P. Brickman of Florida pissed. For representation, the Plaintiff looked beyond the Sunshine State and hired lawyers in Ohio and San Francisco. The suit says Fitbit “has made specific advertisement claims that for an extra charge, the customer can purchase a device which also contains a ‘sleep-tracking’ function which will track ‘how long you sleep,’ ‘the number of times you woke up,’ and ‘the quality of your sleep.’’ It then continues, “In fact, the sleep-tracking function does not and cannot do these things. It does not perform as advertised. Consumers who purchase these products and pay the extra amount for this function do not receive the value of this function for which they paid.” The “extra charge” the lawsuit references is somewhere around $30 and, according to a study from 2012, the overestimation of the sleep tracking function clocks in just over an hour per night. “These misrepresentations implicate serious public health concerns, as thinking you are sleeping up to 67 minutes more than you actually are can obviously cause health consequences, especially over the long term,” writes the claimant. No word yet from Fitbit, where the champagne is still probably flowing from the conference rooms following last week’s announcement… We might chalk the motivation and timing of this lawsuit up to opportunism. (But hey Fitbit, fix that tracking problem...

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Wake-up and de-stress: Prana’s wearable tracks posture and breath
Apr16

Wake-up and de-stress: Prana’s wearable tracks posture and breath

Editor’s note: Wearables.com is excited to introduce the Startup Spotlight, where we’ll interview the creative people behind innovative, novel ideas in the wearables world. To kick off the series, we’re beginning with Prana out of San Fransisco.  Activity trackers keep tabs on what you do when you’re moving, while sleep trackers monitor your rest (or lack thereof) come nightfall. But what about all of that time spent not really doing anything? Most likely, you’re sitting for hours on end, and the cofounders of Prana wish not to wile that time away. They believe so deeply in the interconnectivity of breath and posture that they spent two years developing technology to take a holistic look at how those factors affect health. Prana is the only wearable so far that “can detect diaphragmatic breathing, breath patterns, and simultaneously evaluate posture.” Prana utilizes a small sensor case worn on the waist area that takes into account the effects of posture on breathing and differentiates between types of breaths. It’s powered by three accelerometers and communicates with its app on the user’s smartphone via a low-energy bluetooth connection. Cofounders Andre Persidsky, Dr. Paul Abrahamson and Alex Ahlunh have what Persidsky tells Wearables.com is “a combined 40 years of interest and experience in meditation and yoga.” In fact, Persidsky was on a meditation retreat when the idea struck him for an activity tracker that went beyond calories and steps and towards internal health. For years, after all, countless studies have proven breath and posture essential to good health and the management of sleep disorders, anxiety, immunity, blood pressure, chronic pain, depression, ADHD, asthma and more. “Most activity trackers don’t do much other than ping us to get up, which is great,” explains Persidsky. “But most people are sitting six hours a day in their chair, which is much longer than they are standing or walking. People need to improve or maximize the quality of their sitting time.” To teach proper breathing techniques, the Prana wearable can be viewed two ways: Clinical Mode or Game Mode. Prana Medical Mode offers full data analytics for each breath, tracking 10 distinct stats plus posture. Prana Game Mode is a user-friendly way to train breath. The user inhales, exhales and holds breath to follow the pattern of flowers on-screen while avoiding obstacles. It can also passively track your habits; while wearing Prana throughout the day, the device will notify you when your posture is poor by sending you a slight buzz and message on your phone to sit upright, take a big belly breath and re-focus on your body. Essential to the Prana experience are short training videos and “an extensive library of breathing exercises...

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