Tag Archives | Health

Jawbone Tries Its Hand at Something That Doesn’t Involve Audio

Jawbone (formerly known as Aliph) started out as a company that made neat headsets. Then it made a portable speaker and released an app for sharing audio notes. Yesterday, it announced that it’s working on its first product that isn’t centered around sound. It’s called Up–which makes me think of Carl Fredricksen–and Jawbone really isn’t saying much about it other than that it’s a smart wristband that talks to your phone and helps you monitor your well-being:

UP leverages Jawbone’s expertise and partner ecosystem integrating robust computing and sophisticated sensor technology in the form of
functional jewelry. UP by Jawbone is a new system that tracks your movement, sleep patterns, and nutrition so you can live a healthier life.
This new end-to-end system consists of a small wristband that monitors your activity 24/7, a mobile app that analyzes the activity, and an open platform that motivates you with personal and social recommendations and challenges tailored to your goals.

The company says that the product will be available later this year, at a price yet to be announced.

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If Cell Phones Cause Cancer, What About Laptops?

Cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic”? Potentially brain-cancer-causing? Comparable to pesticides and the stuff your car spits out? So sayeth the World Health Organization? The reputable science-minded subsidiary of the United Nations?

Bummer. Thank goodness I use ear buds, and don’t talk on the phone much—though when on the go, I do tote my iPhone in my pants pocket, where it’s usually pressed flush against my leg. So much for keeping the phone “as far as possible” from my body. Again, thank goodness I’m not “on the go” much.

My laptop’s a different story. Since I started writing full-time in late 2005, I’ve held laptops on my lap daily. And for the past eight months, I’ve been trying to have a kid. No luck so far, but then—all other things being equal—they say the odds of conception are still just one in four each month. I don’t blame my laptop, but I’m done taking chances. I recently opted for one of those “chill pad” coolers, to hold the machine an inch or so off my legs, and cool the all-aluminum frame—one guess what kind of laptop I own—with a fan.

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Lark, the iPhone “Un-Alarm,” is About to Ship

At last September’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, a startup called Lark unveiled Lark Up, a $99 wristband “un-alarm” that vibrated to wake you up, thereby avoiding disrupting anyone else who happened to be in bed with you. It came with a charging station that let your phone double as a bedside clock. And…it never shipped. Instead, the Lark folks found additional funding for their idea and decided to fast-forward to what would have been their second-generation upgrade. That version–called just plain Lark–was announced (re-announced?) at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York today, and will soon go on sale at Apple Store retail locations, which are adding health and wellness sections.

The new version of Lark retains the silent alarm feature, but it’s beefed up features for monitoring your sleep patterns, incorporating input from a Harvard instructor who studies sleep and making it more of a direct competitor to a gizmo called Zeo. The wristband transmits data back to your phone via Bluetooth, letting you can use your phone to log when you feel asleep, when you woke up, and just how restful (or restless) your slumber was. And a Lark Pro version provides you with a more detailed analysis of your sleep habits based on seven days of data, with advice about how to improve them.

The included dock recharges the wristband and lets you prop up your iPhone or iPod Touch as a clock. It doesn’t include a dock connector, but there’s a USB port in back that lets you charge your device by plugging in your own cable. It’s an Apple-only setup at the moment, but an Android version is in the works.

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