Awesome Stuff: Health & Fitness

from the stay-safe dept

For this week’s awesome stuff post, we’re looking at three crowdfunding projects that could help people stay healthy.

  • First up, the super impressive Scanadu Scout, what they refer to as a “medical tricorder.” Honestly, this is the kind of thing that it feels like should have been on the market ages ago. A simple consumer device that you can use to quickly scan and record a variety of medical “vital signs,” access them on your phone and even send to your doctor.
    The device looks pretty cool, and I’m not the only one to think so. They put it up with a $100,000 goal, and it’s well over $1.6 million dollars. If you want in on the crowdfunding part, though, order now, because their campaign closes tonight.
  • There are lots of fitness trackers out there these days. And while the Fitbit probably leads the pack in awesomeness, some folks are trying to take things to the next level with the Sensoria Smart Sock Fitness Tracker. It’s a special sock plus anklet gadget that you attach to the socks. It measures all the same things that regular trackers do (though, potentially with more accuracy), but goes even further — such as telling you if your running cadence is off, or if you’re landing too much on your heels. Basically, it’s trying to take the fitness tracker up a level.
    This one is pretty near its goal of $87,000 already, and still has nearly four weeks left, so it’ll almost certainly pass its goal. Personally, knowing the rate I go through socks, I wonder if it will get prohibitively expensive if you have to keep buying more of the “smart socks,” which appear to run a staggering $20 per pair. Also, the prototype anklet looks huge, though they promise the production device will be smaller. Still, in an age when people are looking to measure everything they do, here’s another tool that measures even more.
  • The last one isn’t quite a health/fitness thing, but I could see how it might be used to increase health. It’s an omnidirectional treadmill device (plus the special shoes needed to use it) called the WizDish — which allows you to basically “run” or “walk” while playing video games. In this age of Wii and Kinect where we’ve finally moved video gaming beyond the “sit on the couch and play” stage, this tries to take it up another level by letting you feel more like you’re actually walking or running around rather than being tethered to one spot. You kind of have to watch the video to understand the point:
    Of course, as you’ll see, this has the feeling of a product where the creator spent an awful lot of time on the engineering aspect, but not nearly enough on the marketing/design aspect. The device looks kinda cheap and flimsy, and the production value of the campaign feels like it could have been done much better. On top of that, the whole thing feels a bit pricey — and when you realize that you also need to add a VR headset (which most people probably don’t have), it might not feel worth it. Perhaps that’s why it’s only got a little more than 12% raised of its £50,000 goal with just a week to go. Chances are this isn’t getting funded. It’s too bad, because the concept could be cool, but the folks who created it may want to team up with someone with some more experience in marketing these kinds of accessories.

That’s it this week. Stay healthy.

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Comments on “Awesome Stuff: Health & Fitness”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Poor Mikey Masnick, too dishonest to admit that he’s deliberately routing my posts to his spam filter.

Tell you what. I’ll keep reminding everyone that you’re doing it until you man up and discuss it directly.

You’re clearly ashamed of what you’re doing. Too ashamed to discuss or admit it. How sad.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m wondering why you opted to showcase the WizDish, when the Omni seems to provide a much more functional design.

The WizDish, while cheaper, appears to require you to keep a stiff posture to maintain your balance without allowing your feet to leave the surface. It forces you to move like you’re sliding across ice. It seems like it also requires you to have a Kinect.

The Omni on the other hand, provides supports to keep you upright and allows you to walk naturally and even jog. If it were slightly larger, you’d even be able to sprint. They have also stated that you won’t need to supply your own tracking device.

The Kickstarter is already over $1 million, well exceeding its goal of $150,000, but only has 33 hours left:

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Having looked over the Omni, it only reinforces my critique of the WizDish. The Omni is very similar, but clearly they put a lot more thought into the marketing side of things, making the thing itself look cooler, and they did a much better job convincing people it’s worthwhile.

The WizDish guys look like classic “inventor” types, focused much more on the idea, rather than the marketing. Notice how often each of them mention “patents.” WizDish guys mention it a bunch. The Omni guys? Not an issue. They focus on why the thing itself is awesome.

Mery (user link) says:

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