Health devices unveiled at CES 2015: Where are they now?

By Jonah Comstock
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Every year in January at CES in Las Vegas, consumer electronics companies hype the products they hope to release in the year to come. But a lot can happen over the course of a year, and these devices don’t always find their way to market. For the past several years we’ve rounded up the health-related product announcements at CES, and last year we published our first “where are they now” roundup of the previous year’s unveilings. Read on to see which products from CES 2015 saw the light of day and which ones we’re still waiting on.

Products that launched in 2015

Garmin's three new activity trackers

Garmin announced three new activity trackers at CES: fenix 3, epix, and Vivoactive. Fenix 3, with a suggested retail price of $499.99, offers features to track multisport activities including advanced fitness training, cross-country and alpine skiing, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, and trail running. Epix, with a suggested retail price of $549.99 is a smartwatch that can download apps that will use the its digital compass, altimeter, and barometer to track fitness activity. Vivoactive, the least expensive of the newly announced smartwatches, uses an accelerometer to track activity and retails for $249.99. 

All three launched as planned in 2015.

Withings Activite Pop

In June 2014, Withings announced a wristworn activity tracker, called Withings Activite, that looks similar to a regular analog watch. The watch, designed in a Swiss village that’s known as a center of Swiss watchmaking, has a stainless steel watch case, sapphire scratch-proof glass, and French calf leather straps. It costs $450. At CES 2015, Withings announced a low-cost version of the device called Withings Activite Pop, which will cost $149.95. The Activite Pop offers all of the same fitness features that the Activite does, but is made with a PVD-coated watchcase and a "smooth silicone strap”.

Not only did the Pop launch as planned in March, but Withings followed up with a third device, the Activite Steel, in November.

Wellograph

Wellograph’s 2015 announcement was actually just a software update: it added sleep tracking and body readiness testing to its existing device. In the new operating system, on top of activity tracking, the watch will give users information on their sleep cycles, if they were in deep or light sleep, and data on their REM sleep. 

The update was meant to go live in late January, but according to App Annie it wasn’t pushed out until March.

InBody Band

InBody developed a wristworn activity tracker that measures body composition and will tell the user what their body fat is compared to lean tissue. InBody already offers four larger body composition devices.

The company launched a Kickstarter campaign in February, shipped to backers in May, and launched to the public in November. The device is available on Amazon for $179.99, the same price the company promised back in January.

Hexoskin Junior

Hexoskin, maker of sensor-embedded clothing, unveiled Hexoskin Junior for youths last year. The shirt has all of the same sensors as the adult version: heart rate, heart rate variability, breathing rate, respiration volume, calories burned, and steps taken per minute.

The Hexoskin Junior line is now available for purchase online, for $149 for just the shirt or $379 for the whole system including the device and app.

TempTraq from Blue Spark Technologies

West Lake, Ohio-based Blue Spark Technologies unveiled a peel-and-stick Bluetooth-connected thermometer for parents with young kids. The product, called TempTraq, allows parents to continuously monitor their child's temperature via a mobile app, including setting up alerts when it exceeds pre-set parameters. The thermometer can measure temperatures from 86 degrees to 108.3 degrees fahrenheit. 

After securing FDA clearance in September, the device went on sale and can now be purchased online for $24.99.

SleepIQ Kids by Sleep Number

Sleep Number, which worked with BAM Labs to create its SleepIQ technology, announced a new bed for children last year. The bed is designed to adjust and grow as children age, and can be controlled by an app that either parents or kids can use, depending on the child's age and the parents' preference. It can also alert parents when the child gets out of bed and, like other SleepIQ offerings, measures average breathing, average heart rate and movement, and quality of sleep.

The bed launched as planned this year and is available in a range of models from $799.99 to $1,699.98.

nuyu Sleep System by Health o meter

Another sleep tracker unveiled at CES15 was the nuyu Sleep System, which is also a temperature monitoring device. The system from Health o meter heats and cools the user's bed to promote optimal sleep health based on age, height, weight and ambient room temperature. It's built into a mattress pad that users fit beneath their sheets, and also serves as a sensor for sleep monitoring. Health o meter is also working on an activity monitor and a wireless scale.

The nuyu Sleep System launched as planned and is available on the Health o meter website for $499.99.

easyTek Smart Hearing Aids from Siemens

Siemens announced its easyTek hearing aids, smartphone-connected devices that feature microphones pointed in four directions -- behind, in front, to the right and to the left. Depending on where their listening focus is and where the most distracting background noise is coming from, users can adjust the levels of those four directions from the app. Alternately, they'll be able to activate a smart setting that makes that determination for itself and automatically adjusts the levels.

Because the devices are sold through a hearing care professional, they’re pricing information isn’t available, but the easyTek line does seem to have launched, as has the connected app.

FLOOME from 2045Tech

This Italian-designed smartphone-connected breathalyzer's launch is actually a reboot: Floome ran an Indiegogo campaign back in 2013 but didn't get very close to its goal. Floome connects through the headphone jack of an Apple, Android, or Window’s device. The device’s aesthetics stand out, with a rounded design in a variety of colors. It also calculates the user’s time to sobriety, and it doesn’t require a battery at all. The device has a removable cap for cleaning, and the app sports graphing, social sharing, and cab-calling capabilities.

Floome may have taken a while to get to market, but it did launch this year, in July. It’s on sale via Floome’s website for $99.

Independa TV from Independa

Independa, a remote care and aging in place technology company, announced that its Independa TV offering, previously available only through a health system, will launch direct to consumer in 2015. The Independa TV system allows older people who might be less familiar with technology to access picture sharing, messaging, video chat, calendaring, reminders, a help button, and more through a familiar technology. Independa also announced the launch of a mobile app version of its caregiver web portal, complete with HealthKit and (planned) Apple Watch integration.

Both those services launched in 2015 and are available via Independa’s website.

Quitbit

Quitbit launched its smartphone-connected lighter for cigarette tracking and smoking cessation through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in May 2014, but at CES the company announced that the device would go on sale for $99 and that preorders would ship in March. The Quitbit lighter has its own built-in display that tells users how long it’s been since their last cigarette and how many they have left for the day (if they set a limit). Since many smokers share lighters with friends or light a friend’s cigarette for them, the device has a three minute window after a first light-up when it doesn’t count subsequent uses. That way if the wind blows out a cigarette shortly after lighting it, it’s not counting it twice either.

Quitbit preorders did not ship in March, but the company did get them out by the end of the year. According to the Kickstarter page, devices began shipping to backers in late November. The device is now selling for a little more — $129.

Gymwatch

Gymwatch announced its fitness sensor, which was developed to help those that are already fitness-focused and want to improve their workouts. The device is strapped around the user's arm or leg muscles and measures the user's starting strength, maximum strength, explosive strength, speed strength, and full range of movement. This way, the company explains, Gymwatch can help users do movements correctly and with the optimum intensity.

After a successful $160,000 crowdfunding campaign, Gymwatch is available for purchase online for a sales price of $99. This month the company also partnered with German fitness fashion brand Gym Aesthetics.

iSwimband

iSwimband had developed a sensor that will alert its companion app if someone wearing the sensor has been in the water for longer than preset limits or if a non-swimmer falls into the water. The device costs $79 and according to PC Mag, comes with clip-on attachments and bands so it can be worn on the wrist or clothing. 

The story looked good for iSwimband, but unfortunately the company is now out of business, a former associate of the business has confirmed to MobiHealthNews. The device ran a successful Indiegogo campaign this past summer and even shipped devices to backers, but apparently legal troubles and failure to get traction with investors did the startup in.

Pacif-i from BlueMaestro

MobiHealthNews has written before about Pacif-i, a dishwasher-proof smart pacifier, which has a built-in temperature sensor that will track their babies’ temperature over time. It transmits information to the parents’ iOS and Android devices through Bluetooth Smart and a companion app. At CES BlueMaestro showed off the device and announced new details about pricing and availability: the device will be available starting in February for $39. 

According to a blog post, the company began shipping its final batch of preorders just this month. The product also appeared on CBS’s CSI: Cyber with Ted Danson. It’s now retailing for 42 pounds, or about $62, a bit of a jump from the preorder pricing.

Quell from NeuroMetrix

NeuroMetrix's $250 Quell device is a wearable not just for monitoring health, but for pain relief. The device, which launches later this spring, will use nerve stimulation to treat chronic pain by sending signals to the brain that cause it to release natural opioids. Quell is also Bluetooth-connected, so patients can track and manage their therapy via an app. It has already received FDA clearance.

The device launched more or less on schedule on June 15, and is now available for $249.00 from NeuroMetrix’s world.

Swarovski Collection from Misfit

Misfit, maker of the Shine and Flash activity trackers, has partnered with Swarovski to create two new versions of the Shine that feature a crystal face and look even more like jewelry than the company’s original polished aluminum device. One of the devices, the violet Swarovski Shine, uses solar charging to stay powered up — sunlight, LEDs, or halogen lighting all keep the device up and running. Like all Shine devices the two in the Swarovski Shine collection feature a watch battery that have a six month lifespan, according to the company. 

The Swarovski line was released as scheduled and is now available for purchase on Misfit’s website. The partnership wasn’t hampered by Misfit’s acquisition by the Fossil Group earlier this year.

GoBe from HealBe

HealBe's controversial GoBe calorie tracking bracelet resurfaced at CES, with some indications that the technology might be for real after all. For one, HealBe allowed the BBC to test the device at CES, and although the test was conducted on HealBe cofounder George Mikaberydze, not on a journalist, they did test out the device with foods selected by the BBC. The device proved reasonably accurate in the test. Second, the company announced that the devices would be available at the end of the month for $299 a piece.

Over the course of the year HealBe has been subjected to much scrutiny by PandoDaily, who pointed out, among other things, a lack of evidence that the device actually tracks calories or nutrition as advertised. In January of this year, it finally launched (or at least sent out test devices to a number of journalists) to mixed reviews. Even those that proclaimed the calorie tracking function accurate found the device buggy, and others considered the calorie tracking features a total bust (in addition to finding the device buggy).

Devices that didn't launch in 2015

Connected Cycle's smart pedal

At CES, Paris, France-based Connected Cycle unveiled a smartphone-connected bike pedal. The pedal will notify the bike owner if their bike has been moved, but it also records the speed, route, incline, and calories burnt for all of the user's bike trips. Stats from the pedal are sent to the cloud and users can use a companion smartphone app to view them. The pedal charges itself so users don't have to worry about its battery life. Although only one pedal will have the smart technology, it is sold as part of a set for aesthetic reasons.

Connected Cycle launched an Indiegogo for the product in April and raised $172,000, nearly three times its goal. The product was meant to ship by the end of the year, but the company had to set that deadline back. As of mid-December, they were testing a new prototype.

TAO Wellness's isometric exercise systems

TAO Wellness has created two exercise systems that the company presented at CES. The first device, called the TAO WellShell, and helps users to isometric exercises discretely in public places, for example on an airplane or at their desk during work. While TAO Wellness presented the device as a prototype at last year's event, since then, they launched a Kickstarter campaign for it and have now returned with a manufactured version. The other product, a prototype, called TAO Chair, allows users to work out while sitting down in their home. The chair's armrests move so users can push them with their arms or legs to work different muscle groups and strengthen their core.

According to TAO’s website, the group plans to unveil both products at this year’s CES as well as “a new mobile game for TAO that incorporates exercise routines into a retro platformer type video game” and begin distribution immediately afterwards. 

AmpStrip

Shelton, Connecticut-based Fitlinxx, maker of the BtoB activity tracker Pebble, announced at CES that the company had launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for its newest device, a bandaid-like, direct-to-consumer, heart rate tracker, called AmpStrip. The sensor is a small patch that the user sticks on their torso. It tracks heart rate, calories burned, respiration, body temperature, and posture. Fitlinxx first announced the device in November 2014.

This one has a pretty big update, which we dedicated a whole story to back in October. After raising more than $500,000 on Indiegogo for the device, Fitlinxx announced that it would not be developing AmpStrip as a fitness tracker, but rather as a medical device. The company will refund all of its nearly 4,000 backers on request.

Parrot Zik Sport headphones

At CES 2015, Parrot unveiled headphones with health sensing capabilities. The headphones track heart rate with an in-ear biometric sensor and analyze the user's running style, including cadence, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. Users can view the data on a companion app. The headphones will also sync with other sport apps.

Although Parrot Zik released a pair of headphones in 2015 — the Parrot Zik 3 — there’s been no sign of the Parrot Zik Sport, and no announcement from the company that we can find.

VivaLnk eSkin Thermometer patch

VivaLnk has developed a thermometer patch that sticks on the user and tracks the user's fever. It sends this data to a connected smartphone app. The company says the thermometer takes a reading in less than three seconds. 

Though it was originally planned to launch in the spring of 2015, the company is now saying it will launch in early 2016. The price point has also gone up, from $15 to $20 up to $59.00 on the company’s pre-order page. The product also has a new name now, Fever Scout.

Bloom Ring from Prima-Temp

One more temperature sensor is from Prima-Temp, and it's aimed at women and couples trying to conceive a child. Called the Bloom Ring, the device is a connected, self-inserted device that measures a woman's core body temperature and then sends her a smartphone alert when she's most fertile. The company unveiled the sensor and app at CES, but didn't mention when it would be commercially available or at what price.

Prima-Temp changed its product name from Bloom Ring to Priya Ring, and it has had a rocky road to launch — an October crowdfunding campaign for the device raised less than $2,000, just 6 percent of its goal. The company still plans to launch the device, however, and is taking preorders on its website.

Mint from Breathometer

Breathometer has long planned to expand its product offering from breathalyzers into oral and even respiratory health. Their first product in that vein, Mint, is designed to improve oral health and hydration. Mint measures breath quality and hydration level. Mint was announced at CES and also began crowdfunding on Indiegogo, where supporters could pre-order a device for $99. They planned to ship devices in August 2015.

The company’s crowdfunding campaign went very well — they were over 326 percent funded with more than $100,000 raised. But there were some hiccups the product development. Shipping is now scheduled for Q1 2016.

Epic Alert from Epic Safety

Vancouver-based Epic Safety (no relation to the EHR vendor) launched a new line of mobile personal emergency response systems (mPERS) called Epic Alert. The system includes a base unit, an automatic fall sensor, a wearable pendant, a door contact, a motion detector, and a waterproof wall unit. Through the pendant, users can have two-way voice communication with a help center, one-touch calls for emergency assistance, and automatic fall detection.

It’s not clear that any of these devices are actually available for purchase yet. The company’s website provides only a form for requesting more information.

Baby GlGl from Slow Control (formerly HAPILabs)

Finally, the company that delivered the HAPIFork last year (a smart fork that detects how fast the user eats) returned this year with a smart baby bottle that monitors a baby's milk consumption, with an aim on preventing bouts of colic. The company has since changed its name from HAPILabs to Slow Control and rebranded the HAPIFork as the 10S Fork.

Baby GIGI is still listed as “Coming Soon” on the Slow Control website. The company is also now developing “Yum & Done”, an interactive digital offering to help young children finish meals without getting distracted.

Aterica's Veta

Aterica announced that their first product, a smartphone-connected case for an EpiPen, called Veta, is open for pre-orders. The case has a flashing light and audio alerts that can help the user locate the EpiPen if it's been misplaced. Veta also has a proximity alert that will tell users via their mobile device if they left the case behind. Users can customize the proximity alerts by providing flexibility if they are in low-risk locations, like their home. Temperature sensors in the case can alert the user if the EpiPen gets too hot or too cold and if the user has an allergic reaction and take the cap off the smart case, an alert will be sent to caregivers in the user's network. 

According to Aterica’s latest blog post, delivery of pre-ordered Veta devices, originally scheduled for Fall 2015, is now on track for February 2016. The devices can still be preordered for $59.99.

Bragi Dash

Bragi unveiled a demo of the company's fitness-sensing earbuds at CES. Dash plays music via Bluetooth and tracks pace, steps, cadence, distance, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and energy spent. The product, which completed a Kickstarter campaign in March 2014, was not yet complete when it was demoed at CES, but the company said they plan to ship Dash in the spring. The Dash is available for preorder for $299.

The earphones are still only available for preorder on Bragi’s website. They now say they will ship in January 2016.

Cambridge Consultants XelfleX

Cambridge Consultants unveiled its XelfleX smart fabric that measures body movement using fiber optic thread instead of embedding the clothing with sensors. This way, the clothing is "inherently smart", the company explains. The clothing could be used for fitness and sports coaching, for example "to help perfect a tennis serve, golf swing or ski technique, or as part of a physiotherapy to help patients recover after injury, surgery, or neurological problems". 

Unlike many of the devices announced last year, XelfleX was never meant to launch this year. It’s still under development.

Emotia's Belty

Emotia demoed its prototype for a smart belt, called Belty, according to Engadget. The belt will is motorized and will tighten or loosen itself so that the user stays comfortable while moving around. The belt also tracks steps and sends this data to a companion app via Bluetooth. The belt can also vibrate with a user has been sedentary for too long. Finally, it keeps tabs on changing waist measurements so that it can notify users if they are at risk for weight gain.

Initially, the company told Engadget it was planning to launch by the end of 2015. However, the company is now accepting $395 preorders with a promised shipping date of December 2016.

Zensorium Being

Zensorium announced at CES that the company's new product, a smartwatch that continuously tracks your mood, heart rate, and activity, would go on sale for preorder. The device cost $169.15 if preordered and was meant to be shipped in April 2015. It will retail for $199. Being's most significant feature is its mood tracking. The device will map the user's mood into four different zones, excited, distress, normal, and calm using heart rate and changes in blood pressure. It will also differentiate good stress from bad stress.

As of now, the device is still available only for preorder, now at the full price of $199.

Consumer Physics SCiO

SCiO, a tiny spectrometer that says it will send information about food, nutrition, and medication to a user’s smartphone via Bluetooth Low Energy, announced that the estimated ship date for the device was July 2015. SCiO raised $2.2 million on Kickstarter, on top of $4 million to $5 million in funding from venture capitalists including Khosla Ventures. According to the company, device will be able to scan foods and return information about their nutritional content, assess the ripeness of fruit through its skin, assess the health of plants, analyze soil, and authenticate medications. Specifically, for scanned foods, it will return results for calories, fat, protein, and carbs. 

SCiO didn’t launch in July, and in fact hasn’t shipped yet as far as we can tell.

Linx IAS from BlackBox Biometrics

BlackBox Biometrics showed off its concussion sensor, a product for athletes that follows up on their Blast Gauge system used by the military for measuring the impact of explosives on soldiers. The Linx IAS has a similar form factor to MC10 and Reebok's Checklight -- a small sensor fitted into the back of a mesh helmet inset or headband that measures the impact of a potential concussion. After a head injury, athletes can check a green, yellow, or red light to see whether it needs immediate attention, and parents and coaches can have that same assessment sent directly to their smartphone.

Linx IAS has not yet launched for consumer purchase — it’s still "coming soon". But the company may have found another kind of buyer for the technology. They announced this month they partnered with the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory to develop the technology for the field.

Sensoria Smart Socks for physical therapy

Sensoria is working with Respondwell to create a new version of its fitness tracking socks for rehabilitation patient monitoring. The technology will allow patients to do exercises and receive feedback immediately from a therapist connected via a tablet app. In the future, the two companies might also work together for stroke rehabilitation, disease management, sports rehabilitation and to improve general wellness.

There hasn’t been any more news all year about the Respondwell partnership, but in October Sensoria did embark on a clinical partnership, with Orthotics Holdings Incorporated (OHI).

Lenovo VIBE Band

Smartphone maker Lenovo showed off its $89 smart watch and fitness tracker, the Lenovo VIBE Band. The device sports a curved metal and glass screen and measures steps, calories, travel distance and sleep quality. It's also waterproof and its battery lasts seven days. 

There hasn’t been any more word about the Vibe Band since January. During the year, Lenovo bought Motorola and rumors circulated that they would be killing the entire Vibe line to make room for Motorola’s products. It’s possible the Band was shelved as a result.

Products that launched partially in 2015

QardioBase and QardioMD

Qardio, maker of a connected, discrete blood pressure monitor, announced two new products at CES, QardioBase, a scale, and QardioMD, a heart health management system. QardioBase measures body weight, body fat, muscle, water and bone composition, and BMI. The device also has a pregnancy mode so that pregnant woman can track their progress. QardioMD, a software program, helps care providers manage a patient's heart health by collecting and displaying EKG/ECG, heart rate, and blood pressure measurements from Qardio's devices. 

Qardio expected both to be available in the Spring. In fact, while QardioBase is now available (as is a blood pressure monitor called QardioArm), QardioMD is still “coming soon”. So is QardioCore, the company’s chest-strap EKG device.

Various products from First Alert

Home safety company First Alert, a subsidiary of the Jardin Corporation, is planning to roll out a suite of products in 2015, many of which are health or fitness related. The company announced a WiFi combined smoke and carbon monoxide alarm; a WiFi environment monitor that monitors carbon monoxide, temperature, and humidity; and a connected watch that monitors the user’s heart rate, activity level and calories burned, as well as sleep data at night.

Some of these devices have launched, some haven’t. The smoke and carbon monoxide alarm can be purchased now from First Alert’s website, while the environment monitor is listed as coming soon. There’s no mention on the website of the connected watch.