After spending three days attending the worlds largest consumer electronics show, David shares some of the most interesting and unique technology that’s either about to be released or is now available in the health, wellness and biohacking sector.
Read on to hear about the amazing gizmo's and gadgets that are going to revolutionise health and wellness.
Stepping off the tarmac at McCarran international airport my senses were instantly overwhelmed by neon and noises. Slot machines jingled and lights pulsed, promising riches if only I deposited a few dollars into them. It was official: I was in Las Vegas.
I had come to Las Vegas, a city in the Nevada desert for the 53rd annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) convention.
CES is the single largest electronics trade show on Earth, with an estimated 175,000 attendees, 160 countries represented and 4,500 exhibiting companies present. I was on the hunt to find the hottest tech-trends in fitness, wellness and biohacking.
The welcome to Las Vegas sign is lit up at night on Fremont Street, welcoming those seeking a good time, good fortune and for me - learning about the latest health and wellness tech products!
After checking into my hotel and ensuring my camera gear had made the trek to Vegas unscathed, I began assessing the transportation schedule. Unlike many trade shows and conventions, CES is broken up into three distinct locations.
The Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), the Sands & Venetian hotel (Tech West) and the ARIA, Monte Carlo and Vdara hotels (Tech South). Each of these hotels on their own are massive, and CES as whole boasts more than 2.9 million square feet of exhibit space.
I was going to be doing a lot of walking. A lot. Luckily, I had planned for this and brought my pair of comfortable Allbird walking shoes, as well as a lightweight backpack.
All set, I spent 3 days roaming the convention floor seeking out the most interesting and exciting products to share with you wonderful folk.
Let's begin (Oh and be sure to read through to the end, I left the most exciting product until the end!)
I’d heard of hydrogen enriched water, but never heard of oxygen enriched water. The Oxytap machine doesn’t require a canister of gas like a Sodastrem device, but rather an oxygen generator similar to those found for in-home oxygen therapy.
By doing this, the user isn’t required to continue to buy additional consumables. Standard bottles fit onto the unit, and the water can maintain a higher level of oxygen for a day or more. Some of the purported benefits of drinking water with higher levels of oxygen include:
The device looked promising, but with a tentative price tag of over $2,800 I’m wondering if this device would be more suited for juice bars, health clubs and gyms vs. a standard biohacker and fitness junkie’s kitchen?
Though it would be a neat device to review and do some n of 1 experiments.
The device contains a UV lamp to sterilize the water, ensuring that bacterial growth is kept to a minimum. Those interested can learn more at the Oxytap.com website, where the device is available.
I might see if I can get my hands on one - stay tuned for more!
Muse-S has flexible sensors embedded into the soft material of the headband itself
The rumors coming out of online social media forums about Interaxon’s newest product being a soft headband turned out to be true for CES 2020.
The makers of the Muse and Muse 2.0 headband Interaxon officially launched the Muse-S meditation headband.
As a daily Muse 2.0 user, I was pretty excited to get to see the newest offering from Interaxon up close and personal.
The Muse-S is attempting to solve some of the most common complaints and issues with the Muse 2.0 device, as well as introduce a new feature called “Sleep Journey’s”.
As mentioned in my Muse 2.0 review -found here-, the Muse 2.0 feels fragile and could possibly break easily. Also, with the Muse 2.0 the sensors always have to maintain good contact to ensure signal quality.
Losses in signal quality interrupt the meditation session.
With the Muse-S, a soft fabric headband has been introduced. The fabric of the headband felt like Jersey cotton (very soft), and the Interaxon representative told me that the headband is washable.
The sensors have been changed from gold plated to a silver material that is now embedded into the fabric of the headband itself. Since the headband is elastic, the device should be able to maintain better skin contact for much better signal quality.
Interaxon is also simultaneously launching a sleep-focused feature to their mobile application as well. The “Sleep Journey’s” section will have a ‘dark mode’ (or night mode) that uses neurofeedback to modulate guided meditation sessions for sleep.
As a user’s brain becomes more relaxed, the pitch and speed of the meditation expert’s voice will lower and slow down.
Contrary to popular rumor, the new Muse-S soft band is not a sleep tracker, nor is it designed to be worn overnight while sleeping.
The idea behind this product is to give better fit, greater sensor contact, more durability, and enhanced comfort. The device can be folded or rolled up and taken with the user anywhere.
I’m excited to see Interaxon expanding their product range. I was told that all three products (Muse, Muse 2.0, and Muse-S) will all simultaneously be available on their website at different price points.
You can learn more about the Muse-S at www.choosemuse.com and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter as we will be reviewing the new Muse-S.
Unlike Interaxon’s Muse-S product that aims to quiet and calm down the mind prior to sleep, Urgotech’s “Urgonight” uses a different strategy to help users get a better night’s rest.
Using a headset that looks somewhat like the Dreem EEG overnight sleep tracker, Urgonight and the accompanying mobile application use a series of neurofeedback brain exercises to train a person to fall asleep faster and easier.
By targeting low beta brainwaves, a user can eventually begin to know what mental exercises they need to do in the evening to unwind in order to fall asleep faster.
Users don the headset and participate in three, 20 minute sessions per week. The training sessions range from a morning focus, mid-day mind clearing, and a mindful minute before bed.
Urgotech claims that users who use the device can potentially fall asleep up to 40% faster and reduce the number of sleep interruptions by half.
The idea behind Urgonight is that with consistent use, the user’s brain will use neuroplasticity to change permanently.
By training a user’s brain to naturally active the same brainwaves that are found during sleep, the results are longer lasting and safer than traditional sleeping medications. The benefits of using neurofeedback enable users to achieve results faster than traditional behavioral therapy strategies.
The device is not yet currently available for sale, but those interested in the device can sign up on the Urgotech’s website to be put on a mailing list for information about the product’s upcoming release.
French company Chronolife brought a wearable, sleeveless smart shirt with embedded biometric sensors to CES this year. The shirt is ideally suited for athletes, the shirt can also be worn by those injured and undergoing rehabilitation and for the elderly to enable physician monitoring/oversight.
The product’s ten sensors capture multi-parametric data, which their smart phone application analyzes to help predict and detect abnormal states of health such as sleep apnea in real time.
The shirt and app can be monitored by a coach or doctor, and the wearer can receive text message alerts if the shirt notices their biometric readings are deteriorating.
The shirt looked and felt comfortable, and could easily be worn at a gym or during a yoga class or run. The company claims that the embedded battery doesn’t need to be removed prior to washing, making the device a snap to keep clean.
As of right now, Chronolife has cleared European regulations and is setting its sights on getting FDA approval in the United States as a medical device. The product is still in a pre-release phase, but should be available soon on their website.
Learn more at Chronolife.net/
SleepScore Max uses sonar to detect sleep patterns
SleepScore Labs is a company that tests and validates products that can help people sleep better and more efficiently. Sleepscore Labs includes heavyweight industry experts from institutions like ResMed, Harvard, and Apple.
As a joint venture between ResMed and Dr Mehmet Oz (Yes, that Dr. Oz!), the company also offers its own mobile application for sleep tracking, as well as a unique sleep tracking device called the “SleepScore Max”.
As a device sold directly by SleepScore labs, the SleepScore Max uses a proprietary sonar/radio wave technology to sense light, temperature, noise, as you sleep. The device looks similar to small speaker and is placed on a user’s nightstand by their bed.
I was shown a demonstration of the device, and just how sensitive it is. As I stood by the device, the company representative showed me how if we both stopped moving, the companion app’s graph would flatten out.
Unlike many companies that sell a single product, or a product line; SleepScore Labs partners with other companies and tests products to offer suggestions. After someone has purchased the SleepScore Max, the companion app will begin to offer tailored recommendations for products that have been scientifically validated to help with their unique sleep challenges.
SleepScore has also partnered with IFF, (International Flavors & Fragrance) to test and validate scents that can alter a person’s mental states. At CES I entered a booth to test several scents designed to help me stay awake, calm down, or focus. SleepScore Labs is working in concert with IFF to create a pillow spray that can help users obtain healthier sleep.
This type of sleep research reminded me of how some mothers use lavender scented products to sooth babies at bedtime. I wouldn’t be surprised if our sense of smell (which is tightly linked to our memory) could help people’s minds unwind and relax prior to hitting the pillow.
Testing out various scents in the IFF booth with SleepScore Labs
The SleepScore Max device is available on the SleepScore.com website for $149.99.
In the last few years the health and wellness industry has seen an explosion of at-home DNA testing kits that enable consumers to educate themselves on the types of food they may want to avoid based on genetic predispositions. DNA Nudge has taken that concept a step further, by allowing people to check foods they run across in real time.
True to it’s name, DNA Nudge hopes to “nudge” its users in the right direction, using their own DNA as a guide. Users go to a DNA Nudge location (only in the UK now, US locations early 2020) and take a simple mouth swab. Once the DNA collection is complete, the sample is placed into a ‘Nudge Box’ that analyzes the DNA and loads it onto a capsule that is then worn around a user’s wrist.
The wrist band has an embedded barcode laser that enables users to scan individual food items.
The wristband will light up green, red or amber based on how healthy that food item is for the wearer. In addition to helping people weed out foods that may not be compatible with their own biology, the device tracks activity levels and will adjust its recommendations for foods by taking that information into consideration.
A food that may normally be in the “green” may show up as amber if a user has been unusually sedentary.
Perhaps it’s not just me, but I’ve been noticing a lot more products in the health and wellness space offering more proactive features, and DNA Nudge is no exception. By offering personalized product recommendations, a lot of the guesswork and nutrition label deciphering is taken out of the equation.
One thing that impressed me about DNA Nudge is their ability to analyze DNA and load it onto the device in about 2 hours. Most DNA test kits require sample collection and shipment off to a lab, often taking weeks for results to become available. This nearly “on-demand” type of DNA testing is something that may be attractive to busy people.
Currently the device is only available in the United Kingdom, but USA locations are slated to be opening in early 2020. The device currently runs for £120 in the UK, and can be ordered online from their website (www.dnanudge.com) or in one of their three brick and mortar locations in London.
Welt’s Smart Belt comes in many colors
Hailing from South Korea, the company Welt has introduced a new smart wearable in a form factor that many people might find attractive: a belt. I’ve seen wristbands, necklaces and even rings, but never a ‘smart belt’.
Welt’s smart belts come in a variety of colors, and the belt pairs to an iOS or Android app that can track waist size, movement, and activity. The belt can be custom-cut to whatever length a user needs, and the app will then take that information into consideration as it begins to track your waist size.
The belt isn’t exclusively for men, either. Welt offers leather colors and finishes that are tailored to women as well. At CES I easily saw dozens of patterns and color combinations that are possible, as the real brains behind the device lives inside the zinc alloy belt buckle itself.
Welt is also expanding its wearable ecosystem to include gait tracking for the elderly. Their newest product, the Smart Belt Pro will have fall detection sensing ability and send predictive prompts to those displaying abnormal gait speed and symmetry.
The original Welt smart belt is available now on Amazon for $249.00 USD. Welt’s Smart Belt Pro is still in pre-release as of CES 2020 in January.
Learn more at www.weltcorp.com/
The company 10Minds showcased a ‘smart pillow’ at this year’s CES. The product called Motion Pillow has air chambers inside the pillow that will automatically inflate or deflate to encourage a user’s head to turn to the side, or an individual to roll over onto their side.
The device sports a matching iOS/Android app that tracks sleep trends. I was able to lay back and have a demonstration run for me. It was hard to tell in the noisy convention floor how loud the pillow is when inflating, but it didn’t appear to create any noise right around my head. As the pillow inflated on one side, I could feel my head naturally want to roll to the other side.
The unit with the air pump can be placed under the bed, or on a bedside table. Because the pillow itself doesn't contain any electronics, the pillow doesn’t emit any EMF’s. The base unit, however, would likely do so — especially their upgraded model the Motion Pillow 2. This product earned 10Minds a CES 2020 Innovation Award this year.
This unit has the added feature of a wireless induction charger built into the pump itself. Users can simply put their cell phones on top of the device to charge them overnight.
As I’m not a back sleeper, I don’t think this is a product I could see myself using — but I do know that for many people who sleep on their back, proper neck alignment can make a huge difference in regards to obstructive airway problems. This pillow seems to offer a simple, yet elegant way to encourage open airways and minimize snoring
The Motion Pillow is available today on Amazon for $378.00 USD. The new Motion Pillow 2 is available for preorder on Indiegogo for $294.00 as an early bird special.
The Ooler is a mattress pad that comes in several sizes — twin to king — and circulates either heated or cooled water underneath you as you sleep
The Ooler builds on the same ideas as the original ChiliPAD, but adds some smarter features with a connected iOS/Android app. The app lets you preheat your bed or set a ‘warm wake’ by warming the temperature of your bed, thus gently arousing you into a wakeful state in the morning.
The idea is to, “sleep like nature intended” or “like a caveman”, as the sun would rise and warm our bodies when we lived outdoors thousands of years ago.
The unit can go weeks before additional water is needed and includes a UV lamp to sterilize and kill bacteria. The pump also has several noise levels, for those who want white noise or those who need a more silent operating machine.
Ooler’s fabric felt soft and breathable, and unit doesn’t have to be operated with an app. I found the additional smart features like pre-heat and warm wake up a great addition to an already well-received product.
For those concerned about nnEMF levels from a device like an Ooler, be sure to check out THIS video where Alex uses an EMF meter to test the output from his Ooler device.
And stay tuned for an in-depth review of the new Ooler. You can also save 15% on the Ooler when you order it at https://aferg.co/chilli and enter discount code ooler15
A veteran in the health and wellness space, Withings delivered at CES 2020 with their most advanced wrist-based wearable yet; the ScanWatch. The ScanWatch has all the features of a normal smartphone connected watch but integrates predictive health alerts.
The ScanWatch nestles nicely into the existing ecosystem of devices from Withings, that include blood pressure cuffs and smart scales (to name a few). This new watch has a classy design that integrates an ECG into the digital crown and bezel, giving users instant readings of their heart health.
The watch won several CES 2020 awards for its design and implementation of advanced sensors and predictive health algorithms. I found the watch to be stylish, something I could honestly see myself wearing for a night out on the town.
Withings has managed to combine the hands of a traditional watch with a small digital display, creating a hybrid watch with smart features. Many smart watches look like digital boxes on our wrists, but the supple leather and polished steel of the ScanWatch set itself apart from the competition.
The ScanWatch is currently not available but will be launching early this year.
Quite possibly the most exciting product I saw at CES 2020 was a small and unassuming wrist wearable by the company Apollo Neuroscience.
Their product, the Apollo, is worn on either the wrist or ankle, and delivers pulses of vibrations at scientifically studied frequencies. These vibrations are designed to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, kicking in our ‘rest and recover’ mode.
So many devices on the market today track our biometrics and HRV, but Apollo actually lets the user do something about the data they’re receiving.
Apollo is a proactive wearable that users can put on before a meeting, before bed, after a workout, or early in the morning for a pick-me-up. The device is bluetooth enabled, and pairs with an iOS or Android phone, allowing you to select the duration and type of stimulation you want to receive.
At CES I was given the opportunity to try on the Apollo for myself. I can honestly say that after wearing the device for a few minutes I almost forgot that it was on my wrist. I was asked by the company representative how I felt, and to be honest I did subjectively feel “happier”.
With all the biometric gathering tools available, it should be easy to validate if the Apollo is improving a user’s HRV numbers.
In fact, what I’d like to eventually see is Apollo’s technology tied into other devices like the Biostrap or Oura Ring, enabling automatically stimulations as the devices notice my HRV beginning to decline.
The Apollo device from Apollo Neuroscience is still in pre-release as of January 2020, but they are accepting preorders. The Apollo device can be preordered for $349.00 USD from their website www.apolloneuro.com
As I flew home out of Las Vegas, my mind was swimming with visions of the future. Smart pillows, shirts and belts. What else can they cram a tiny computer brain into?
From mattress pads that heat or cool us enabling better sleep, wrist-based lasers to scan our foods to make healthier choices, to vibration therapy to activate of autonomic nervous system. The future really is already here!
Leaving behind the frantic, fast paced environment of Las Vegas, I couldn’t help but think what a strange, and surreal trip I just had. Between the neon flashing lights at night, the strange characters in costumes along Las Vegas Boulevard, and the incredible innovation on the convention floor — it was overwhelming.
But at the same time it was an awesome insight into the amazing technology coming down the pipeline. Helping us living happier, healthier and a more advanced life.
Before you go, be sure to head over to the AlexFergus.com youtube channel where I posted various videos and interviews from my CES trip.
This blog post was written by David Baker. David has years of biohacking experience with an emphasis on testing gadgets. He's also got 15 years of amateur bodybuilding involvement.
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