CES is upon us again. , the Las Vegas consumer electronics show is dedicating 40 percent more floor space to digital health than last year and more than 300 digital health companies are exhibiting. Whether or not those stats are illustrative, digital health is still a more popular topic at CES than it ever has been. And with more and more big companies like Sony and LG getting into fitness and activity tracking, even the definition of a digital health company is blurring.
The show floor is sporting everything from a profusion of new activity trackers to several new blood pressure monitors and other health devices, and even a few niche sensors, like a new connected toothbrush. Read on below for the some of the biggest health device, activity tracker, and quantified self news from the annual trade show.
Sony hasn't announced many details about its new wearable product yet -- the company is apparently waiting until the Mobile World Congress next month. But a demo is on the floor at CES. , the Sony Core is a small sensor pack that fits into a wristband, but also can be worn in a shoe or clipped on to clothing. It has no screen, so it relies on the user's smartphone to display the data it collects, which includes activity data. At Sony's launch event, they positioned the Core as an activity tracker that would also track social and entertainment behavior on the user's phone, and display a "life-logging" timeline on a connected app.
South Korean technology company LG is apparently throwing another entry into the crowded activity tracker field. The LG Lifeband Touch is a bracelet with a fully functional touchscreen, a feature currently more common to smartwatches than fitness bands. The device tracks heart rate in addition to the traditional steps-calories-distance package. It also has an altimeter and is water-resistant.
The Lifeband Touch has smartwatch features as well: It can display phone call and message alerts, and can function as a silent alarm clock. The device connects via Bluetooth to both iOS and Android phones, and the connected app already integrates with RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. It can also bring in data from other devices via Bluetooth and display it on the touchscreen, including data from another new product, heart rate-sensing headphones built by PerformTek. Both products are set to roll out in the first half of 2014.