Over the last two months, crowdfunding campaigns have launched for numerous smartwatches and fitness wearables, as well as a number of more health-specific devices. These devices purport to help track eating behavior, heart health, dental health, sleep, and even cancer detection. Some devices aim to track health holistically, and the list even includes a smart water bottle meant to help users track hydration.
Read on for a round-up of 13 new projects looking for backers on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Ear-O-Smart has a new proposition for the tracker market: tiny stealthy activity trackers embedded in earrings. The placement also allows the device to monitor heart rate. The Canadian startup explains the appeal like this:
"The wearable market is expanding quickly, but the problem is that your options are very limited; most fitness monitors are limited to wrist-based electronics. Would you want to wear a bulky wrist monitor to a party or on a date? We think no."
The earrings will run on a coin cell battery and cost $150 for a pair. The company is also offering a DIY kit at the same price that lets users customize the design of the earrings while keeping the tracking component inside. Ear-O-Smart has raised $8,372 Canadian of a $30,000 goal so far.
Miiya is a colorful, durable tracker watch for children that helps encourage them to get their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day. On the one hand, the device offers gamification to encourage kids to run -- they earn gold stars for completing activity goals and can use those to unlock new missions. An avatar in the app also gradually transforms into a superhero as kids reach their goals.
Additionally, though, the watch transmits data back to parents, allowing them to view an activity report and to be alerted if the child gets outside of a predetermined radius, like leaving a playground or yard. Miiya has raised $11,805 so far, out of a goal of $50,000.
Mira is a wristworn tracker in the form of a gold bracelet with a removable tracker, which can also be clipped to clothing. The device and the connected app are designed and marketed toward women, with a device that resembles jewelry and an app that sends "Boosts" -- messages designed to encourage small workout moments. And rather than being one-size-fits-all like many fitness trackers, Mira will come in three sizes -- petite, small, and medium. Currently Mira has raised $5,591 of a $10,000 goal.
Docto is an intelligent app meant to act as "a doctor in your pocket" for patients with diabetes. The app can collect data from a patient's connected glucometer, and other data from Apple's HealthKit including heart rate and body temperature. It doesn't just make it available to users in a chart or a graph. It also looks for particular patterns in the data to predict recurrent hypoglycemia or insulin-resistance. The team hopes to use the crowdfunding backers as beta testers to improve the user experience and the machine learning of the app. So far the company has raised $804 Canadian out of a $150,000 goal.
Toothscan is looking to use spectrometry to help consumers catch dental problems they normally wouldn't find until they went in for a dental check-up. The company claims the device will allow users to detect cavities as they're just beginning to form. That will give them enough time to improve brushing and flossing in that area to prevent the need for a filling. The device connects to an app which stores the data from each scan, allowing the device to get better at predicting calories as time goes on. The company is also working on a Toothscan Pro for dentists. The company has so far raised $725 of a $250,000 goal.
Stethee seeks to add a classic tool to the connected care arsenal -- a wireless, smartphone-connected stethoscope. The device provides users with three kinds of feedback: It streams the sound of the heartbeat to the connected app, allowing the user to listen on headphones; it changes color to let the user know if the heartbeat is normal or irregular, and it vibrates to let the user feel the heart beat directly. The app can also store a history of heart rate readings and recordings, so users can look back and reference them or share them with a doctor. So far Stethee has raised $92,000 Australian out of a $700,000 goal.
MOCA is a portable heart monitoring device that uses light sensors to tell the user their "MOCA Index", a qualitative metric the company developed that is related to blood pressure. The index is a zero to four scale that indicates whether the user should monitor their heart rate carefully or seek professional care. The small device fits on the back of a smartphone in a special case and also tracks heart rate and blood oxygenation. Users can message their readings to friends and loved ones, track them day-to-day in graphs, and even track them alongside environmental factors like location and weather. MOCA has raised more than $99,000 of a $100,000 goal.
Healthlogger, from Genespots, is a home testing device that uses microfluidic "lab on a chip" technology to administer a blood test for three common kinds of cancer: lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. Users place a drop of blood on top of the device and run a scan for one of the three types of cancer. The device either returns a green light, saying the probability of cancer is low, or a yellow light, which indicates the user should visit a physician soon. The ambitious device won't be ready to ship for a while, of course: the company is predicting March 2016. The company expects the device to retail for $399. So far, they've raised $2,000 of a $250,000 goal.
Hardware developers are still trying to find a wearable that can effectively track and monitor food consumption. The latest attempt is BitBite, a wearable device that a user fits inside their ear while eating. BitBite detects how fast they're eating, how much they chew and how many bites they take. The device also communicates with an app where users can enter what they're eating to complete the data set. The idea is to provide positive feedback and help people to eat slower, eat less, and, ultimately, lose weight. BitBite is already overfunded, with $66,000 of an original $60,000 goal.
Rejiva is a chest-worn health monitoring device that monitors five different areas. One is vital signs, including ECG, heart rate, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, sleep position, posture, sleep breathing index, and energy level. Other areas include stress, energy, rest and "inner aging". A compatible smartphone and tablet app will be available on Android iOS. The device will retail for around $200. So far, the company has raised $41,904 of a $50,000 goal.
8cups isn't the first attempt at a connected water bottle for self-tracking hydration. Yet it's certainly a product category without a clear leader. This latest entry attempts not only to help the user track hydration, but also to use LED lights on the bottle and notifications on the app to prompt users to drink their recommended eight cups of water per day. The water bottle charges wirelessly on a charging dock, is completely waterproof, and comes in a variety of colors. So far the Korean company has raised $2,750 of a $70,000 goal.
Another Korean company, H2, is crowdfunding a wearable blood pressure monitor. The device looks like a simple fitness band, and does include the standard tri-axis accelerometer, but it also houses pressure sensors that the company says can be used for blood pressure monitoring. The connected app includes a number of other health-related features including diet and nutrition tracking and medication reminders. The expected retail is $179, and the company has now raised $45,000 of a $50,000 goal.
RestOn is a non-wearable, smartphone-connected, bed-based tracking device for sleep. The form factor is a long, thin strip of sensors that sits under the user's sheet at chest level and can passively track heart rate, respiratory rate, body movement, and sleep cycle. A connected app lets the user share sleep data with family and provides tips for a better night's sleep, as well as a log of the user's sleep data. RestOn, based in China, is already overfunded, with $139,000 raised from a $50,000 goal.