At Grocery Stores, It’s Hard Work Picking Your Online Order

The technology needed to fulfill orders is costly for stores, and the workers who pick items off the shelves often feel the pressure of being tracked.

#delivery-services, #e-commerce, #instacart, #kroger-company, #labor-and-jobs, #shopping-and-retail, #supermarkets-and-grocery-stores, #wearable-computing

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Can a Smartwatch Save Your Life?

The advent of wearable devices that monitor our heart rhythms both excites and worries doctors.

#american-heart-assn, #apple-inc, #content-type-service, #elderly, #fitbit, #heart, #mobile-applications, #pacemakers, #stroke, #tests-medical, #watches-and-clocks, #wearable-computing

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To Be Tracked or Not? Apple Is Now Giving Us the Choice.

With Apple’s latest mobile software update, we can decide whether apps monitor and share our activities with others. Here’s what to know.

#apple-inc, #apple-music, #chen-brian-x, #computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #facebook-inc, #ios-operating-system, #iphone, #mobile-applications, #podcasts, #privacy, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #siri-inc, #social-media, #voice-recognition-systems, #wearable-computing

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How to Get a Peloton-Style Workout Without Splurging

Don’t want to pay $1,900 for a Peloton bike, plus a subscription fee for classes? Here are ways to reduce the cost of using tech to exercise at home.

#apple-inc, #bicycles-and-bicycling, #computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #exercise, #luxury-goods-and-services, #mobile-applications, #peloton-interactive-inc, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #wearable-computing

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Colleges That Require Virus-Screening Tech Struggle to Say Whether It Works

Many schools that use fever scanners and symptom checkers have not rigorously studied if the technology has slowed the spread of Covid-19 on campuses.

#campusclear, #colleges-and-universities, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #health-screening, #mobile-applications, #privacy, #science-and-technology, #software, #symptom-checker, #university-of-idaho, #university-of-missouri, #wearable-computing

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Can Technology Help Us Eat Better?

A new crop of digital health companies is using blood glucose monitors to transform the way we eat.

#anxiety-and-stress, #diabetes, #exercise, #food, #heart, #salad-dressings, #sugar, #wearable-computing

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On Factory Floors, a Chime and Flashing Light to Maintain Distance

Businesses like Henkel, a big German chemical company, are trying wearable sensors to prevent virus outbreaks among workers.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #factories-and-manufacturing, #germany, #henkel-kgaa, #kinexon, #national-basketball-assn, #poland, #sensors, #wearable-computing

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To Create a Healthy Habit, Find an Accountability Buddy

Whether it’s a person or an app that sends us reminders, we make better choices when we’re being watched (even by ourselves.)

#content-type-service, #diet-and-nutrition, #exercise, #habits-and-routines-behavior, #meditation, #mobile-applications, #obesity, #social-media, #wearable-computing, #weight

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The Tech That Was Fixed in 2020 and the Tech That Still Needs Fixing

From videoconferencing to fitness apps, the best tech helped us endure a hard year. But there were also low points.

#5g-wireless-communications, #amazon-com-inc, #bicycles-and-bicycling, #computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #drones-pilotless-planes, #exercise, #mobile-applications, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #telephones-and-telecommunications, #video-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #videophones-and-videoconferencing, #wearable-computing

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Amazon Halo Review: The Fitness Gadget We Don’t Deserve or Need

The retail giant claims that its health product is extremely precise at scanning body fat. I found otherwise.

#amazon-com-inc, #apple-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #exercise, #fitbit, #mobile-applications, #obesity, #watches-and-clocks, #wearable-computing, #weight

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Surveillance as a Service

Jeff Bezos is intent on recording even our moods. How much personal data is too much to give to Amazon?

#amazon-com-inc, #bezos-jeffrey-p, #drugstores, #fitbit, #google-inc, #wearable-computing

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The Hot New Covid Tech Is Wearable and Constantly Tracks You

Sports leagues, large employers and colleges are turning to devices that could usher in more invasive forms of surveillance.

#athletics-and-sports, #bluetooth-wireless-technology, #colleges-and-universities, #computers-and-the-internet, #contact-tracing-public-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #data-mining-and-database-marketing, #mobile-applications, #national-football-league, #privacy, #sensors, #wearable-computing, #workplace-environment

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The New Apple Watch Measures Your Blood Oxygen. Now What?

Blood oxygen readings can be a useful indicator of wellness, but context is important — and so is medical advice from a doctor.

#apple-inc, #content-type-service, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #doctors, #sleep, #watches-and-clocks, #wearable-computing

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Oculus Quest 2 Review: Solid V.R. Headset, but Few Games

The new $300 virtual-reality headset works well and feels comfortable. But good luck finding games that will keep you entertained.

#boxing, #computer-and-video-games, #computers-and-the-internet, #content-type-service, #exercise, #facebook-inc, #headphones-and-headsets, #oculus-vr-inc, #playstation-4-video-game-system, #social-media, #virtual-reality-computers, #wearable-computing

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At Magazzino, Social Distancing Devices Vibrate. So Does the Art.

A Hudson Valley oasis of Italian art debuts eight up-and-coming artists — and new wearable safety tech — upon its reopening.

#advanced-microwave-engineering, #art, #boetti-alighiero-e, #cold-spring-ny, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #kounellis-jannis-1936, #magazzino-cold-spring-ny-gallery, #merz-marisa-1931, #museums, #olnick-nancy, #spanu-giorgio, #wearable-computing

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With Pandemic Keeping Them Apart, Runners Embrace Virtual Races

Marathons and meets are canceled, so runners are using tech to stay connected and compete.

#computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #exercise, #mapmyfitness-inc, #marathon-running, #mobile-applications, #new-york-city-marathon, #new-york-road-runners-club, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #quarantines, #running, #track-and-field, #wearable-computing

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Google acquires smart glasses company North, whose Focals 2.0 won’t ship

Google confirmed today via blog post that it has acquired Canadian smart glasses company North, which began life as human interface hardware startup Thalmic Labs in 2012. The company didn’t reveal any details about the acquisition, which was first reported to be happening by The Globe and Mail, last week. The blog post is authored by Google’s SVP of Devices & Services Rick Osterloh, which cites North’s “strong technology foundation” as a key driver behind the deal.

Osterloh also emphasizes Google’s existing work in building “ambient computing,” which is to say computing that fades into the background of a user’s life, as the strategic reasoning behind the acquisition. North will join Google’s existing team in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, where North is already based, and it will aid with the company’s “hardware efforts and ambient computing future,” according to Osterloh.

In a separate blog post, North’s co-founders Stephen Lake, Matthew Bailey and Aaron Grant discuss their perspective on the acquisition. They say the deal makes sense because it will help “significantly advance our shared vision,” but go on to noted that this will mean winding down support for Focals 1.0, the first-generation smart glasses product that North released last year, and cancelling any plans to ship Focals 2.0, the second-generation version that the company had been teasing and preparing to release over the last several months.

Focals received significant media attention following their release, and provided the most consumer-friendly wearable glasses computing interface ever launched. They closely resembled regular optical glasses, albeit with larger arms to house the active computing components, and projected a transparent display overlay onto one frame which showed things like messages and navigation directions.

Around the Focals 1.0 debut, North co-founder and CEO Stephen Lake told me that the company had originally begun developing its debut product, the Myo gesture control armband, to create a way to interact naturally with the ambient smart computing platforms of the future. Myo read electrical pulses generated by the body when you move your arm and translated that into computer input. After realizing that devices it was designed to work with, including VR headsets and wearable computers like Google Glass, weren’t far enough along for its novel control paradigm to take off, they shifted to addressing the root of the problem with Focals.

Focals had some major limitations, however, including initially requiring that anyone wanting to purchase them go into a physical location for fitting, and then return for adjustments once they were ready. They were also quite expensive, and didn’t support the full range of prescriptions needed by many existing glasses-wearers. Software limitations, including limited access to Apple’s iMessage platform, also hampered the experience for Apple mobile device users.

North (and Myo before it) always employed talented and remarkable mechanical electronics engineers sources from the nearby University of Waterloo, but its ideas typically failed to attract the kind of consumer interest that would’ve been required for sustained independent operation. The company had raised nearly $200 million in funding since its founding; as mentioned, no word on the total amount Google paid, but it doesn’t seem likely to have been a blockbuster exit.

#augmented-reality, #exit, #focals, #gesture-control, #google, #hardware, #myo, #north, #startups, #stephen-lake, #tc, #thalmic-labs, #wearable-computing, #wearables

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Starting to Exercise Again After Lockdown

Expert advice on taking it slow to prevent injuries.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #exercise, #quarantines, #sports-injuries, #wearable-computing

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