health

Stephen Hawking’s voice gets a huge tech reboot

Stephen Hawking’s voice gets a huge tech reboot

Professor Stephen Hawking has been given a new voice, with an Intel-made communications system allowing the famed physicist to express himself more quickly, as well as opening the door to similar technology for others affected by similar diseases. Hawking, who has a motor neuron disease (MND) related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which has left him almost completely paralyzed, can now type twice as fast as before, while other tasks like web searches are up to ten times faster. Intel is releasing the new software, three years in the making, under a free open-source license.

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Victoria’s Secret silently launches heart-sensing bra

Victoria’s Secret silently launches heart-sensing bra

Wearable devices are in fashion. Don't believe it yet? Just ask Victoria's Secret. The famous lingerie retailer has just outed, albeit without much fuss or fanfare, a new bra named "Incredible" that incredibly has its own heart-rate sensor inside. Designed for athletes and women with active lifestyles, this bra will allow users to be updated of their heart's status without having to wear conspicuous or uncomfortable straps. That said, you'll still need to wear or at least attach some monitor of sorts to go with it.

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Peek Retina adapter brings eye exams to smartphones

Peek Retina adapter brings eye exams to smartphones

Peek Retina is a smartphone adapter that aims to bring eye examinations anywhere they're needed, such as remotely located medical clinics that don't otherwise have access to the necessary hardware for performing eye assessments. Peek stands for Portable Eye Examination Kit, and as its name suggests the adapter is entirely portable -- small enough to fit in a pocket along with the smartphone to which it will be attached, offering both a retina camera functionality and an ophthalmoscope while leveraging the smartphone's camera.

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Jaybird Reign review: in the ‘Go Zone’ of fitness wearables

Jaybird Reign review: in the ‘Go Zone’ of fitness wearables

At CES 2014, we named the Jaybird Reign our best wearable of the show. That wasn’t because it was pretty, had a flashy screen, or even had some other hardware tweak we hadn’t seen yet. Reign got our award based on their software, which promises a singular, holistic approach to your health status. With smart features and Jaybird’s great hardware history, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the Reign for quite some time. In a world with so many other fantastic fitness wearables, was it worth the wait?

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Nestle details “exercise in a bottle” research

Nestle details “exercise in a bottle” research

Nestle is working on the Holy Grail of weight loss, a fat-burning additive that could be dropped into foods and replicate the effects of exercise but without the sweaty reality of doing it. The team, based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, is exploring how a new compound dubbed C13 could be used in food to stimulate the enzymes which control how the body burns fats and sugars. If tweaked in just the right way, Nestle says, that could mean a new age of foods which would allow the body to get the same fitness benefits from a brisk walk as would normally take much more strenuous exertion.

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Baidu Dubike smart bike teaser site goes live

Baidu Dubike smart bike teaser site goes live

We have a lot of smart objects in our lives these days. Smart phones, smart watches, smart homes, and a bit of smart cars. What about smart bikes? No? Well, Baidu thinks "yes" and its Dubike smart bike is now up for everyone to see. Or at least images and videos of it. The Dubike is indeed equipped with your standard fare navigation and tracking features, but it is a bike that does not easily reveal its geeky nature and looks like any classy, high-end bicycle.

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BitBite smart earbud monitors your eating habits

BitBite smart earbud monitors your eating habits

If you've gotten your fill of health-tracking wristbands and jewelry and are wondering what else you can monitor, there's the BitBite, a smart earbud of sorts that keeps track of your eating habits and lets you know when you need to lay off the midnight snacks or boost the size of your lunch. It does this by tracking chewing, and tosses in things like voice recognition, which allows the user to say what they're eating for it to be properly logged in the related app.

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Ear-O-Smart fitness tracker is a stylish pair of earrings

Ear-O-Smart fitness tracker is a stylish pair of earrings

Now that wearable devices are solidly in the public eye, more makers are coming out with stylish options that can be worn without the device drawing attention to itself, unlike many wearables on the market. We've seen wearable jewelry in the past, and latest in that category is the oddly named "Ear-o-Smart", a fitness tracker that comes in the form of unassuming studded earrings. Ear-o-Smart is the brainchild of BioSensive Technologies, a Canadian company, and is decidedly targeted at women with three different styles.

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Project Ara has blood oxygen sensor in the works

Project Ara has blood oxygen sensor in the works

Project Ara is cool, because the ability to alter your smartphone specs piece-by-piece is attractive. Though we’ve not quite thought about what Ara could be beyond a smartphone — partly because it barely starts up right now — the use-cases for the handheld are nearly endless. At Engadget’s Engage conference, Project Ara chief Paul Eremenko displayed a cool new feature for the device, which could take it well beyond your pocket and into the healthcare field. There’s now a module that will test your blood oxygen level, just by putting a finger on it.

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