The home of the future, today. Cover design: Stephen Smith
Fresh off his deep dive into CES, Alex takes on home automation and how HomeKit may just change everything, making the dream of an easy, ubiquitous home future a reality. Rob takes a look at a new game that turns your Apple TV into a motion-controlled gaming console, Buster shows us how the Apple Watch has already won the war for your wrist, Luke builds his own fun with a shoebox full of maker-kit for kid-friendly iPad gadgets, and Lewis spends a little time in Microsoft’s holographic future.
The closer we get to Apple Watch, the more advanced it looks in comparison to its competition. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac
Ever since Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch last September, it’s been one disappointment after another as far as I’m concerned. Apple’s first wearable won’t come in the minimalist form factor of the fitness bracelets I love. Worse yet, the launch version of the fashion-forward device will lack GPS, suffer from underwhelming battery life and fail to offer truly native third-party apps.
For the first time, I realized I would not be buying an Apple product when it first hit the market. “It’s not worth lining up for,” I told my dad when he asked what I thought after the Apple Watch’s big reveal.
But a funny thing happened on the way to Apple Watch’s launch day, which is coming sometime this spring. And I’m not talking about the previously unthinkable — an Apple fan calling the Microsoft Band the best smartwatch on the planet. No, I’m talking about wading through an ungodly sea of really bad smartwatches at International CES earlier this month and seeing indisputable proof of just how innovative and disruptive Apple Watch actually will be.
The iHealth Gateway blood-glucose monitor can make caregivers’ jobs easier. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — Monitoring diabetes can be a pain (literally). Keeping track of your loved one’s diabetes is even harder, especially if you’re trying to ensure your tech-illiterate grandmother’s blood-sugar levels aren’t spiking.
Now you’ll finally be able to monitor all their vital stats from your iPhone, even if grandma’s not using one too.
iHealth revealed its new iHealth Gateway collection of devices at International CES here this week. The line of products allow loved ones or doctors to remotely monitor personal health stats for senior citizens who eschew iOS devices. All grandma and grandpa have to do is prick their finger with the supported blood-glucose monitor, and the Gateway hub will beam the data to their caretaker’s device. No more worries about whether they’re keeping up with their meds.
The standing desk gets HealthKit. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — I’ve had a standing desk for two years now, and while it’s practically the greatest piece of furniture to ever enter my life, I somehow forget to actually stand at it while working.
HumanScale is all too familiar with lazy people like me using their ergonomic desks without reaping the full benefits, so the company teamed up with Detroit startup Tome to create a standing desk solution called OfficeIQ that syncs with HealthKit to tell you when you’re being too damn lazy.
The Snanaflo lets you do at-home urinalysis test. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — Taking a urine-analysis test to check your most vital and private health stats usually requires an hour-long visit to the doctor. But in 2015, you’ll be able to pee on a stick and get 12 vital health measurements without having to leave your bathroom.
Scandu, the Silicon Valley-based medtech company behind the tiny Scandu Scout analyzer, has created an at-home urinalysis device called the Scanaflo that bridges the gap between the medical community and consumers.
Qardio’s new smart scale won’t automatically frown if you overate last night. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — Who ever thought a blood-pressure monitor could look cool?
Qardio did. The U.S. medical device maker is obsessed with crafting hospital-grade gear that wouldn’t look out of place sitting alongside your iMac.
The company’s latest product, unveiled during the International CES trade show here, is a smart scale that delivers feedback in the form of a smile or a frown, depending on how your weight is trending.
“It makes you feel good,” said Rosario Iannella, Qardio’s chief information officer.
Quell is designed to alleviate chronic pain. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — Not every wearable launched this year will get slapped on your wrist.
Quell, a new electrical-stimulation device designed to help alleviate chronic pain, gets wrapped around the wearer’s calf.
“I like to say it’s like a USB port into your central nervous system,” said Frank McGillin, SVP and general manger of Quell.
While a wave of fitness trackers and the upcoming Apple Watch are drumming up a healthy buzz about wearables, more and more medical devices work with smartphone apps and tap into Apple’s HealthKit platform. Quell doesn’t yet work with HealthKit, but McGillin told Cult of Mac that’s certainly in the cards.
The VERT fitness sensor could be your secret weapon on the court. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — I love basketball, but I have a weakness — I can’t jump.
I’ve hit the gym. I’ve tried jumping exercises.
None of it has worked, but a new fitness sensor called VERT might be the first wearable that finally helps me get above the rim, thanks to its workouts, which are designed to help you improve your leaping ability, while also preventing injuries on the court.
The iPhone 6 received rave reviews when Apple unveiled it at the Flint Center last month, but not many people have been eager to talk about it’s shortcomings, until now.
In today’s Cult of Mac video we breakdown the biggest disappointments iPhone 6 users have griped about since the device went on sale two weeks ago. What should Apple improve to make the phone better? Find out what the next generation iPhone still needs and more in this informative video.
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Citing three people familiar with the matter, the report states that Facebook has been discussing the move with medical industry experts, and is currently in the early stages of assembling an R&D team for the creation of health-related mobile apps.