Catch the weird, wonderful and wacky gadgets of CES 2018, on The CultCast

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Forephus
This ping pong machine is part cyborg, part Forrest Gump.
Photo: Engadget

This week, on a jam-packed, tech-tastic episode of The CultCast: We’ll tell you the weirdest, wackiest and most wonderful products revealed at CES 2018, the world’s craziest consumer electronics show. We’ve dug deep to bring you some strange ones!

Our thanks to Casper for supporting this episode. Learn why Casper makes the internet’s favorite mattress, and save $50 off your order at casper.com/cultcast.

Smart toothbrush will use ResearchKit to give you a better clean

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smart brush
This iPhone-connected toothbrush will offer the ultimate clean.
Photo: Colgate

CES 2018 bug Do you want a toothbrush that knows what it’s like to have brushed the teeth of thousands of other people? That’s kind of what Colgate’s new app-enabled electronic toothbrush promises — only way less gross than that makes it sound.

Debuted at CES, the Colgate Smart Electronic Toothbrush E1 with Artificial Intelligence uses AI to provide real-time feedback to users as they clean their pearly whites. It also uses Apple’s ResearchKit platform integration to crowdsource toothbrushing data from other users. The more people clean, the smarter the brush gets!

Apple Watch just got way better at spotting heart problems

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This is one app you may want to download.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Watch just got a whole lot more indispensable! Today, two major heart-related developments mean Apple’s wearable device could one day save your life.

Firstly, Apple teamed up with Stanford Medicine to launch an Apple Watch heart app that looks for deadly atrial fibrillation. It alerts users when they experience irregular heart rhythms, and can actually get them help.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration finally approved AliveCor’s Kardiaband EKG reader. It’s the first medical device accessory for the Apple Watch.

New ResearchKit app helps cancer patients cope with stress of diagnosis

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ResearchKit
ResearchKit is as useful for monitoring mental health as physical health.
Photo: Apple

Tim Cook reveals how Apple thinks different about charity

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Tim WWDC
Apple CEO Tim Cook at WWDC 2017.
Photo: Apple

After Apple ranked third in Fortune’s annual list of companies that Change the World, Tim Cook sat down for a wide-ranging interview to discuss how Apple is making a dent in the universe now.

The Apple CEO talked about everything from education and health initiatives to how Cupertino thinks different about charity. He also revealed that some of Apple’s research and development regarding health and wellness won’t ever be about making money.

Here are some of the highlights:

ResearchKit gets big update that allows it to gather new types of data

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Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 13.06.15
Two years after its launch, ResearchKit just got a big update.
Photo: Apple

Apple has updated ResearchKit, adding a number of useful functions aimed at improving medical researchers’ ability to use iPhones around the world as mobile health gathering devices.

ResearchKit 1.5 includes three new “active tasks” researchers can incorporate into their studies, along with the added ability to display rich video content to users within apps.

ResearchKit powers WebMD’s ambitious pregnancy study

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ResearchKit is being used for a major new large-scale study into pregnancy.
Photo: WebMD

ResearchKit has another useful trick up its sleeve: monitoring pregnancies.

WebMD has just relaunched its iOS Pregnancy app — and this time it’s integrated ResearchKit technology for a long term research study into the factors which lead to positive pregnancy outcomes.

Researchers want to turn your iPhone into a mood ring

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jeff-williams-researchkit
Your iPhone could soon track your mood as well as your steps.
Photo: Apple

Your Apple devices might be able to help you track steps, workouts and more, but as of yet no iPhone, Apple Watch (or, let’s face it, any other gadget out there) has been able to accurately measure mental and emotional conditions.

That could be changing due to the so-called “Mood Challenge” program from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program calls for researchers and technologists to come up with a way of convincingly tracking mood using an iPhone and ResearchKit — and it’s just announced its five semi-finalists.