Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014 CES: Epson introduces Pulsense wearable fitness devices

It seems that the healthcare and fitness industry is on track to embrace wearable technology. Epson America, a leader in innovative products, and probably better known for their inkjet printers and projectors, is leading the way with the announcement of their continuous heart rate monitoring wearable device.

The Epson Pulsense smart watch, a bio-sensing wrist watch, and a lightweight Pulsense band was announced at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. According to Epson, these devices, which are designed for daily wear and activity, can monitor and store your heart rate, activity level, calorie burn and sleep patterns.

The Pulsense band has a LED display that can be wirelessly connected to a smartphone to read and transfer the stored biometric data, while the watch features a LCD display for real-time viewing of heart rate, steps walked, calorie burn and date/time. These wearable devices will be pitched as ideal devices for staying fit, losing weight or training for a marathon.

This technology works by detecting a continuous heart rate directly from the wrist by measuring the amount of light reflected from red blood cells. A single heart beat is recorded when the amount of light reflected changes due to a drop in red blood cell count as the blood vessel contracts. There is no chest strap involved.

Since the Pulsense devices utilizes real-time heart rate data, it is able to determine calories burned based on personal biometrics. With the built-in memory, the Pulsense can store up to 480 hours of heart-rate data, which can be transferred to a smartphone or computer. For tracking your progress over a period of time, the data can transferred to an online health or fitness service using an iOS or Android mobile app, as well as from your personal computer.

You can look for these devices to hit the shelves this summer for around $130 for the band and $200 for the watch.

Epson also announced Moverio smart glasses with front-facing cameras and motion sensors and a Labelworks app-enabled label printer for printing QR and Bar codes.

It's still early in the week and more emerging technology will continue to flow from the 2014 CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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