GOOD Design Daily: Four CES Gadgets That Create Impact
For the majority of the vendors at the Consumer Electronics Show, opening tomorrow in Las Vegas, the massive convention is a chance to show off their latest zillion-dollar gadget that consumers probably don't need. But among the 3D monitors, gestural interfaces, and towers of tablets—not to mention the pleas from environmentalists speaking out against the show—we managed to find four intriguing products that can improve our well-being, from a device that helps people with hypertension monitor their blood pressure, to a charger that powers a cellphone as you walk. Take a look!
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The simplest way for a person with hypertension to stay healthy is to check his blood pressure daily—a procedure that may be standard for a healthcare professional but isn't as easy for the average patient. The iHealth blood pressure monitor is a cuff that wraps around the arm and plugs directly into the iPhone or iPad, where an app provides specific directions on how to use it. Patients can monitor and track their blood pressure on the go, and even share the results with their caregivers.
We've seen solar backpacks for on-the-go charging, but how about using the kinetic energy from your commute instead? The nPower Peg converts energy from walking or biking into a usable power source for your other gadgets. A casual stroll is enough to charge the 1,000 mAh lithium polymer battery, which you can plug directly into your device via USB cable, but you can also shake it vigorously to charge it even faster.
Say you're stuck outside the reach of reliable cell service, or, even worse, maybe you're stranded in a remote area after an accident and need to call for help. Spot Connect turns your smartphone into a satellite-enabled communication device. Using Bluetooth technology, the module can help you send basic messages via the internet (Tweet or text for help!) but it can also function as an emergency beacon, sending out your location to authorities like a rescue flare.
Charging devices haven't seen much innovation when it comes to energy-saving measures. The Idapt i1 Eco hopes to change that by creating the first "green" charger that's Energy Star-rated for efficiency. But here's the really smart part: Unlike the standard cords for our laptops and cellphones, the i1 Eco stops drawing power from the outlet or car charger when the device is full. And not only is it made from recycled materials, it can also be easily recycled itself at the end of its life.