FitBit® and 94Fifty Basketballs: See What’s new at CES

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( — November 3, 2015) –In January 2016, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will celebrate its 23rd iteration since it became open to the general public for the first time in 1993. Since that time, the CES has gained acceptance as the most significant trade show dedicated to consumer electronics, particularly with regard to innovation. In recent years, an important focus of CES has been on the fields of biotechnology, sports and fitness, and these three specific areas are where innovation seems to be developing the most.

The following products have been past innovation award winners at the CES, and they have enjoyed a certain amount of success in terms of paving the way for new biotech, health and fitness technologies entering mass markets. 

Sonic Innovations Touch Hearing Aid – 2010

This Salt Lake City tech firm impressed CES judges in 2010 with one of the smallest receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids in the market. The Touch hearing aid is a rugged and water-resistant device, which discreetly incorporates into the ear. These hearing aids are controlled with special software that can handle four programs, which can be set by the wearer with just a simple touch. 

FitBit® Wireless Activity Tracker – 2009

Wearable mobile devices have become very popular in the last few years, and FitBit is a respected brand in this regard. When FitBit presented its devices at the 2009 CES, attendees and the press were very interested in the potential of these wearable gadgets that can track exercise, sleep and even everyday activities such as domestic chores and even working at an office. These devices can count calories burned, how many hours of quality sleep the user is getting at night, and the amount of cardiovascular activity engaged throughout the day.

InfoMotion 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball – 2014

This basketball training tool was honored in various categories at the 2014 CES, and it was the first product launched by this Ohio-based company. The 94Fifty sensor fits inside the basketball and records various measurements that can help players improve their handling and shooting skills. The metrics, which include shot release speed, backspin, dribble speed, and shooting arc are beamed to an iPhone via Bluetooth and can be reviewed in an app that presents players with feedback and coaching advice. InfoMotion also offers sensors that can fit in the basketball net.

Acoustic Sheep SleepPhones and RunPhones – 2014

This Pennsylvania company received CES innovation awards for two products in 2014: RunPhones Wireless and RunPhones Intensity. In 2013, Acoustic Sheep earned an innovation award for its Wireless SleepPhones. Essentially, Acoustic Sheep develops wearable bands that can be connected to smartphones by means of Bluetooth connectivity. These comfortable, moisture-resistant headbands are designed to replace bulky and slippery headphones; depending on the model, users can wear these headbands when they go to bed at night or when they go out jogging or bike riding. 

What’s New for 2016?

2016 awards will be announced on November 10, 2016. This year should have even more exciting innovations that will impact the way technology touches our lives.  For example, one technology currently being considered for recognition is the Mettis Trainer® athletic shoe insert.  Mettis Trainer® inserts communicates with smart phones and other wireless devices to get real-time analysis for balance and performance. The shoe inserts are based on bend sensor technology.  A bend sensor is a single layer of material screen printed on a substrate.