Tag Archives: Wearables

A Taxonomy for Innovation in Sleep

Last month, Fitbit unveiled its new smart watch, the Fitbit Iconic. The company plans to utilize the device’s new blood oxygen saturation sensors (relative SpO2) for sleep apnea diagnosis. For Fitbit, the new functionality in the Iconic is a natural progression from its previous work; but from a broader perspective, Fitbit’s recent innovation represents yet another data point of a bigger story: sleep is hot. Today, sleep has already become widely accepted as a primary pillar of wellness (even the Apple Health Kit will vouch for this), and sleep tracking has become ubiquitous in consumer wellness solutions; yet recently we’ve witnessed an uptick in innovation of sleep-specific solutions. Below, we use Lux’s Tech Signal to uncover spikes in interest in sleep innovation, which primarily took off in 2013:

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Apple’s New Watch and OS Showcase Its Move Toward Becoming a Health Device

Among its recent string of announcements, Apple has introduced the successor to its first wearable device, the Apple Watch, appropriately dubbed “Apple Watch Series 2,” along with an update to the the Operating System “Watch OS 3.” The Apple Watch Series 2 has a few additional hardware features, namely a faster processor, bigger battery, waterproof, brighter screen, and GPS module. The Watch OS 3, which is for both the Apple Watch 1 and 2, revamped the information provided during workouts with users being able to track distance, pace, active calories, heart rate, and elapsed time, in addition to being able to share activity with friends, and to track swim workouts and running workouts without also needing to carry a smartphone. The Watch OS 3 also includes a breathing app that guides users through deep breath exercises to help them relax. Continue reading

Case Study: McDonald’s Distributes Fitness Trackers in Happy Meals, Burns Dozens of Children

Key Players

McDonald’s, the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, distributed fitness tracking wristbands as Happy Meal toys. Distribution of the fitness trackers began on August 9, 2016 and lasted until August 17, 2016, after which the company issued a voluntary safety recall.

Event Description

  • McDonald’s offered activity tracking wearables with 500-calorie Happy Meals as a replacement for traditional toys. The activity tracker, dubbed “Step-iT,” came in six colors and could count steps and blink according to the speed at which the wearer moved.
  • The company received several dozen reports of skin irritation and burns following usage of the Step-iT trackers.
  • McDonald’s discontinued distribution of the devices on August 17, 2016, a little over a week after they were initially launched. A total of 29 million units were distributed across the U.S. and Canada during this period.
  • The company issued a voluntary safety recall. Consumers were advised to return the Step-iT band in return for a replacement Happy Meal toy and either a free yogurt tube or a free bag of sliced apples.
  • McDonald’s is now “aggressively investigating this issue” and has yet to pinpoint the reason for the incidents.

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