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Smart armbands shine at CES

Smart armbands shine at CES
By Euronews
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The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, one of the biggest electronics exhibitions of its kind, has come to a close.

Among the thousands of gadgets on show, the Double Robotics was a real hit.

This mobile teleconferencing tool includes an iPad attached to a wheeled device that allows face-to-face conversations without users needing to be physically in the office.

“They love the idea to be able to work at home and have a better experience. It is really the next generation of telecommuting,” said Double Robotics co-founder David Cann.

According to its Canadian inventors, users of the “Nymi” wristband will be able to log on to their computer, access their bank account or even board a flight, simply by sharing their heartbeat. The wristband is equipped with a sensor that picks up the user’s heartbeat and identifies him by his pulse, allows him to securely access any account that uses a password.

“Your electrocardiogram is actually a unique identifier that we use to identify you and then, when you wear the wrist band, it knows who you are and communicates to the outside world to bypass passwords, pins but also to enable personalised experience: you can walk into a room and it knows who you are,” says Karl Martin, co-founder of Byonim, the company behind the “Nymi” wristband.

Gamers could soon be in for a whole new experience with the new “Myo” bluetooth-enabled armband, also developed in Canada. This gesture control device works by sensing muscle movement, detecting the user’s gestures and actions. Other potential uses include controlling a powerpoint presentation with swipes or turning the volume up on iTunes.

“If I make a fist or move to the left or the right it picks up those actions without any external cameras,” says Aaron Grant, co-founder of Thalmic Labs, the inventors of the “Myo” armband.

And it’s not exactly discreet, but this could be the jewelry of tomorrow. Wearers are alerted to a message waiting on their smartphone when these smart rings, bracelets and necklaces vibrate and flash with pre-programmed warning messages.

That’s it from the Consumer Electronics Fair in Las Vegas. The largest show of the year in the city, this edition attracted more than 150,000 visitors. Many will be back, same place, same time next year.