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Manage stress, health and kids with these revolutionary gadgets

Revolutionary smartwatches and a headband have been announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Published: Updated:

Revolutionary smartwatches and a headband have been announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky announced a new smartwatch with “a hardware accessory port, enabling hardware accessory makers to create what we call smart straps.”

The straps “contain electronics and sensors, and talk directly to apps,” he said, “the first time ever” that this has been done on wearables.

Pebble is “no longer just an accessory to your phone. It’s your own unique computing device. You can imagine attaching a GPS strap when you go for a run.”

The Canadian innovator said the technology behind the smart straps is an “open platform,” available for developers to scrutinize and reinvent.

Migicovsky, whose earliest version of Pebble only worked with BlackBerry with limited battery life, announced a sleeker Pebble Time Steel on the back of Pebble Time, capable of going up to 10 days without needing a battery recharge.

The Time Steel, which is a higher-end version of the smartwatch, comes in silver, black or gold finish, at a pre-order price of $250.

Kids’ safety

Stephen Shurrock, CEO of Telefónica’s consumer division, announced a new “wristband for five- to 10-year-olds.

“It’s unobtrusive. You can set it so that if your child goes beyond a set area - for example, the block in which you live - a beeper goes off so you’ll be alerted straight away.”

The smartphone has a panic button that a child can press for a call to be made to five stored phone numbers. “It’s a ‘peace of mind’ product,” said Shurrock.

Brain health

Ariel Garten, CEO of InteraXon Inc, is a neuroscientist behind the new smart headband Muse.

Fifty research institutions are using Muse, and some doctors prescribe it to patients, especially those suffering from stress, she said.
Muse enables people to understand what is happening in their brain. “Think of it as a fitness tracker for your brain matter. It’s easy to use and portable. All you need is your Muse, smartphone and three minutes a day.”

Garten expressed hope that as more people use Muse, neuroscientists would be able to see changes in the neuronal marker for age.

As we age, the neuronal marker becomes lower, the reason for which is not yet clear, she said.