CES 2015: 5 Products Designed to Change Digital Behavior

As an academic scientist working at the intersection of psychology, technology, health, and business, I get to check out a lot of technology products while they're being developed. One of the most exciting times of the year is when new tech products get unveiled to the public. For many companies, this happens at a giant technology conference in Las Vegas called the Consumer Electronic Show (CES).

CES is more than halfway done at this point, so I wanted to give an update on some of the exciting products being displayed this year. As most of you know, our interest is in digital behavior or, how and why people use technologies. Products in this space make it easier for people do things like keeping healthy or keeping in touch with others. They also help people to predict things that will happen in the future in life and work, like devices that learn how to give recommendations on how to improve work productivity. There are a lot of products related to digital behavior, from wearable trackers that help people exercise (like Fitbit and Jawbone), work-related devices to improve task management, and big data-based technologies that create data-based insights to improve people's lives and work.

Here's a list of 5 new technologies in this area being showcased at CES this year:

  1. TempTraq: Want to be able to monitor a baby's temperature? This device can do it. TempTraq is a digital thermometer that senses a baby temperature and sends alerts when needed. They are currently seeking FDA-approval to use it as a medical device. It's not yet available for sale but they plan to release it soon.
  2. Misfit Swarovski Collection: I've written about the difficulties in getting people to keep using wearables and how our research can address this. Misfit is looking to address this by making devices look more fashionable. They've paired up with Swarovski so that trackers are not only giving you information about what you do, they're also making people look good.
  3. Myris: Entering usernames and passwords for security checks can get tiring. Myris promises to make it easier with this device. With a quick look at their eye scanning security device, they can validate a person's identity like MI6 in Bond movies.
  4. Panasonic Smart Mirror: This classic electronics company has created a "smart mirror" that can show people what they would like to see in the future. For people who aren't sure what make-up to get or glasses to buy, this mirror can show you what you'd like without having to put them on first. It also recommends things for you based on your face. It might be a while before this device can be purchased, but it's interesting to see where devices are headed in influencing behavior.
  5. AmpStrip: If you're an athlete looking to monitor your vitals and improve your workouts, AmpStrip is a new product by Fitlinxx that is looking to help you. It's packed with a bunch of sensors like ECG and an accelerometer to measure heart rate, movement, and sleep. Typically heart rate sensors are more accurate if they're worn over the chest, but this can be uncomfortable and awkward. AmpStrip is a little strip that goes on your body that's marketed as having accurate heart rate readings and can be worn 24/7.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying these are the best products at CES or ones that i'm recommending. I bring them up for you because I think they're interesting examples of how technology companies are thinking about the future of digital behavior and how to impact people's lives using technologies. Enjoy the rest of the conference!

Sean Young PhD

UCLA Center for Digital Behavior, Medical Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, 90024, United States

Sean Young, PhD, MS is the Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior. I'm a scientist, innovator, and UCLA medical school professor. I study the science behind human digital behavior (see digitalbehavior.ucla.edu for more info about this field of research).I also assemble technology teams and solutions to improve UCLA Family Medicine patient care. For more info or to contact me: www.SeanYoungPhD.com