The Innovations Design and Engineering Awards program, sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association, acknowledges the most innovative consumer technologies in 34 product categories, from audio accessories to eco-design. The products are judged by a panel of designers, engineers and members of the trade press. Honorees are announced in the fall and are featured at the Consumer Electronics Show in a best-of display.
Although I'm always blown away by the product designs by many of the Innovations honorees, as the Interpublic Emerging Media Lab's health-care director, I'm especially interested in advances in the health-and-wellness category. We've seen amazing advances in this category in the past few years, and here are some of this year's best:
The category winner, the Fitbit "wellness tracker," monitors your fitness and sleep activity. It's super tiny, kinda cute and wireless. You can clip it on your PJs to see if you are getting good quality sleep. Or put it in your pocket to calculate distance walked. Adding a social-media element, you can log on to the Fitbit website to join your friends and family in fitness challenges.
Acuvibe's Human Touch HT-1280 is a very sleek and minimalist handheld personal massager ergonomically designed to provide muscle relief in those hard-to-reach areas (shoulders and the mid-back).
Philips' goLITE BLU promises relief from winter blues, sleep problems and jet lag. It's light therapy that is compact, portable and sleek.
Starkey Laboratories was recognized for its Zon, a hearing device developed with an elegant design and sophisticated color palette to match natural skin tones and hair.
Two of Able Planet's technologies designed for individuals with hearing loss were honored: Sound Fit In-Canal Technology Delivery and Sound Management System, the first user-controlled in-canal-delivery sound and audio system, and LINX Digital Signal Processing technology, which creates a "live" listening experience complete with advanced noise management.
These honorees have earned the right to place the coveted Innovations logo on their products' packaging and advertising, and join a very select group of the best-designed products in consumer technology.~ ~ ~
Raquel Krouse is health-care director of the Interpublic Emerging Media Lab.