With all of the excitement and buzz surrounding the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) coupled with the fact that the fall and winter flu, holiday survival and New Year resolution seasons are all on fast approach, now is the perfect time to explore some innovations—gadgets, appliances and other science-based solutions aimed at improving our collective well-being.
Indeed, the health, wellness, sports, fitness and personal care industries are teeming with cool product advances intended to make living healthfully an easier and more impactful endeavor, while also making physical activity more fun, competitive and effective. A great number of those solutions are brought to market thanks to technological advancements relative to the materials utilized, the engineering employed, breakthrough science and, in many cases, all three of these aspects.
With this in mind, here are a few representative, technologically-advanced solutions helping folks achieve the great benefits in the health and wellness realm:
*** Portable Wellness ***
GermAwayUV Junior Surface Sterilizer Wand (www.CureUV.com)
I found a nifty portable light-based technology solution that can keep you healthy while on-the-go. The GermAwayUV Surface Sterilizer Wand is a travel-friendly handheld wand that uses natural UV-C light to sanitize and disinfect surfaces no matter where you are: at home, a hotel room, a restaurant, a doctor’s waiting room--anywhere germs are sure to lurk (which is pretty much everywhere)! This device uses the same advanced UV-C light technology that hospitals have been using to sterilize equipment for over 30 years—but now the technology is available to everyone at economical price points. This wand will actually kill up to 99% of bacteria, viruses, fungus, molds and a host of other pathogens! The Ultraviolet (UV-C) light technology is a really efficient and effective way to keep things germ free, and it’s certainly a better option than using harmful and messy chemicals to keep things sanitary. Use on linens, bathroom fixtures, airline seats and trays and nearly any other surface where germs live. Oh, and I should also mention that in addition to its germicidal usefulness, this UV wand also fights unwanted odors and allergens such as mold and dust mites. So, use it on those old gym sneakers, your kids’ grungy soccer bag, anything that stinks really. Its miniature size is convenient for daily life and for travel.
SteriPEN Traveler Portable UV Water Purifier (www.CureUV.com)
Whether relaxing in a tropical paradise or hiking through the backcountry, SteriPEN has you covered. This Traveler destroys over 99.9% of disease-causing microbes in a liter of water in just 90 seconds (99.9999% of Bacteria, 99.99% of Viruses, 99.9% of Protozoa). Cities around the world have been using UV light to make water safe to drink for over 100 years, since this kind of light destroys germs' ability to reproduce and make you sick. This SteriPEN will give you Up to 100 treatments per set of disposable batteries and a full 3,000 treatments for the life of the UV lamp! Just stick it into the liquid to be purified with the light on for just a minute or so and it’ll be perfectly purified. This is pretty killer tech...literally!
*** Nutrition ***
bmiSMART BioTech-Driven Weight-Loss Solutions (www.iRemoveWorks.com)
Science and biotechnology have completely changed the weight loss equation. Innovative and non-invasive biotech is now benefiting dieters seeking to safely supplement their weight loss efforts with plant-based and stimulant-free fat binding products that are clinically tested to accelerate weight loss. So this year forget the fads! bmiSMART provides effective weight loss solutions through patented technologies that’ll accelerate healthy, sustainable weight loss when combined with a sensible diet regime. For one, the company’s I-REMOVE Fat Binder product—the #1 weight loss seller in Europe for the past 5 years—has been shown in clinical trials to result in up to 3X more weight loss than would be achieved through diet alone. With it, users diet and I-REMOVE’s fat binding properties help them lose up to 3X more weight than they would otherwise! How does this fat-binding biotech work? I-REMOVE contains Litramine™, a patented fiber complex made from prickly pear cactus—manufactured using with a proprietary technology—that allows the ingredients to bind to fat molecules from ingested food and makes them too large to be absorbed, so the body absorbs fewer calories from fat. Taken right after a healthy, calorie-controlled meal, I-REMOVE is easy to incorporate into a busy lifestyle and does not require time-consuming meal planning or adherence to rigid, highly restrictive diets. Of course, everyone is familiar with caffeine and similar stimulant-laden oral solutions that jack up metabolism and energy levels only to cause the dreaded crash-and-burn an hour or so later. With I-REMOVE Fat Binder that is no longer a concern. The biotech in this product leverages a physiological process that can radically increase weight loss by reducing the amount of dietary fat absorbed but without the caffeine crash and other unwanted side effects. So you can start losing up to 3X more weight!
Alkaline88 Water (www.Alkaline88.com)
Here’s another great tech-driven water option—one that Beyoncé, Miranda Kerr, Elton John, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Kelly Ripa, Janet Jackson and Ray Kurzweil all have in common. They’ve all gone on the record to say that they drink alkaline water. I’ll officially add my name to that A-list. Because why not? Alkaline water is also my own go-to. Many athletes, celebrities and regular health-minded folks are attracted to the benefits of an alkaline diet, since a balanced body pH results in greater energy, more restful sleep, improved digestion and fewer colds according to some medical authorities. The Alkaline Water Company, Inc. has developed Alkaline88 for the convenience-driven alkaline water drinker who understands the benefits of electrolysis and who is looking to save money. Enhanced with 84 trace Himalayan minerals and electrolytes, Alkaline88 is premier alkaline water that achieves its 8.8 pH level through a state-of-the-art, completely chemical-free process. The product offers consumers the unique opportunity to purchase alkaline water in usefully packaged and economical 500ml, 700ml, 1-liter, 3-liter and 1-gallon sizes.
*** Fitness ***
ATLETO Sports & Fitness App (www.AtletoSports.com)
Exercising with others is more fun and, according to science, ups your fitness game! ATLETO, a free mobile sports app, connects you and others with similar interests, skill levels and fitness goals. You can use it to organize pick-up games with your buddies or to join a match already posted in the app. ATLETO has more than 40 activities from yoga to paddle boarding, and is a fun way to meet friends and schmooze with other like-minded folks. Another huge plus is ATLETO’s global network, making it great for travelers who want to maintain their fitness routine on the road. ATLETO connects everyday athletes together providing the best sports experience possible!
Rolflex Self-Care Tool (www.iRolflex.com)
Rolflex is a whole body relief solution and a self-care gadget that will help consumers naturally reduce latent muscle tension and attack pain extremely effectively. This device can be used to replicate upwards of 40 massage therapy techniques and to apply targeted pressure to trigger points in muscles for relief before and after a workout. The Rolflex tool features advanced biomechanics, an ergonomic design, and interchangeable attachments so it can be used on all parts of the body. From professional athletes to weekend warriors and even professional trainers and therapists, this gadget is a great line of defense against pain and injury— providing an intuitive way to amplify pressure and apply massaging techniques to help people feel and perform better.
Performance Bicycle Sport Clothing (www.PerformanceBike.com)
Performance Bicycle Sport Clothing is designed to be functional, comfortable and stylish; perfect for everything from casual cycling to rigorous, athletic workouts, to everyday leisure wear. The technology-friendly Performance Sport Heathered Tee, for example, has a built-in envelope back pocket that holds extra gear (tech and otherwise) and allows for internal headphone routing. This attractive shirt design—available for both men and women—will keep you dry, comfortable and looking your best. Special polyester Melange fabric feels great against your skin, manages moisture and is heathered for casual style. Relaxed fit allows freedom of movement and reflective logos increase visibility. They also sell padded liners that can turn any non-cycling specific bottom into comfortable cycling apparel by providing the cushioning and moisture wicking benefits of a traditional cycling bottom. Made with premium fabrics, sport active wear from Performance Bicycle will enhance the experience for cyclists, runners, and fitness enthusiasts of all levels.
Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Bluetooth Headphones (www.Jabra.com)
Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are an outstanding option that’s particularly well-suited for runners. The first thing I love about these is they’ll literally stay in your ears no matter what activity you are doing. And, the fact that they are wireless and will connect to your music player via Bluetooth is super convenient and makes them more comfortable as well. In terms of music, they provide immersive top-quality Dolby sound, so the audio output is fantastic. And the wearer can also control music playback, adjust the volume and take calls with just a quick tap on the earbuds, themselves. Yep, all controls are right there on the earbuds. Even beyond all of this, the Jabra Sport Pulse design is much more than just a set of headphones! They’re actually an all-in-one training solution with a built-in heart rate monitor that measures your heart rate via your inner ear, and are the only earbuds proven to deliver clinical-grade accuracy. The headphones also interface with a specialized Jabra Sport Life App that not only ensures you’re always training in the right heart rate zone, it also allows you to plan, monitor and evaluate your performance. So, you’ll always know if you’re in the most optimal zone for your goals. In-ear coaching also gives you real-time feedback to keep you updated on your workout progress in real-time to help you optimize each workout session.
xocial Online Community Fostering Healthy ‘Competitive Kindness’ (www.xocial.com)
One online community called xocial (pronounced soh-shuhl) is gamifying goodness, calculating and curating “competitive kindness” to help cause-conscious and otherwise kindhearted athletes, fitness enthusiasts and others out-nice each other and make the world a better place. It connects people and organizations to health-related causes they care about, charitable and otherwise, and inspires them to take action amid friendly competition against family, friends, teammates, colleagues, other companies/organizations/clubs and even perfect strangers. Also notable is the fact that the xocial platform measures the impact of a participant’s efforts, continually building what’s called an “XO score”—a representation of one’s overall positive social impact. Folks build their score by completing fitness and other challenges as well as engaging with others in the xocial community. This XO score methodology provides a benchmark that helps spur the spirit of competition—the favorable kind where everyone ultimately wins. The numerical measurements allow users to compete with each other to see who can do the most good. The XO score also puts the phenomenon of social media to more productive use. Instead of measuring popularity, xocial measures an individual or organization’s positive social impact as they compete to benefit health and wellness-related causes. While traditional philanthropy focuses on financial giving or attending singular or one-off events, with the xocial platform anyone can benefit social causes regardless of their level of fitness or skill, special interest or financial donation. Simple campaigns can be built online for free, and anyone can create one or join one already underway.
*** Personal Care ***
‘Plaque HD’ Plaque-Identifying Toothpaste (www.DentalKit.com)
Here’s a super cool, technology-driven toothpaste solution: Plaque HD. This new and first-to-market toothpaste contains a natural plaque-indicating dye that turns plaque on your teeth a teal color and only disappears once you’ve brushed it all off. The natural teal-colored disclosing agents temporarily tint and identify clear plaque build-up on teeth, helping consumers brush better and smarter by targeting areas of plaque possibly missed during usual brushing. Independent studies conducted in the orthodontic department at the University of Illinois Chicago’s College of Dentistry show that patients who used Plaque HD had four times as much plaque removal compared to patients using a standard toothpaste.
Silk’n FaceFX Anti-Aging Device (www.Silkn.com)
I’ve found a great at-home anti-aging device from Silk’n called FaceFX, which uses light-based Home Fractional technology to benefit you. This handheld gadget uses a synergistic combination of red light energy--also known as Deep Fractional Light—in combination with deep thermal heat to stimulate collagen production and safely reach and treat multiple layers of skin. So, not only does FaceFX diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores that are more surface level, it simultaneously penetrates deeper into the skin to address lager wrinkles and discolored spots. It also improves skin texture, brightens skin color and generally provides a clearer and more radiant complexion—all from the privacy and comfort of your own home! So there’s no need to get in the car and drive to an expensive spa to benefit from this clinically tested and dermatologist recommended anti-aging tool, which provides both immediate and long-term skin rejuvenation results. Plus, it’s super easy to use! Each session takes only 15-20 minutes and is done just three times per week for the first month, and then just once per month thereafter. While some results can be seen immediately, the most dramatic changes typically occur in about three to seven weeks. This tool can be used on crow’s feet, under the eyes, cheeks and virtually any other problem area. With this you can put your best face forward in no time!
*** Sports & Athletics ***
Compex Muscle Stimulator (www.ShopCompex.com)
The Compex is a mobile handheld electronic muscle stimulating device used for rapid muscle recovery, including the removal of lactic acid that makes muscles feel sore post workout. It’s also used to tone muscles and actually build muscle density, strength and size. Other benefits include increasing circulation and oxygenating blood cells; warming up muscles to increase flexibility and reduce likelihood of injury; and massaging muscles to promote overall relaxation. The system comes with a placement guidebook on where and how to place the easy snap-on gel electrodes that come with the system. For example, you can place them on your abs if you want to build up your core using this method of electric muscle stimulation. There are diagrams on how to place them on various body parts for your desired goal, like post-workout recovery or to build muscle size. And users fully regulate the strength of the electronic currents with an intuitive controller. When combined with your existing fitness routine, Compex enables you to target your training and exercise more muscle in less time, so you can achieve peak performance and fitness. It provides a more efficient workout regimen, with less risk of injury to joints and tendons, and virtually no cardiovascular fatigue
Unequal Halo (www.Unequal.com)
I also want to tell you about a sports safety-oriented piece of health tech called the Unequal Halo. It’s a protective headband for youth soccer players that utilizes something called TriDur and Accelleron technology. TriDur is a patented, elasto-meric coated Kevlar fabric used by the military and law enforcement. It’s 5x stronger than steel, with a virtually unmatched ability to absorb and disperse high impact energy. The Halo contours to any players’ head and looks just like a headband, while offering serious protection. So it’s not bulky and embarrassing to wear. It’s also fully adjustable and comes in many colors, available in both a 6mm and 10mm thicknesses. The company says that U.S. Woman’s Soccer Player Ali Krieger began wearing the Unequal Halo leading up to, and during, the 2015 FIFA World Cup due to suffering a concussion in the months prior. This is a piece of technology that can really protect children from harm and give parents peace-of-mind.
RecoFit Compression Gear: Armcoolers and Sleeves (www.RecoFit.co)
RecoFit Armcoolers provide the cooling benefits of Icefil technical fabric. Xylitol is embedded in the fabric and lowers the skin’s surface temperature by five degrees when activated by the evaporative process of wicking perspiration away from the skin. Air flowing over the sleeves creates the same cooling sensation. The Armcoolers also offer 50+ UPF sun protection so greasy sunscreen isn’t needed, a real bonus for those playing sports with clubs or bats and needing a good grip. Lastly, the sleeves give the arm muscles support with gentle compression. RecoFit’s calf compression sleeves also help you perform better and recover faster by improving circulation, reducing damaging muscle vibration, preventing swelling, delaying fatigue and speeding up post-exercise recovery. Constructed with a carbon-based, technical performance fabric, RecoFit calf sleeves have a negative ion charge that helps the blood uptake oxygen. The sleeves are left- and right-leg-specific, effectively providing gradient compression. RecoFit recommends using calf compression sleeves during exercise as well as post-exercise recovery.
*** Cooking & Kitchenware ***
T-fal ActiFry (www.BedBathandBeyond.com)
Here’s something useful and weight-wise for the kitchen; The T-fal ActiFry. This is a super versatile, time-saving kitchen gadget that allows you to prepare and enjoy all your favorite dishes hands-free and healthfully by using little to no oil. So, the word Fry in the product name is a little misleading, because it actually uses unique hot air circulation technology and stirring paddle to make tasty low fat meals ranging from meats and chicken to seafood or even vegetables and side dishes. Aside from the fact that you can cook so many things without any oil, I also love this appliance because I’m a super busy mom and it cooks things fast. Because food is always cooked at precisely 338°, there’s no preheating necessary and meals are cooked very quickly and evenly since the paddle keeps the ingredients moving and stirring as the hot air circulates all around it. Clean up is also a breeze as the pan, lid, paddle, and filter are removable and dishwasher safe. Most importantly, the ActiFry is designed to be safe and family-friendly. My kids use it all the time to make everything from chicken nuggets and chicken wings to much healthier french fries.
SPT Professional Juicer (www.Wayfair.com)
And finally, with eating healthier among the more popular New Year resolutions, committing to those fruits and veggies is far easier with the SPT Professional Juicer. Housed in attractive die cast aluminum, this powerful 850-watt juicer will add beauty and function to your kitchen…and your body with all of the nutrients you’ll benefit from. The unit’s extra-large 3″ feed tube makes it easy to process all types of whole fruits and vegetables without pre-cutting or peeling. The juicer includes two speed settings and an automatic pulp collecting container. Stainless steel elements and dishwasher-safe parts provide quick cleanup. Also included are a juice jug with froth separator, a cleaning brush, and a pulp container.
Branding and consumer product trends pundit Merilee Kern, MBA is a wellness industry veteran, health advocate and influential media voice. Her ground-breaking, award-winning “Kids Making Healthy Choices” Smartphone APP for children, parents/caregivers and educators (iTunes) is based on her award-winning, illustrated fictional children’s book, “Making Healthy Choices – A Story to Inspire Fit, Weight-Wise Kids” (Amazon). She may be reached online at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.
***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost or otherwise arranged to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***