Nowadays, our smartphones and wearable devices come with a ton of smart sensors that not only tracks biometric data for fitness purposes, but also environmental data that can help contextualize our surroundings. The new Google X wristband, for example, can gather environmental information like light exposure and noise levels, in addition to the myriad of biometrics it monitors. Similarly, popular weather app Dark Sky has recently started tapping into the barometer embedded in iPhones to crowdsource pressure data for better local weather forecasting.
For brands, however, the next step is transforming these sensors from passive data receivers into active data gatherers and utilizing them to generate accurate, hyperlocal data to improve context-aware targeting. Sense360, for example, is a California-based startup that specializing in the gathering and interpretation of environmental data from the various mobile sensors. Just earlier this week, they launched a new software development kit (SDK) that will allow app developers to easily access the sensors and help brands deliver a better consumer experience.
All in all, sensors hold vast potential for real-time contextual triggering, enabling brands to reach their audience at the right time and place. We expect more brands to start tapping into the data they generate, and make good use of the new targeting capability they present.
Read original story on: PSFK
Apple Watch comes with a lot of sensors to measure your biometric data such as heartbeat rates, movements, or calorie burns, primarily for health and fitness purposes. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be used outside the healthcare domain.
HeartbeatsMUSIC came up with an app concept for Beats Music that leverages the pulse-detecting function on Apple Watch into contextual music discovery. The app could capture the changes in a user’s pulse and activates the mic embedded in the Apple Watch in order to identify the songs, before automatically organizing them into different playlists based on both heartbeat rates and the music beats. If ever made a reality, this could inspire more interesting new use cases of biometric sensors on smartwatches.
Read original story on: Engagdet
A new study by The University of Pennsylvania shows that smartphone apps’ step counts are reasonably on the mark, whereas fitness wearables are much less reliable, with wide error margins. This, coupled with the news of Fitbit advising users suffering from skin rash to take off its products for a while, raises the question of whether smartphones are adequate substitute for fitness wearables. After all, it’s the data these devices collect that matters, not the devices themselves.
At least for now, the answer is a tentative “no”. First off, smartphone screens are getting bigger and bigger, which makes them inconvenient to carry around, especially while exercising. Moreover, it may take a few more years for smartphone to be equipped with advanced biometric sensors that are currently on some wearables. That being said, wearables are designed to be worn, and brands need to do a better job at making them truly wearable.
We talked with Lars Felber at CES 2015 about the new HomeKit-based smart sensors from Elgato.
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