Company headed by former Genentech CEO
Google is reportedly preparing to launch a new startup, Calico, that will focus on health care. The endeavor is expected to receive more attention and funding than many of the company's other side projects, with the aim of eventually contributing to longer human lifespan, according to a TIME report.
BodyMedia acquisition to cost Jawbone $110M, provides 87 patents
Jawbone is increasing its push into the fitness tracking market by announcing it has purchased BodyMedia. The acquisition of another manufacturer of wellness devices comes at the same time as Jawbone opens up its API to developers, allowing for other apps to be able to use data generated by the wrist-based lifestyle monitor, the Up.
Messenger app drops account requirement
Facebook announced today that it had altered its Facebook Messenger app to allow users to create Messenger accounts with only a name and a phone number. The alteration brings Facebook Messenger into the company of other SMS-replacement apps such as WhatsApp and Handcent, as users can now message contacts with just a phone number, as well as share photos with them. The social network rolled out the update to its Messenger app for Android today, and will be rolling out Messenger accounts over the next few weeks.
Learns from mistakes made last year
Jawbone is retrying its wrist-based health monitor by improving and re-releasing the Up. Worn on the wrist, the Up uses various sensors to measure how people eat, sleep, move and generally live their lives, in an effort to help users live a more healthy lifestyle. The wristband then connects to an iOS device via the headphone socket, which displays the collected data in a free app.
Wireless Scales can tweet user weight
Withings today announced the US availability of its next generation of Internet-connected bathroom scale. The Wireless Scale WS-30 brings Bluetooth Smart technology and Wi-Fi capability to the bathroom, allowing users to wirelessly beam vital information without having to connect to a computer directly. The Wireless Scale also includes on-screen visuals that will help users correctly position themselves for accurate weighing.
Kits: weighted coffee mugs, office exercise books
The online portfolio of designer Carl Jeffers, noted by ZDNet's Stephen Chapman, has tipped information on an Apple health campaign for its designers, at least in the UK. The image galleries show a design + health kit that features weighted coffee mugs, Post-It notes that include exercise reminders, mouse-pads with ergonomic reminders to 'sit back' and booklets with health regimen ideas and exercise guides for the office. There is no indication in the packaging as to when the kit was produced.
MacVide 3gp Converter 2.7 ($20) allows the conversion of most popular video files to 3gp mobile video. The software also allows users to customize different options including the bit rate, frame rate, resolution, and cropping. Version 2.7 has added several new watermarks that can be overlaid on top of videos along with a series of bug fixes. [Download - 10.5MB]
Health Tracker 3.3.0 ($20) is a tool for tracking and graphing any health related measurement. Diabetics can keep track of their blood glucose levels and people on diets can track their weight. The software also keeps track of your rate of losses or gains for each measurement, and evaluates how long it should take you to reach a goal, if a goal has been entered. Version 3.4 has fixed an bug related to deleting entries and also includes several user interface enhancements. [Download - 3MB]
In brief: danholt4mac and MacTech have both announced discounts on some of their products. danholt4mac is offering its Calories software at a discount of 40% off regular price. MacTech is now offering its customers a bundle that includes a two year subscription to its magazine along with their DVD Archive that contains the complete collection of issues from the magazines 24 year history. On a separate note, one MacNN employee recently dropped their MacBook Pro and broke the display. Looking for a low cost solution they tested out the service provided by iResQ. They found that the repair was completed in a very timely fashion and resulted in no additional damage and a display comparable to the original.
iNewLeaf iPhone app
Angeion has announced iNewLeaf, an app for the iPhone and iPod touch that allows users to monitor fitness routines. The program is based on results from personal metabolic evaluations that can be administered at select health clubs. The 10-15 minute test is designed to calculate the body's response to exercise by measuring oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in each breath. Analyzed results are then used to create optimized workout plans that include heart rate, cycling speed, power and cadence. Users can view the actual calories and fat calories burned after each session.
Weightbot ($4) is a weight tracking application for the iPhone and iPod touch. Users can set goals, record their weight and then track their progress over time. Progress can be viewed in a graph form that can be plotted by days, weeks, months or years. Users who would rather keep this information private can also choose to add a numeric password to keep the data safe.
Health Tracker 3.3.0 ($20) is a tool for tracking and graphing any health related measurement. Diabetics can keep track of their blood glucose levels and people on diets can track their weight. The software also keeps track of your rate of losses or gains for each measurement, and evaluates how long it should take you to reach a goal, if a goal has been entered. The update features completely redesigned graphs and allows users to copy the graphs to the clipboard to add to other applications. [Download - 7.4MB]
rubiTrack 1.1 ($39) allows users to track their physical activity and then display and organize the corresponding data. Information from runs, bike rides, walks or other outdoor activities can be placed on a map and then compared side by side. Information can then be sorted into graphs so users can analyze progress against personal goals. The update has added direct syncing with Nike+iPod and AMOD AGL3080 GPS Tracker. The update has also added several new filters in the activity group tree. [Download - 3.8MB]
Steve Jobs health
Past concerns for the health of Apple CEO Steve Jobs are resurfacing after his demonstration of the iPhone onstage at the WWDC keynote, with a spokeswoman passing off his mince physique as a "common bug". The Wall Street Journal reports that, in addition to the new iPhone, bloggers and internet news sites are abuzz with talk of whether Jobs is in good health or not. Jobs recently suffered from pancreatic cancer, which was revealed after it was believed to have been treated.
Optimism 1.0 unveiled
Crackatonic Projects has released Optimism 1.0, a health-wellness
planning application that takes a pro-active approach to dealing with mental health. Optimism works by helping users monitor patterns in their lifestyle such as a person’s mood, exercise, sleep, and other potential triggers, symptoms or activities that may trigger depression. The program requires Mac OS X Version 10.2 or higher and runs as a Universal Binary for both Intel and PowerPC processors. Optimism 1.0 costs $19.95 and is available as a full-featured 7-day trial.