MWC Day 2: Wearables to Gain a Sense of Smell

electronic noseThere is such a thing as an electronic nose: technology that can detect gases and specify aromas. They can detect dangerous conditions of the “canary in a coal mine” variety, find hidden dead bodies, and analyze tastes. But the technology is bulky, expensive, and slow.

Environmental analysis of that sort is one of those things that would be an obvious application for wearables if it had occurred to you. It occurred to Bruno Thuillier, a former Siemens mobile phone exec, and he’s founded a brand new company called BoydSense. The company’s so new that the web site isn’t up yet.

In a conversation with WTI at Mobile World Congress, Thuillier said he is working with Alpha MOS, the industry leader in these sorts of sensors, to get the size, power requirements, and processing speeds of the relevant sensors to a point that could be incorporated into a wrist device. Current sensors are about 5mm square; Thullier wants them at about 2mm square and produced using MEMS technology. (The smallest six-axis accelerometers are about 1mm square.)

Industrial and environmental applications are pretty obvious. But Thullier hopes that his sensors and algorithms would be able to, for instance, analyze breath to detect effective exercise or diet, or to proactively discover health problems.

Thullier doesn’t expect to make his own devices, but rather license the technology he’s developing to device makers. And don’t expect this anytime soon: the timeline for first product is about a year out — and the better one probably won’t hit until 2017,

How Apple Plans to Sell the Apple Watch

Someone inside Apple’s retail division is leaking like a sieve to 9to5Mac. The site’s been carrying a series of pieces about how Apple plans to sell its upcoming watch. Now, it’s carrying an article that goes deep into the scripts that salespeople are being told to use to qualify customers. That’s kind of a big deal, […]

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Now Pebble Kickstarts Pebble Time Steel

pebble time steel

Hope you didn’t empty the piggy bank for a nifty color Pebble Time last week, because Pebble’s just gone the same “crowdfunding” route for its more sophisticated and more expensive Pebble Time Steel. (We put “crowdfunding” in quotes this time because the company’s really using Kickstarter as a distribution channel, not the actual “put-it-out-there-and-see-what-happens” crowdsourcing […]

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MWC Day 2: ANT+ Wants to Supplant Bluetooth in Home Control

ANT+ logo

If you’ve heard of ANT+ at all, you almost certainly know it as a way for your fitness equipment to communicate — probably your chest strap to your treadmill or high-end fitness watch. But Garmin-owned ANT+ wants to be, oh, so much more: it wants to be how devices in your home are controlled and […]

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MWC Day 1: Good Technology Brings Wearables Into the Enterprise

Corporate IT directors tend to be control freaks, and for good reasons. The “bring your own devices” movement is driven primarily by users who want to be able to unify the same technology in their business and personal lives; IT directors, who are responsible for the security of corporate data, have had to suck it up […]

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MWC Day 1: ams and ST Team Up on Payment Chip Systems

If you follow the sensor and microelectronics business, you may know that ams and STElectronics are top-flight companies and strong rivals. But they announced at Mobile World Congress that they’ve teamed up for just this one thing: mobile payments. ST has a secure element that stores and encrypts payment data. ams has a lot of […]

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MWC Day 1: Voice over IP on a Smartwatch

This falls into the category of “harder than it sounds,” but an Israeli company at Mobile World Congress is demonstrating a functional VoIP stack running on a generic smartwatch. Business phone systems that used to be handled by PBXs or Centrex systems have mostly migrated to Voice over IP systems, putting voice communication on corporate […]

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MWC Day 0: HTC Wristband Driven by UnderArmour

htc grip

HTC makes very nice smartphones that somehow never quite find traction in the United States and now they’re entering the health tracking business, joining the UA Record ecosystem. The water-resistant (1 meter for 30 minutes) Grip uses a curved 1.8-inch PAMOLED display and will last more than two days using normal tracking tools. When the […]

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MWC Day 0: Huawei Joins the Smartwatch Hunt with Android Wear and Jawbone

huawei watch

Chinese tech giant Huawei announced a stainless steel smartwatch at Mobile World Congress that runs Android Wear and relies on Jawbone’s UP software ecosystem. Huawei, the world’s third largest cellphone maker, is very little known in the United States consumer market — although it is no stranger to the enterprise world — but has been working […]

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MWC Day 0 Brief: Withings Adopts Android

The Withings Activé fitness monitor watches will now work with the Android operating system. Previously, the company’s support of Android had been spotty; some products were iOS only, others supported both products. The Activé Pop, announced at CES in January, is already shipping in Europe and will hit the United States within a month, the company said. […]

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