Clement Charles

Clement Charles 's thoughts
September 13th, 2013

Review on Shine, Alive Cor ECG, BAC Track breathalyzer and Hyetis’ Crossbow smart watch

Last Wed, we had a small intimate QS Meet Up event, mainly focused on exchanges and new products. Please find a summary of our discussion below.

New devices by Laurent Eymard

We start with some discussion on the latest iPhone announcement. Not focusing on the possible loss of fingers web your phone get stolen and the new data to resell / illegally reproved that we will now be able to give the Apple and others accessing their infrastructures, we mainly talk about the M7 processor. Indeed, this iPhone 5S comes with a processor, called M7 or Motion Processor, dedicated processor to capture moves and manage the accelerometer, which would lead to a lot of autonomy and a lot more battery life, as all data associated with movement will be manage by this new chip and not the general CPU of the computer. Also, the phone is presented as twice as fast that the previous models. To test and validate.

We had to pleasure to welcome Laurent from , always testing the latest gear and devices for its online community. Laurent delivered its test results of three product that we then discussed.

Shine – It does surely shine, but it is not as bright as expected

Based on a crowd funded project, Shine is a motion tracker  from misfit wearable. It’s USP is to be quite classy and elegant, and with 4 month of battery life. Indeed, it has been thought to be nice and classy from the start. All covers and in aluminum, and not plastic, and the device is fully waterproof (until 10bar – quite a margin to swiss daily).
You need to touch it twice to activate. You can see progress to reach the setted goads with led scales. If you click three times, you see the time too ; )

Goal are set in points, translated into activities. 800 points is one hour of walk, 30 min of running or 20min swimming. Compared to other trackers, on average, you get 10% less steps measured that with FitBit.

To set it up, set goals or indicate your current activity, you are supposed to place it on iOS devices and it’s detected. But it works also next to it as it’s bluetooth 4.0 enabled. You need to choose the activity before you sync, and then it will track this specific activity. You will activate the trackers by tapping three times, but the activity itself has been selected from the iOS device. Strange, and not very smart, and definitely not convenient. Yes, it tracks more things that Jawbone but it’s really not effort less.

Laurent also mentioned that app detect the language device and you cannot change the language – which is annoying.
A good thing is the easy feedbacks function within the apps, and even more, the quick feedbacks that you will get from Shine as well as a kind and good support form the staff.

As said, battery should last at least 4 month with Lithium battery. The great option, you forget about it for a long time.

Currently on sales for 120 USD in USA in Apple Store in exclusivity. We can get elsewhere if did you finance the crowd funding campaign. Now, only iOS UI, no web or desktop interfaces, but surely in planning.

More info: an appropriate section on red dolphin (link). 


Alive Cor is a shell / cover for iPhone that measure your heart beat.
Laurent tested it with professional medical partners that said that quality of signal measures was great, and with “a clean trace and graph”.
Once you use the AliveECG, you can measure the heart beat, can change your scale of vision and export results in PDF and more.

The tech concept is interesting. Indeed, to track, you put your hands on the sensors, as on a fitness machine, the device creates a unique sound that you do not hear, based on your heart beat, and then the iOS device capture the sound and measure the heart beat. The interface is impressive and results seems usable.
Check the video

It can be used by doctor to draft quick diagnostic. It could really be useful for people with weak heart condition, such as arrhythmia. It only measures, and provide no diagnosis, only data… as a classic ECG in hospital that needs doctors to “read” it for interpretation. It could provide diagnosis based on standard data models but I think such diagnosis would be a really heavy responsibility, even with all the possible disclaimers.
It cost circa 150 USD, now sold only in US and UK. Not really “authorized” in Europe, hard to understand why.

Other provider of similar devices right now and in the pipe, such as OmSignal or Citizen Science.

BAC Track – 

The BAC stands for Breath Alcohol Content.  This mobile tracker is meant to measure the level of alcohol in your breath. The company behind it also provides a bigger more precise version that is used by US police, so they are really a credible player in the market, not just an other gadget maker.

The devices is impressively precise. And quite funny to use. (show some print screen). In case you did know you were drunk, it tells your level of alcohol and the time to reach sobriety (=zero alcohol). The great thing to have in parties – in my perspective, more as fun than prevention devices. Still, I did not find (yet) a video while searching for Bac Track Contest or similar search ; )


Yetis – CrossBow

Last but not least, Laurent spoke the CrossBow from Swiss company Hyetis that intends to build the ultimate Swiss watch !! It really has impressive functions, like a combination of a smart watch and a James Bond tools. It needs to be charged daily by induction. It now on pre-order at 1200 USD (which is not so expensive for a Swiss watch) and really looks like a first of its kind. Check the site, it’s worth it. On a personal level, I always thought that Quantified Self and self-tracking are a part of the future of the watch industry, especially for low / mid budget watch that are not fully mechanic.


More Quantified Self information 

Sad to have missed it all ? Us too, we’d like to see you there.

No worries, join our group on Meet Up and we will be happy to meet you at the next Quantified Self Geneva.

June 12th, 2013

QS GVA June 13 – Session review

For our June event of QS GVA, we had a great meet up last night at the Green Café last night in GVA. Around 10 self trackers attended the meet up. We were pleased to welcome newcomer like Melody, Thomas, Malek, Felipe, and to catch up with regulars like Marcello, Laurent, José, Kat and my self.

After a first order of drinks, we briefly spoke about the QS EU 13 event in Amsterdam. Marek and I both attended and had a great time. Marek shared in experiences of having offices hours to present his app and meeting this the community, when I mention is new understanding of the motivation of trackers and briefly reported on the digital immortality break out session. We briefly announced the upcoming global QS conf in October.

Marek made the first presentation of the night, presenting QS iOS Apps Systematic, that let’s you tracks habits and things to do in ways that can help you achieve your goals. It’s a nice and elegant app, and the team has a lot idea to make it even better and extend its reach (Android apps, Google Glasses). The app is on sales on the app store for a while and you can look at the slides here or visit the app’s site. You can also view the slides below.

The second presentation was a device test and review by Marcello. He acquired the OnDaily tracker from Decathlon and tested rather extensively over a few days / weeks. Compared to the price, really low at 44 €, Marcello had a rather “good and fun” experiences, despite all the defaults of the product that he mention: 1min delay before tracking, weak sync between desktop and web app, poor content on the site and really cheap user interface.

The group then spent some time speaking about this user interface not knowing if it was purposely on beta or looking ugly not to compete with other more high end product sold the sport goods distributor, or if there was a really a problem in hiring UI and graphic designer for that project. I’ve made a similar review on my blog about the trackers and got an answer as comment from the product manager that explained they were working on the issues and that a new firmware should be released soon. The whole QS GVA is looking forward to re test it all once the new firmware would be provided.

After some Q&A with the speakers, we exchanged about the last tracking tools available, and agreed on the increasing trends of “stylish”, even “jewelry” like QS tracking devices. We also spoke about user interface, memoto life logging camera and beddit sleep trackers.

We wrapped up at 9.30 PM and a large part of the group stayed to enjoy a nice healthy asian dinner at the Green Café. Next events will be in fall, after the summer break. All the best until then.

If you did join our Quantified Self Geneva group on meet up, please jump on board.



Slides from Systematic.