You may not really own that connected device you paid a lot of money to buy

Connected devices withhold rights of ownership

More of the products we purchase are connected to a cloud service which dictates how the products are used. John Deere tractors, with connected sensor networks, locked farmers out of the software and systems and required farmers to transport their tractors to company owned repair centers if they broke down. Apple throttled speeds of iPhones with older batteries, causing an outrage. Wired

dis-rup-shun: The purchase of connected products is imitating purchasing of software licenses which give purchasers the right to use software that remains the property of its publisher. Purchasing, in the sense of a total transfer of ownership, is an old paradigm. Paying for perpetual use of a manufacturer’s device is the new model, and one in which part of the user’s payment comes in the form of giving personal usage data to the manufacturer.

Comcast developing health device

Comcast is reportedly developing an in home device that will monitor movements of seniors — detecting anomolies from normal patterns including frequent trips to the bathroom, staying in bed past normal hours, and even sudden pauses in motion possibly caused by a fall. Gizmodo

dis-rup-shun: Using inexpensive motion sensors to build a database of a person’s patterns, and looking for deviations from those patterns to alert caregivers, is an example of machine learning working to make lives better. People Power Company, a smart home company implementing machine learning, is developing this technology in cooperation with University of California Berkeley, funded by a grant from the National Institutes for Health. This technology, when delivered by smart home competitors, will displace the $2 billion personal alert (PERS) business, by providing highly accurate alerts without requiring a senior to wear a pendant.

Ear infection? There’s an app for that

University of Washington researchers have developed a smartphone app that bounces sound waves into the eardrum and determines, with 85% accuracy, if the ear has fluid behind the eardrum — an indicator of infection. Digital Trends

dis-rup-shun: Diagnostics coming from smartphones, smart watches, and other devices will allow consumers to understand their health profiles to a high degree of accuracy and obtain care more efficiently (for both care provider and consumer), or avoid unneccesary trips to a clinician.

The best Fitbit wearable alternatives

For those seeking a health tracker device less expensive than Fitbit, here is Digital Trends’ list:

  1. Garmin Vivofit 3 — $58
  2. Toobur Fitness Tracker — $22
  3. Amazfit Bip — $80
  4. Omron Alvita Ultimate — $25
  5. Withings Activite Pop — $89
  6. Wesoo K1 fitness tracke — $18
  7. Amazfit Equator — $53
  8. Wahoo Tickr — $50
  9. Scosche Rhythm+ — $80
  10. Garmin Vivoactive HR — $100

dis-rup-shun: A combination watch and health tracker is far more beneficial and far more expensive. However, for those seeking a dedicated fitness tracker and who don’t mind a lower performing or harder-to-use smartphone app, some inexpensive alternatives will do the trick.

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