HEALTH

Google, Intel to develop luxury Swiss smartwatch

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
BASELWORLD, Switzerland — Luxury watch manufacturer TAG Heuer, Google and Intel on Friday announced a partnership to launch a Swiss smartwatch powered by Intel technology and Google's Android Wear. 
 
The partners did not reveal any pricing strategies or functionalaties of the new watch, however. 
 
Toward the end of the year, the trio of companies will release a product that is both luxurious, and seamlessly connected to its wearer’s daily life — a culmination of innovation, creativity and design from Silicon Valley in California and the Watch Valley in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the companies stated.
 
"Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility. Our collaboration provides a rich host of synergies, forming a win-win partnership, and the potential for our three companies is enormous," said Jean-Claude Biver, CEO TAG Heuer.
 
"The quality of Swiss watches is renowned worldwide. When this is allied with the creative technology and global power of two companies like Intel and Google, using the Android Wear platform and based on Intel technology, we can see the launch of a technological revolution in our industry, of which I am proud to be a pioneer today with TAG Heuer," added Guy Sémon, general manager of TAG Heuer.
 
“By fusing beauty with technology, the Swiss watch has inspired generations of artists and engineers alike — including us at Google," said David Singleton, director of engineering for Android Wear. "So we’re thrilled to be working with TAG Heuer and Intel to bring a unique blend of emotion and innovation to the luxury market. Together, and using the Android Wear platform, we can imagine a better, beautiful, smarter watch.”
 
“As we work to enable technology experiences that provide greater utility and value to people, Intel is confident that a collective approach will inspire new innovation in wearable technology. The collaboration with TAG Heuer and Google brings us closer to realizing the vision of wearable technology with a distinctive smartwatch that elevates the category,” remarked Michael Bell, corporate VP and general manager of Intel’s New Devices Group.
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Gaiam introduces Athletic Yoga video series

BY Michael Johnsen

 
 
NEW YORK — Gaiam on Thursday launched new programming and marketing efforts to share the benefits of yoga to athletes of all levels. Featuring professional athletes and top yoga instructors, Gaiam's new series of Athletic Yoga programming is now available on DVD and digitally.
 
"Yoga for Flexibility with Kevin Love" and "Yoga for Strength with Eddie George" are led by trainer and yoga expert Kent Katich — whose dynamic approach to yoga has reshaped the attitudes and training methods of many of the world's top athletes. In both programs, Katich demonstrates yoga practices to complement traditional sports training and to help deliver enhanced athletic performance.
 
In "Yoga for Flexibility with Kevin Love," the forward-center of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers and 6'10'' athlete is led through four 20-minute, dynamic practices designed to build flexibility and improve balance. And in "Yoga for Strength with Eddie George," the former NFL All-Pro running back and Heisman Trophy winner is led through four athletic yoga practices designed to increase mobility and build strength. 
 
"Yoga is something that can give me an edge and continue to help grow my game, and hopefully, elongate my career," Love said. "My body has leaned out, and yoga has had a lot to do with that. It has also given me a newfound balance, stability, strength and endurance, and taught me breathing techniques. I'm still learning, and that's the beauty of it."
 
"Every time I did yoga before a game, I knew I was going to perform well because I was fully stretched out and more connected to my mind and body. I never missed a game due to injury in my nine years of playing, and I owe that to practicing yoga," George said.
 
Also part of the Athletic Yoga series is "Yoga for Runners," led by New York-based yoga instructor Matt Giordano, which takes practitioners through poses that are designed to create greater flexibility and stamina, better mental focus and to help prevent injuries.
 
To support the launch of these programs, Gaiam developed a new website geared toward athletes, GameOnYoga.com, and has launched a digital marketing campaign with media partners ESPN.com, Stack.com, USA Today and Slam that will run through April.
 
"This is a new audience for Gaiam and really for the yoga community as a whole," said Susan Haney, SVP of marketing at Gaiam. "But we are excited to extend yoga's reach to athletes of all ages. Both Kent and Matt's expertise in training athletes to improve their performance through yoga is truly unparalleled, making them the perfect partners for this initiative. And by adding the star power of athletes like Kevin Love and Eddie George, we believe we can make a big statement about the benefits of the practice."
 
This May, two additional Athletic Yoga programs will be released as part of the collection: "Yoga for Power" featuring MLB All-Star Giancarlo Stanton and "Yoga for Conditioning" featuring MLS All-Star and U.S. Men's Soccer team member Jermaine Jones.
 
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NY AG’s DNA barcoding not used by FDA for plant identification

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — A Food and Drug Administration letter to the Senate called into question the validity of the kind of DNA barcoding technology New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman used as a basis for requesting four retailers to stop selling certain herbal supplements because they did not contain the ingredients posted on the label. 
 
In a letter to Sens. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, FDA on Wednesday acknowledged that the agency is "not currently using DNA-sequencing agency-wide for plant identification" and "if FDA were to use DNA methods on botanical extracts, we would use them in combination with established chemical or other acceptable methods historically used to verify the identity of these products."
 
However, the agency declined to question specifically the validity NY AG's testing methods, as the FDA "has not received the testing methodology or results from the New York Attorney General."
 
"FDA’s response is helpful as other State Attorneys General and the media evaluate what’s going on in New York," stated Mike Greene, VP government relations for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. "In our ongoing discussions with State AGs and the press, we continue to emphasize that the NY AG used the wrong test, leading to inaccurate conclusions, and that FDA has ample and appropriate good manufacturing regulations in place to help ensure that consumers are getting products that contain what’s on the label," he said. "We will share this letter widely as it confirms many of the things we have been saying. The fact is there are regulations in place, and responsible companies are following those regulations.”
 
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