HEALTH

Omron’s Alvita Wireless Tracker boasts Bluetooth Smart technology

BY Michael Johnsen

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Omron Healthcare on Wednesday announced the new Alvita Wireless Activity Tracker, a great tool to help keep people motivated to maintain their fitness goals.
 
Omron’s most advanced tracker yet, the Alvita Wireless Activity Tracker (HJ-327T), is petite yet powerful. It allows the user to transfer fitness data wirelessly to their smartphone with the free Omron Fitness App. Featuring Bluetooth Smart technology, the Alvita Wireless Tracker records steps, aerobic steps, distance and calories burned so users can set realistic goals and check progress along the way.
 
“Good things come in small packages, and our new wireless activity tracker in our popular Alvita line is no exception,” said Jill Person, product marketing manager, fitness, Omron Healthcare. “While it is our smallest tracker yet, it boasts powerful, leading-edge technology that delivers accurate information to help users turn data into healthy lifestyle decisions.”
 
Measuring less than 1 sq. in. and sporting a fresh light green color with optional detachable clip, the Alvita Wireless Activity Tracker uses Tri-Axis technology for accuracy so it can be worn almost anywhere, such as at the hip, in a pocket or tucked inside a purse.
 
It is compatible with systems and devices — including iPhone 4S and higher, iPad 3 and higher, iOS 7+, Samsung Galaxy S III and higher and Android OS 4.3+ — when the free Omron Fitness mobile app is installed. The tracker displays the current day’s activity on a clear LCD screen with the tap of a finger, and stores up to 14 days in the device.
 
The Alvita Wireless Activity Tracker is available at the Omron Online Store, and will soonbe available at Walgreens and Amazon; the Alvita Tracker distribution will expand to more brick-and-mortar and online retailers in the coming months. The suggested retail price is $59.99. A bulk version also is available in blue for institutions, clinical studies and corporations.
 
Users also can set up a free account at Omron’s companion website, OmronWellness.com, where they can download and share fitness activity, send data to Walgreens Balance Rewards, get a snapshot of overall health from their personal dashboard and participate in fitness and health challenges. OmronWellness.com also allows users to connect compatible Omron blood pressure monitors for individuals interested in tracking their blood-pressure readings in addition to fitness.
 
“Your wellbeing can be a bit of a numbers game, so we’ve designed smart tools that offer a clearer picture of your health,” Person said. “Our users are already active, but now they can be pro-active about their fitness goals and achievements by leveraging technology.”
 
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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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