Ideas, Intelligence, Events and Promotions from WIRED

Is Automatic Calorie Tracking a Thing?

Image via Indiegogo

As the race to create the next best activity tracker continues, there’s one feature we’re all after: automatic calorie tracking. Most devices can sync with other diet apps that require manual calorie entry, but who has ever consistently logged every little morsel that entered their body? Not me.

Unfortunately, we may be out of luck – at least for now. While companies like Healbe are claiming their GoBe wristband can automatically track calories, their claims are unproven. It didn’t stop them from raising nine times their goal (and counting) on Indiegogo. With an estimated delivery of June 2014, we may hear a lot of complaints from the backers of this $190 device very soon. Read more about the future of automatic calorie counting at TechHive

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|  April 12th, 2014

Who Needs Soccer Shoes When You’ve Got Soccer Socks?

Image via PSFK

I’ve yet to jump on the barefoot running bandwagon. And you won’t even find me prancing around in a pair of Vibram’s FiveFingers. The thought of no support, rocks in my toes, and cold temps are enough to keep me happily married to my sneakers. And that’s why Nike’s latest undertaking has thrown me for a loop.

The Magista is a soccer “boot” that’s half shoe, half sock – and yes, it still has cleats. It’s so flexible that it can be squished between your fingers and folded in two with ease. A paper-thin waterproof layer keeps players dry and a knit upper makes the boot feel like an extension of the leg. Running in second skin shoes is one thing, but playing ball? My toes hurt just thinking about it. Read more about Nike Magista at PSFK

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|  April 12th, 2014

A Dating-Like App For Business People

Image via Treatings

Networking is taking a note from online dating.

Treatings is one part LinkedIn and one part Match.com. If you sign up, it means you’re willing to grab coffee with just about any local professional who reaches out to you. Maybe you’re a startup founder who’s looking for an app developer or an author who needs an illustrator. Choose to privately message a specific member or leave a public invite that any qualified person can respond to. Or just check out your matches, which are based on the interest listed in your profile.

Read more about Treatings at VentureBeat

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|  April 5th, 2014

The Only Activity Tracker You Need

Image via Pavlok

There are too many activity trackers out there to count, but I guarantee this is one you’ve never seen before. It has a feature that no one else does: electric shock.

Pavlok is an activity-tracking bracelet that doesn’t just provide you with an overview of your habits. It encourages you – with a little electric shock. Missed your goal today? Zap. Hey, no pain. No gain. Pavlok is obviously an ode to Pavlov’s classical conditioning. The company hopes a little zap will train your brain and change your habits for the better. The concept won $50,000 last year and the company plans to launch an ambitious crowdfunding campaign soon. Will you donate to a device that inflicts pain?  

Read more about it at PSFK.

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|  April 5th, 2014

Forget Surge Pricing. Hello, Happy Hour.

Image via Lyft

We’ve all heard the horror stories surrounding Uber’s surge pricing. One snowstorm and your trip around New York City could cost seven or eight times more than usual. Even with their new push notification that alerts users when surge pricing has come to an end, Uber has made quite a few foes.

Competitor (and pink-mustache lover) Lyft also participates in surge pricing, but they’ve made a move to right their wrongs. It’s called Lyft Happy Hour and it means rides may be discounted as much as 50 percent during off times. What are those off times? We don’t know, but some have guessed that requests are low between 11 AM and 3 PM daily.

Will you move away from Uber and over to Lyft? Tweet us @WIREDInsider.  

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|  March 29th, 2014

A Watch… And a Phone… For Your Head

Image via Indiegogo

I think it’s about time this whole wearables trend takes a step back and pauses. What is it that we are trying to create? A replacement for the smartphone? Or something that acts in tandem with a smartphone? 

The HeadWatch needs a smartphone to function, but it could just as well act as a smartphone replacement one day. The touchscreen smartwatch has a detachable face that doubles as a headset. Got an incoming call? Simply slip the face from the band and attach it to you ear to begin your conversation. This concept has only raised a few thousand dollars of its $300,000 goal on Indiegogo. If the HeadWatch were a complete smartphone replacement, perhaps they would have more interest.

What do you think? Tweet us @WIREDInsider.

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|  March 29th, 2014

Bike Safely With This iPhone Speaker

Image via Kickstarter

I might be overreacting, but I hate seeing bikers with headphones especially in a busy city. Tuning out to tunes while you ride is unsafe – you can’t hear oncoming traffic. Bad news.

But now bikers can say goodbye to headphones without saying goodbye to music thanks to a new Kickstarter campaign. Allo is an iPhone bike mount with a built-in speaker. Music, GPS directions, and calls will blast loudly from this tiny speaker so you can stay safe and connected while riding. At only $40, why wouldn’t you back this campaign? It’s money well spent on your safety.

Read more about it at GigaOm

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|  March 22nd, 2014

A Smart Watch That Doesn’t Look Smart

Image via The Verge

The wearables trend is skyrocketing and while all the products are “smart,” it seems that no one has quite figured out how to make them look cool. Ahem, Google Glass.

That’s why this smartwatch concept by Hungarian designer Gábor Balogh is so genius. It looks like – get this – a watch. A simple, classic watch. And it just so happens to be smart. The face is subtly digital and will change from a typical watch face to a different screen when the wearer gets an incoming call, wants to use the navigation features, or plays music. There’s no touch screen but all the controls are subtly built into the traditional buttons and features of a watch. Now that’s smart.

Learn more about it at The Verge

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|  March 22nd, 2014

Your New Digital Atlas

Image via Google

Wikipedia has replaced the encyclopedia and now Google Maps has replaced the atlas. Goodbye, print. Hello, digital.

The brand new Google Maps Gallery is just what it says – a gallery of maps. But it’s so much more. The collection covers everything from tornado touchdown points in the United States from 1950 to 2008 to GDP per capita around the world to internet users as a percentage of the world’s population. Google encouraged nonprofits, the government, and businesses to publish and share mapping data that was often inaccessible to the public – and it worked.  

Read more about it at the Google blog.

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|  March 15th, 2014

Predict the Future

Image via Vimeo

I’ve never once had my palms read or picked up a tarot card. It’s all mumbo jumbo, right? But put a little technology behind something and it’s hard for me to turn the other cheek.

The coolest part about Predictables is that it forecasts the future through an algorithm of patterns and connections within a user’s data stream from romance to finances to work. The second coolest part about Predictables is its wrist-mounted projector function that blasts a touch display onto your palm. Tap a color-coded bubble (red for romance, green for work, etc.) to get details on the upcoming event. Is your significant other in a good mood? Will your coworkers have that big project done on time? Predictables knows… or at least has a pretty good guess.

Learn more about Predictables at dvice.  

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|  March 15th, 2014