Last week I got to head down to USC for their annual Body Computing Conference. It was really a neat gathering — Dr. Saxon is able to pull together not only the “right” folks building innovative hardware and trying to make sense of the signals that hardware produces, but also include some really novel ideas that stretch our thinking about the field.
I got to meet people building some pretty great devices — ones that I haven’t bumped into through HealthVault yet because they’ve been more focused on specific targets where an open ecosystem isn’t yet important. My two favorite examples were MC10’s Reebok CHECKLIGHT, a wearable beanie that helps identify dangerous impact load for athletes; and Zephyr, which has been heavily involved in combat and first responder use cases, and is now moving more broadly into mHealth. Really great to see some of these really concrete use cases in action.
But that was the kind of thing I expected to see — what surprised me was more along the lines of the BioGram app. The brainchild of one of Dr. Saxon’s students, this app “stamps” the user’s heart rate onto the corner of pictures posted to Instagram. Kind of kooky, but the idea is to enhance to story of the picture — adds another dimension to a picture that captures excitement or relaxation or whatever.
We also heard from Tastemade founder Joe Perez. Tastemade is a new media company focused on creating and distributing food-related content on the web — think the Food Network but on You Tube and other short-form video sites. They’re really focused on the ability to narrowcast content at a specific audience, and are experimenting with content just for diabetics. Good stuff, and interesting that they’ve done this with their mainstream “talent” rather than creating diabetes-specific “shows”.
My part in the day was pretty standard HealthVault stuff — I tried to reinforce the message that HV can help all of these innovators accelerate their work. It was fun to share the stage with some new friends and also Missy Krasner, who I hadn’t seen in person in years. She’s doing some neat stuff with Box; glad to see her back in the product game.
Anyways, back in business here in Redmond this week — great to get a shot of innovation to keep me motivated when fighting through the everyday challenges that are ours to solve. Woo hoo!