Samsung is gearing up for CES 2018 and hinting at the kind of projects it’ll showcase this year aside from consumer products. The company maintains a creative lab it calls the C-Lab, and plans to demonstrate three new projects there, while also highlighting seven now-commercialized C-Lab projects.
The three new projects all focus on improving various aspects of home life — and two of them focus, specifically, on helping people with various medical issues. In addition to S-ray, a portable directional speaker meant to give users focused, personal sound without needing to wear earphones or a Bluetooth headset, Samsung is showcasing GoBreath and Relúmĭno. Before anyone asks, I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce the latter.
GoBreath is described as an app designed to help people who have suffered lung damage following general anesthesia. It pairs a portable breathing device with a mobile app and guides the user in how to use basic breathing techniques as well as tracking longer-term recovery.
Fitness trackers have basically no impact on weight loss, but a specialized product like this seems as though it could prove useful. A well-designed app that walks users through exercises and proper breathing techniques could be a useful adjunct for patients who need to be reminded of exercise routines. Being able to track one’s progress for physical therapy, which can be grueling, could help keep patients working hardware and thereby improve therapy outcomes.
Relúmĭno is another app that first debuted for the Samsung Gear VR. It uses the camera in the Gear VR to magnify certain parts of the real world, while adjusting color and contrast to make content easier to see.
Samsung has developed a pair of smart glasses that perform similar work, but don’t require a standalone VR headset to function. Samsung writes: “The glasses work in conjunction with a smartphone, utilizing its processors and batteries, which makes Relúmĭno glasses light and comfortable to wear. The smartphone processes images from videos projected through the camera of the glasses, and the processed images are floated into the display of the Relúmĭno glasses to help the wearer see things better.”
Products like Google Glass bombed because, in the absence of an articulated use case, most of the people who could afford $1,500 face computers used them to annoy everyone else. A product like Relúmĭno is a much better way to approach wearable computing, though we’ll have to wait and see if the devices prove beneficial to the intended population.