On wearables and semiconductors

A couple of new articles went live this week. First, I wrote a piece for Mashable about wearable technology, specifically fitness trackers and the importance of quality services to back them. We're starting to see those kind of services emerge but there's plenty more room for innovation. As I wrote in the piece:

"The Jaybird Reign fitness bracelet, announced at CES, announces when you are in the 'Go Zone,' a.k.a. the period of time when you should stay active, and when you should rest. In April 2013 Jawbone acquired BodyMedia for $100 million. The former now has access to the company’s medical grade device and expertise in data analysis.

"A Russian startup called GERO, also unveiled at CES, gives a glimpse of what will soon be possible. Building on research findings that tiny changes in body movement can identify chronic diseases, GERO plans to use to data from commercial activity trackers to predict diseases, such as Alzheimer's, depression, diabetes, schizophrenia and more. The predictions are 60-85% accurate, depending on the disease, but the model is likely to improve with more data."

The second, for Business Technology, is about wide bandgap semiconductors - a growing technology that could help to reduce the power consumption of our many, many gadgets:

"The bandgap is the amount of energy needed to make electrons jump from their atoms and conduct electricity through a material. The wider the bandgap, the higher the temperature, frequency and voltage at which the electronic device can operate. The next wave of WBG semiconductors can eliminate up to 90 per cent of the energy loss of current technology and promise chips that are 10 times more powerful."

Of course, that means we'll see gadgets that guzzle even more power...