Episode 41: Can a $20 device stop the spread of disease?

After a week at CES, the giant technology trade show in Las Vegas I’m beat, but full of observations about the future of the Internet of things. I wrote up a few over at Fortune, but Kevin and I talked about some of them on this week’s show as well. We covered some new news, including my conversations with Wink and the news that Amazon is planning to add support for thermostats to the Echo next. And speaking of amazon, both Kevin and I think a smaller Echo needs to have some way of offering always-on listening to really carry over on the benefits of the product. But if it does, we’d both buy it.

The $20 wired Kinsa thermometer.
The $20 wired Kinsa thermometer.

After spending most of our time on the smart home, we move into connected health with Inder Singh, the CEO of Kinsa, the maker of connected thermometers, as this week’s guest. But it would be a mistake to think of Kinsa a connected thermometer company, since the thermometer is merely a means to an end. It’s a way to get data about the spread of disease. Singh’s actual goal is to use that data to help stop the spread of disease, starting with childhood illnesses. To learn more about the future of epidemiology packaged as a $20 or $60 connected thermometer, listen to this week’s show.

Hosts: Kevin Tofel and Stacey Higginbotham

  1. Local control is coming for the Wink!
  2. Really tiny, self-sufficient computer at CES.
  3. What a tiny Amazon Echo needs to have to succeed.
  4. Kinsa is a disease prevention device disguised as a connected thermometer
  5. How to figure out how to build the right device for the data you need.

Published by

Stacey Higginbotham

I am a journalist who has covered technology for over a decade at publications such as Fortune, PCMag, Gigaom, The Deal and BusinessWeek.

5 thoughts on “Episode 41: Can a $20 device stop the spread of disease?”

  1. Regarding the smaller Amazon Echo.

    The wearable seems like a better solution. Apple watch’s Hey Siri is activated by a gesture, which is slightly less creepy than “always listening” and still more convenient than hitting a button. And it’s not confined to a room, or to a building.

  2. You can get rid of that “boop boop” (or “popcorn”) effect with your bulbs if you create a group for them. For your kitchen lights, create a group in the lights UI in the Wink app (it may take a few minutes for the cloud to create the group). After that, controlling your “kitchen” group from the app will prompt the wink hub to send a group command to those included devices.

    You can also include that group in a shortcut or robot if you prefer to control your lights with a widget or other automation.

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