LAS VEGAS — The simple task of taking your temperature is getting a new high-tech twist: Three companies recently announced "smart thermometers" that offer alternative ways to check this vital sign and send the data to a mobile device.
One product, called Thermo, takes 4,000 measurements from your skin in 2 seconds. Users place the device on their temporal artery on the side of their head and click a button, and the device determines the hottest point on the skin. It provides a temperature reading that corrects for ambient temperature and skin heat loss, according to Withings, the company that makes the gadget. Withings unveiled the product here at CES, the world's largest trade show for consumer electronics.
Thermo transmits the temperature data by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to an app on a user's smartphone. In the app, users can also note their symptoms or the medications they were taking when they took the temperature reading. Thermo has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (meaning the FDA has determined that it works at least as well as other thermometers that are already legally marketed). It will be sold in March for $99.95, the company says.
Another smart thermometer on display at CES, called Temptraq, comes in the form of a soft, flexible patch that can be placed under the arm to continuously monitor body temperature. The product is intended for sick children, so that parents can check their sleeping child's temperature without having to wake the child up, said John Cannon, president and CEO of Blue Spark Technologies, which makes the device.
"There's nothing more difficult than getting a sick child back to sleep," Gannon told Live Science here on Monday (Jan. 4). [10 Technologies That Will Transform Your Life]
Temptraq also transmits the temperature data to an app, which parents can use to see fluctuations in their child's temperature, and receive alerts if the child has a fever, the company says. Temptraq is a single-use product, so it must be disposed of after 24 hours of use, but the company has announced it will be releasing a 48-hour version. This device has also been cleared by the FDA.
And, finally, for those who want to keep track of their core body temperature, there's e-Celsius Performance, from the French company BodyCap. This one is an electronic pill that users swallow for continuous temperature monitoring. The data is transmitted to a monitor that shows alerts if the body temperature is outside the desired range, according to the company. This might help with preventing heat stroke or fainting, the company says.
Athletes can use the device to view their data after a training session, and correlate their workout with their body temperature, adjusting training protocols if needed, the company says. The product will also be shown this week at CES.