The competition was fierce and the stakes high for the annual MSEC 2018 technology showcase. which took place during the MEMS and Sensors Executive Congress, in Napa CA. The winner gets a free table next year and is expected to share their progress. After a rapid-fire session of presentations and time to visit demo tables, their fate is in the hands of the attendees who have 24 hours to vote for their favorites. This year’s finalists were:
Alertgy: A non-invasive, stick-free, wearable diagnostic device for continuous glucose monitoring. It uses dielectric spectroscopy and creates an RF field inside wristband to detect glucose levels in the blood without penetrating the body. The first-generation device targets Type 2 diabetes, but there are plans to expand to Type 2, and to add other sensors for other types of non-invasive health monitoring.
N5 Sensors: This ultra-reduced, critical dimension semiconductor architecture allows the integration of multiple gas sensing elements into one module as a drop-in replacement for existing gas sensors. Use-cases include industrial detection, smart cities, smart homes, and
NXP Asset Tracking: An SD card with motion sensors is used to detect the critical motion events of a package in transit. It measures shock, free-fall, magnetic anomaly, orientation change, and angular velocity anomaly, to get an idea of how a package was handled. The value proposition is to provide more accountability for logistics and transportation. The device targets industrial IoT and warehouse management.
Scorched Ice: The first sensor-based skating diagnostic system complete with an ST Microelectronics MEMS device and embedded WiFi, and rechargeable battery. Cloud-based processing uses algorithms to analyze skater performance to deliver the SCORCH index (stands for Speed Cross-Overs, Reverse, Cornering and Halting). The first-generation targets hockey players. Analytics is intended to impact performance, prevent injury, increase fan engagement, and enable better betting/gaming opportunities.
Sportfitz: This wearable to detect brain impact and biometric events has sensors, software, and connectivity embedded into a small device that is placed behind the ear during sports play, using a biocompatible adhesive. It measures biometric data and brain movement in real time to track performance as well as injuries, such as concussions. The device sells for $250 and users subscribe to receive reports on their activity. The data is delivered to whatever organization subscribes to receive it: doctors, insurance companies, coaches, sports organizations, etc.
Who Owns the Data?
Before revealing the big winner, a word about who owns the data for Scorched Ice, Sportsfitz, and Alertgy. All three companies admit that the revenue generator is not the device itself, but the data analytics. As this data is personal, medically related information, before I voted, I wanted to know: Who owns the data?
Sportsfitz’s Diane Matys boldly admitted that while the user owns the data, with their permission, Sportsfitz can share it with whatever organization wants it. For example, to prove compliance with sports safety to your insurance company in exchange for lower premiums. But isn’t the opposite also possible? “Well, isn’t that interesting,” said Matys.
She also admitted that if the opportunity presents itself, they sell the aggregated information, depersonalized, to whoever is willing to pay.
Scorched Ice’s Bruce Wright also said the user owns the data; the company only have access to it because they control the whole system (sensor system, algorithms, data analytics.
Scorched Ice has agreements with two major skate manufacturers. What if the skate manufacturers want access to the data analytics of the skaters to improve skate designs? While that’s clearly the money maker, it’s not part of this phase, said John Lowe. IF they sell the analytics to the skate manufacturers, it will be aggregated data only.
Only Alertgy’s Marc Rippen fully respects the user rights to own the data. “We are HIPPA compliant,” he said. While he realizes that the data is where the money is, he intends to earn it by managing the user’s database and charges $100/month to do that, which, along with the device itself, may be covered by the user’s health insurance. That’s why he got not only my vote but enough other votes to win the showcase. Learn more about Alertgy here.