Five great health-boosting gadgets | Financial Times

 Five great health-boosting gadgets | Financial Times


The lung game

A clear jar filled with a small forest of green lichen slowly swirled on the table next to me, releasing the clean Arctic air and a calm breeze. My little green companion – usually a terrarium with oomph – is supposedly the “most durable” air filter in the world. An elegant new creation from a pair of Leeds-based engineers applying air filtration technologies previously used by NASA in spaceships, its star component is reindeer moss, a spongy lichen (a hybrid algae-fungus) good at hoovering pollutants. It also contains coconut-husk fibers (another decent natural filter commonly used in the auto industry), activated carbon (for extracting fine dust) and a bioplastic casing. Plus a fan to keep things moving.

No bigger than a kettle, the Briiv creates a small oasis in the air free of toxic gases, mold, bacteria, pollen and other pollutants: tests show that it effectively improves quality. in the air in a room of 36sqm in just one hour. It is activated manually or through an app, allowing you to put it on a schedule and control its speed. Given that London mayor Sadiq Khan has recently issued a “high pollution warning” for the first time in 18 months-and pollution levels around the world are rising again after a general -dipping during pandemic lock-ups-as this is a timely fix to clean up the small space. Apparently it had the same air washing effect on 3,043 house plants. I’ll let you decide what matters most to your home.

Briiv air filter, £ 299

Briiv air filter, £ 299

Briiv’s greenness separates it from the heavy plastic HEPA air filters flooding the market: 96 percent of the device is biodegradable or recyclable. (The moss will rot in a few months and the coconut will rot in up to a year; you can order replacement parts.) Honestly, it also looks great. No matter how well it did to my lungs, just looking at it made me much healthier, as if there was a life-affirming chunk of boreal forest on my eastern plain in London. Briiv air filter, £ 299, briiv.co.uk


Hit the blue light

Bollé Safety ProBlu glasses, from £ 72

Bollé Safety ProBlu glasses, from £ 72 © Bollé Safety

Since the glare emitted by smartphones, TVs and computer screens is involved in everything from dry eyes to restless sleep, blue-light-blocking glasses seem reasonable. Even if the science isn’t clear, fans say they stop you from having headaches and tired eyes after a day spent typing. And there is evidence to suggest that, if you wear it at night, it can help you sleep better. To that end French goggle maker Bollé Safety has launched a line of specs that, thanks to polycarbonate lenses and an anti-reflective lens coating, block 100 percent harmful blue light up to wavelengths of 420nm and 82 percent more than that (harmful ranges. From 380nm to 445nm). They are well built and look great. Bollé Safety ProBlu glasses, from £ 72, bolle-safety.com


The heart of the matter

AliveCor KardiaMobile, from £ 99

AliveCor KardiaMobile, from £ 99

AliveCor’s pocket-sized ECG device provides individuals with medical grade heart rate and rhythm readings. Models include the KardiaMobile, a rectangle with two silver pads; and (now US only) the new KardiaMobile Card, an Amex-like sliver. Users press their fingers on the devices; the results are shown in the app which (with KardiaCare subscription) applies an algorithm developed by AI to alert you to the possibility of six types of arrhythmia. The gadgets are FDA-approved and, this year, the UK’s NICE recommended KardiaMobile for use within the NHS. AliveCor KardiaMobilefrom £ 99 (plus £ 99 KardiaCare); KardiaMobile Card$ 149 (including KardiaCare)


Heuer workout

The TAG Heuer Connected Caliber E4 watch, from £ 1,550

The TAG Heuer Connected Caliber E4 watch, from £ 1,550

While less intimidating than my usual bootcamp instructor, a smartwatch guides me through my core workout. My abs were burning and – as an on -screen tracker showed – my heart was racing. With the new Connected Caliber E4, the TAG Heuer is appealing to people who can go back to an Apple Watch. As well as providing tracking of running, biking, golf and swimming, a new feature offers seven minutes of workouts. The watch has a premium but sporty feel, with a beautiful stainless-steel case, a choice of animated faces and various straps. It should last an entire day between charges and have a new battery replacement service if your watch starts to shake in a few years. TAG Heuer Connected Caliber E4 watch, from £ 1,550, tagheuer.com


Stand and deliver

Bbalance Matscale, ¢ 349

Bbalance Matscale, ¢ 349

Is there anything more unhappy than stepping on a bathroom floor? The French company Bbalance offers an alternative to slab glasses that can reduce our health to just kilos and pounds. It makes a smart bath mat with more than 4,000 sensors and electrodes under its soft cotton coat. Based on your footprint – and simultaneously with an app – it determines body fat percentage and muscle mass and makes decisions on posture, balance and good shoe size. Flat-footed or tall arches? Tell that to you too. It recommends exercises to address concerns, such as movements of one foot to improve balance or straighten your stance. Available to pre-order now, ship it this summer. Bbalance Matscale, $ 349, bbalanse.io

@jamie_waters





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