A burgeoning boom in wearables could be underway if the assortment of worn gadgets at CES 2014 is any indication. The most powerful of the batch might be a low profile, thumb-sized piece of plastic packed with sensors from a little Toronto-based company called Kiwi.
The Kiwi Move could be described as the obvious evolution of wearable activity trackers like the Fitbit, but with enough added sensors and programmability to help with myriad everyday tasks.
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Weighing in at only one ounce (28 g), the Move contains an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, thermometer and microphone. Inside, there's also 2 GB of storage, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect to the internet and mobile devices.
But the real power of the Kiwi Move is that all of its functions don't come as presets, making it one of the first fully programmable wearables (even Google Glass needs an SDK). You can set it up to do your bidding by teaching it gestures and programming it with simple "when/do" statements. The Move identifies certain conditions and contexts via its sensors and then "does" something in response.
A favorite example of the Kiwi team to demonstrate is a music note gesture that tells Move to identify the title of a song playing in the background. During my visit to the Kiwi booth at CES, I also saw the Move in action as a game controller and how it might work has an advanced fitness tracker that can also help to manage and share diet and workout data, while also integrating it in other aspects of life, such as custom recipes and even your personal finances.
The Kiwi team says that the device isn't being targeted at the mass market just yet. Instead, the company is excited to get it in the hands of potential developers and early adopters to see how many other uses could be created for the Move.
Kiwi is currently offering pre-orders of the Move for US$99 online (it's anticipated to retail for $149). It should be ready to ship in July. For more examples of the Kiwi Move in action, check out the demo video below.