Saks Snacks #18: Smart Toilets, Smart Fitness Mirrors, Hearable Innovation, and More
Casana Raises $30M | Steel-manning | New Gen Smart Mirrors | NFT Framework | Fiture | Circular
Welcome to the 14 new Saks Snackers who have joined us since last Sunday!
If you’re new to Saks Snacks, I’m Adam Saks, a Digital Strategy Lead at Google, and a writer focused on the emerging intersections of health and technology.
You’ll get these snacks bi-weekly and some longer-form essays around emerging trends that I find fascinating.
Reading is and should be fun. I encourage you to explore what interests you most.
Hi friends from SF 👋 , let’s get into today’s content:
💪 Startups of the Week x 2 - smart mirrors and rings
💰 Capital Raise Radar x 1 - smart-toilet raise
🥑 Snacks of the Week x 2 - hearables and big tech in healthcare
🌐 Web3 x Health x Fitness - evaluating NFT projects
🎙️ Podcast of the Week: stoicism
💥 Spark Moment - controlling a different type of weather
#1 Startups of the Week (x2)
Let’s check out 2 “earlier” startups that announced their pre-order flows
FITURE, the new generation of smart fitness mirrors announced its pre-launch order. Its “Motion Engine™ tech (mentioned below) learns instantly, scanning your movements to provide real-time form correction that helps prevent injuries and enhances performance
“We are very excited to launch the pre-order of FITURE, the new generation of smart fitness mirrors. Everyone is born to be active. From simple movements to intensive training, every move awakens your body and mind. We are committed to applying our breakthrough intelligent Motion Engine™ technology to the fitness and health industries, aiming to provide customized content and services to everyone.” - Maggie Lu, CEO
Zooming out, expect to see more applications of computer-generated vision and motion processing that’ll assist with training during home-fitness workouts.
Circular: Valentines Day is only 15 days away, but let’s talk about a different type of ring. We’ve covered Oura Ring’s prominence and impressive accuracy in Edition 13, and Fitt Insider had a great article (Next Gen Wearables) on smart rings where I discovered Circular and the other ring-niches that are being carved out.
At a lightweight four grams, French fitness tech company Circular is taking preorders for its own ring, marketed towards a female audience and capable of tracking heart rate, sleep, and energy levels.
#2 💰 Capital Raise Radar Snack
Healthcare: Have you wondered when smart toilets will commercialize? Casana raises $30M to achieve “effortless home health monitoring”, in a global smart toilet market expected to reach $6.78B by 2027. Casana will use its new dough to accelerate the development and commercialization of its first product, The Heart Seat, an IoT heart health toilet seat that captures clinically relevant measurements, including heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygenation, and cardiac output.
The Heart Seat™ was originally developed to enable physicians to understand the health of their patients between doctor visits, without adding burden to their workflow. It’s a cloud-connected, self-contained toilet seat-based cardiovascular monitoring system, that measures the important health parameters for assessing heart health.
As Casana pursues FDA clearance, I remain optimistic this will inch us forward to a future where medical teams can better understand chronic conditions beyond the four hospital walls. By using passive and consistent home cardiac data, they’ll start by helping the 6M+ people in the US living with Heart Failure.
#3 🥑 Snacks of the week x 3
👂 Hearables: I wanted to feature one company from an article I read, “6 Modern-Day Innovations in Hearing Aids Technology.”
Livio AI, the world’s first hearing aid to track body and brain health, recognizes that people with hearing loss are more likely to fall because of balance issues. It uses inbuilt sensors to track how many times users fall and helps them become more aware of balance concerns. Users’ phones translate speech from other languages and transmit it directly to their Livio AI hearing aids in the language they understand best by connecting to its AI-powered app.
🏥 Healthcare - 1 of 2022 healthcare predictions that I agreed with.
“Big Tech will make more large ($1B+ healthcare acquisitions next year).”
I see this as inevitable despite the questionable regulatory environment. In edition 12, we discussed Best Buy acquiring Current Health, Microsoft acquiring Nuance, and more. Alphabet and its subsidiaries (Google, Verily, Google Cloud) have been integrating deeply into the healthcare ecosystem the past few years, Amazon continuously ventures into the space, and Apple’s CEO has made it clear their largest contributions will be in health. Hard to imagine given their global, but I believe it. More to come.
#4 🌐 Web3 - framework when evaluating NFT projects
Last week, I made the time to learn and share about Web 3 x Health projects.
We’re all busy. We don’t have the time to sit in discords and learn about projects.
It can be tough to know which projects are “legit” or aren’t.
My DM’s flooded with follow up questions around move-to-earn mechanics, NFT’s, etc, and while I could write a full post on these projects’ real-world utilities, and human truths that I think these projects reinforce, I wanted to share a few simple frameworks and indicators I looked for when assessing any NFTs.
In addition to scrutinizing, looking for clear real-world utility, and understanding what type of community access you’d get to be a part of, I found Peter Yang’s research framework a helpful starting point after finding a (NFT) project:
Visit its website, social handle, and community to understand:
Mission: What’s the project trying to achieve? Do you care about the mission?
Team: Who’s the core team behind the project? Do you like their previous work? Do they have the right skill set to execute (e.g., designer, developer, community manager)?
Roadmap: Does the project have a plan to deliver clear utility over time? For example, are there going to be new NFT drops?
Community: Is the core team active in the community? Are members excited about the project’s roadmap or only speculating on prices? How many people are active in the community?
Social: Are NFT collectors talking about the project? What activity do you find if you search for the project’s name on Twitter?
For minted projects (Using AO as an example) -
If the project has already been minted, you can visit its profile on an NFT marketplace (e.g., Apex Optimizers on OpenSea) to look for additional signals:
Verification: Is the project verified?
Owners: How many items exist per owner? “2-3 items per owner is a good sign that the project isn’t concentrated in the hands of a few collectors.” This isn’t the case for any health-centric projects that I’ve come across.
Floor price: Is the floor price holding? If there are a lot of floor listings, that’s a sign that people are trying to dump the project.
Rarity: Rarity is a sign of how valuable an NFT is. Collectors often (but not always) seek the rarest NFTs from a project. Use rarity.tools and howrare.is to look up NFT rarity for Ethereum and Solana NFTs respectively.
#5 🎙️ Pod of the Week - 1 of 2022’s listens
Ryan Holiday - a stoic life
Epictetus’ teaching: the 1st Stoic exercise is learning the dichotomy of control: the distinction of what’s up to us and what’s not up to us. Any energy on what’s not up to us is energy wasted. Riffing off of this, what can we control? Our thoughts, opinions, actions, and beliefs.
Steel-manning: Holiday’s mentioning of steel-manning because it’s something the best thinkers do as they try to understand other peoples’ viewpoints. It’s helping somebody construct the strongest form of their argument. Once you’ve built the strongest POVs on both sides, then you can decide which one you want to side with.
My intro to stoicism: I’ve been a huge Ryan Holiday fan since I was introduced to stoicim by my college coach, Dan Pepicelli in 2019. During my Senior year, he recommended The Obstacle is the Way right before I needed Sports Hernia surgery 2 months before the season started. I became obsessed with this thinking and actually convinced myself that getting surgery was an advantage over everybody else. It really worked, and since then has guided my beliefs and frameworks.
#6💥 Spark Moment of the Week
This weekend, a winter storm pummeled the Northeast with heavy snow. While I try to not talk too much about the weather, I wanted to share one of my Grandma’s comments on a different type of “weather” from a Sunday AM, October 11, 2020.
Last Thursday was National Holocaust Remembrance Day.
This was the 1st year without my Grandma on this earth to tell her survival story.
Several of our conversations and shared moments made it into my daily moment entries, and below is a simple memory that will live on forever:
10/11/2020 Entry: Called Grandma on the way to the gym (20 min drive) and writing this down to remember this moment (Sunday AM in South Florida).
As we ended our conversation, she said, "I hope it's a sunny day by you… but remember, you create your own weather in your mind."
I distinctly remember sitting in my car, shocked, uplifted, and inspired by the sheer positivity of her closing comments.
To an extent, we all create our own weather. When I listen to survivors’ stories, I’m reminded of our sheer human resolve and capabilities beyond most beliefs.
Viktor Frankl concluded Man’s Search for Meaning with similar sentiments:
To be sure, a human being is a finite thing, and his freedom is restricted. It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand towards the conditions. As I once put it: “As a professor in two fields, neurology and psychiatry, I am fully aware of the extent to which man is subject to biological, psychologocial and sociological conditions.
But in addition to being a professor in two fields I am a survivor of four camps - concentration camps, that is - and as such I also bear witness to the unexpected extent to which man is capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable.”
Rain or shine, go create some great weather this week for yourself, for your loved ones, and for everybody you interact with.
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Have a creative week,