Walter de Brouwer is building what he hopes will be the next thermometer. The Scout — unofficially nicknamed "the tricorder" after the medical device from Star Trek — is a small square-shaped tool that reads your vital signs: ECG, temperature, heart rate, blood flow and blood oxygen levels.
"These are boring signs when you're healthy but very important signs when you get sick — and the first signs of any infection," said Brouwer, CEO of Mountain View-based Scanadu, which is developing the Scout.
The vitals the Scout is checking for also happen to be the first thing measured when you go to a hospital. Now imagine if you can have this information readily on demand and with context to help you understand your own health.
To use Scout, you place the sensor on your temple for about 10 seconds. (The company's market surveys found consumers were only willing to wait that long to use this type of gadget.) The "tricorder" then sends your vitals to a smartphone app, tracking them over time to help define patterns.
Brouwer says Scout will arrive before the end of the year. Though no specific price point has been set, he said price-sensitivity surveys have indicated consumers are wiling to pay about $150 for such a device. How's that sound to you?
Posted on location at CES 2013 in Las Vegas. Images and video Alice Truong for DVICE.