Israeli metabolism-hacking device is a star at Consumer Electronics Show this year
The annual innovation expo will feature Lumen, a breathalyzer that can tell you if your body is using fats or carbs for energy.
As the biggest tech convention in the world converges on Las Vegas next week, we couldn't help but notice the abundance of Israeli startups and entrepreneurs slated to feature innovative and groundbreaking products there. (There are nearly two dozen.)
Among them? Watergen, the device that converts air to water and helps provide clean water after natural disasters; Hi Auto, an audiovisual software program that blocks out unwanted noise; BrightWay Vision, a tool that enables autonomous vehicles to drive at all hours despite poor visibility or difficult weather conditions; and Lumen, a breath-analyzing device that tells you whether the energy you're expending is coming from carbohydrates or fat.
It's the latter device that got us, well, gasping. This pocket-sized gadget, which looks a little like a vape pen, helps you control your metabolism and, in turn, your weight. It does in minutes what hospitals and clinics often take hours to accomplish: measuring your CO2 concentration to determine the source of your energy. If your CO2 is high, that usually indicates a carb burn; if it's low in CO2, it's a fat burn.
The device was invented by Israelis Merav and Michal Mor, identical twin sisters who both received PhDs in physiology from Ben-Gurion University. They're also triathletes and mothers who have been studying metabolic health and personalized nutrition for years. In 2014, they formed a team of nutritionists, engineers and designers to begin developing technology to measure metabolism in a more efficient way than the gold-standard clinical test.
Since then, Lumen has raised more than $1.5 million in an Indiegogo campaign and has begun selling the devices commercially. And on Jan. 7, it'll be making its second CES appearance.
While Lumen's technology is relatively new, the science behind it has been around for years. Lumen uses the same process that hospital breath tests use to measure metabolism. It's just bringing the clinical process into your home, for faster results, in a device you can use as many times as needed.
"You don't need to guess how much sugar was in that kung pao chicken or how many calories you did on that run," Dror Cedar, a co-founder and chief growth officer at Lumen, told the BBC.
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