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Nest Creator Matt Rogers Reviews Five New Sensor Gadgets

Sensors are the next wave in personal tech. We already have heart-rate sensors, organic produce sensors, even laundry sensors. Matt Rogers, the tech whiz behind the Nest thermostat, surveys five gadgets on the bleeding edge.

Basis band [1] Basis tracks your heart by way of your wrist: LEDs shine through capillaries, reflecting light back to an optical sensor that measures blood flow and pulse rate, minus the bothersome chest straps. ($200, mybasis.com)

ROGERS SAYS: Basis stands out, thanks to "deeper insights into fitness" through sensors for sweat levels and skin temperature.

Lapka [2] The original Geiger counter (an air particle detector for radiation levels) gets a refresh in the Lapka. The quartet of devices measure electromagnetic fields, radiation, humidity, and organic content of food. ($220, mylapka.com)

ROGERS SAYS: Checking mold levels isn't part of a daily routine. Mildly put, Lapka is for the "curious person."

Shine [3] Heads up, swimmers: Shine is a waterproof motion tracker. Wi-Fi transmitters are tricky to embed in solid metal, so the Shine syncs with its app once it touches a smartphone screen. ($100, misfitwearables.com)

ROGERS SAYS: Making a fitness tracker—a crowded market—this beautiful means Shine won't just live in your gym bag.

Twine [4] Magnets and motion sensors let the programmable Twine send you text alerts if, say, your pipes are freezing, or your teenager is sneaking out. ($125, supermechanical.com)

ROGERS SAYS: Best for "the hacker-hobbyist, for sure."

Netatmo [5] You don't live at the airport, so why get the airport weather report? Netatmo delivers hyperpersonal meteorology, gleaned from your living room and backyard. ($180, netatmo.com)

ROGERS SAYS: The daily wellness score (on noise pollution and temperature) is "exactly what consumers are looking for."

[Photo by Joel Stans; Prop Styling: Janine Iversen]

A version of this article appeared in the May 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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