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CES 2014: Hands-on preview with the Tinke Health Sensor for Android

What can just looking at your blood tell you? Tinke, a little sensor that plugs into an iPhone or connects via Bluetooth to an Android phone, can find out a bunch of things: Your oxygen level, respiration, and heart rate, for instance.

In a world of wearable health trackers, Tinke sets itself apart by working a lot more like a diabetic's blood sugar monitor. You don't wear it all the time; rather, you hold your finger down on it for 30 seconds when you want to get a reading. (That 30 seconds can pass very slowly, which is my major problem with Tinke).

Tinke's been out for a while as a plug-in sensor for iOS devices, but the company has a new and completely wireless unit for Android gadgets. It takes a look at your "blood volume" (no actual bleeding necessary) to find out its metrics, and then combines them into a gamified "Vita" score from 0-99, offering up tips on how to improve your health based on recent readings. I'm a sucker for these sort of scores, and I really liked the little bits of advice it gave after measuring the demo person's stress levels.

The Vita score is interesting, but Tinke takes more effort than competing health trackers. Sitting quietly for 30 seconds every time you want to take a measurement sounds like a small thing, but it was almost embarrassingly long in a crowded convention hall. I'd rather have a device like a Fitbit, one I can put on in the morning and hopefully forget about it.

The Tinke is now available for iOS, and you can pick one up for £90. The Android version is up for pre-order in the US, with the price set at $119 (£72).