Fitness measurement is a huge sector in consumer electronics. Accuracy, customization, ease-of-use, and range of data collected have improved over the year. Much of the data remains however just data without solutions. It’s doubtful that the companies in the sector will make that leap into offering medical advice. After all, even with tricorders, a Star Trek doctor was always on hand to interpret the data and act upon it.
Here are some options into the health electronic industry:
Fitbug introduced Fitbug Air at 2013 CES. Smaller than a golf ball, the device is attached to your belt loop or slipped into your pocket. It tracks every step taken, calorie burned, distance covered, and more. The device is Bluetooth-enabled and automatically syncs to your iOS device at regular intervals throughout the day. Android-compatibles are in the near future. For a subscription fee are premium personalized health and wellness coaching services that include personalized weekly targets, meal plans, online communities and support, weekly newsletters, and even a free replacement battery.
Added to Bodymedia’s Fit line was the Core Armband, a third smaller in overall volume than its predecessor without losing the capabilities. Both the Core Armband and the Bluetooth-enabled Link Armband measure motion, heat flux, skin temperature, and galvanic skin response to track calorie burn, physical activity, steps taken, sleep duration, and sleep efficiency. Results are uploaded to the easy-to-use online Activity Manager where the user logs food intake allowing them to see daily caloric intake, daily caloric expenditure, calorie balance, and more. The BodyMedia FIT coach looks at your activity, nutrition, and weight loss patterns to give personalized feedback.
Withings has received multiple honors for their devices including a 2013 CES Innovations Award for their Smart Activity Tracker. It’s a scale but one that does so much. It measures weight, body fat, and heart rate just by stepping onto the scale. That information is transmitted wireless via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to the Withings Health Mate mobile application. But it also accurately reads temperature and carbon dioxide levels in the room. Withings also debuted their pocket-sized Smart Activity Tracker which adds pulse measurement to the number of steps taken, strides run, distances covered, calories burned, and quality of sleep.
Valencell introduced its PerformTek Sensor Technology which is the only earbud-based continuous heart rate monitoring technology proven accurate during virtually any exercise in virtually any environment. Licensed to consumer electronics manufacturers, the company’s technology allows for consumers to have less devices weighing them down during physical activity. The measurements however are just as accurate, allowing real-time biometric and physiological data collection-heart rate, aerobic fitness, speed, pace, cadence, distance, and calories burned.
Ever growing, the health electronics sector is plagued by gag store products such as the fork that buzzes when you lift it into your mouth too fast. While companies can capitalize on the general ill-health of people, it will take more than a device to inspire consumers to heed the warnings and data of the devices.