Disrupt This

Geniuses Invent Bracelet That Pauses Netflix When You Fall Asleep

You can start watching your Netflix show from the exact point you passed out! (Screengrab: YouTube)

The one thing more depressing than spending your weekend nights alone in bed watching Sherlock is falling asleep before you even find out how he solves the murder, amiright? 

Some Netflix employees have figured out a possible way to solve the highly pressing problem, The Week reports. At an internal company Hack Day last week, a team of five Netflix-ers presented their invention: a customized FitBit wristband that detects when you’ve fallen asleep, pauses whatever show you’re aggressively binge-watching and replaces it with a friendly “Looks like you’ve fallen asleep!” message. When the user returns to Netflix (presumably after a night of Benedict Cumberbatch-filled dreams), they can resume their show from the point at which they previously dozed off. Read More

Welcome to New Fit City

Fitbit’s New Aria Smart Scale: For When Tweeting Your Weight Just Isn’t Enough

Screen shot 2012-04-24 at 8.06.01 AM

At some point in 2003, we walked into a Best Buy and walked out with a scale that measures our body fat percentage. But for the self-quantifiers among us, that kind of static measurement is woefully inadequate.

If you’re the kind of human that likes to correlate your BMI to calories burned and access that intel from a dynamic graph on your smartphone for realtime self-flagellation, then have we got the scale for you!

Yesterday, venture-backed Fitbit started shipping Aria, its long-awaited new Wifi-enabled smart scale that synchs up with the Fitbit Ultra, its wireless pedometer and stair tracker.

The whole thing practically screams:  I am ready for the Singularity, Ray Kurzweil!   Read More

Welcome to New Fit City

Gadgets Move You Closer to the Self-Quantified Life


Wow, bikini season really has a way of synchronizing brain waves. Farhad Manjoo has an article in The New York Times today about the futuristic gadgets on the market that help you self-quantify your way to better health. Betabeat touched on the same thing in our feature about New York’s 4 Hour Body craze. Mr. Manjoo tested out some of the devices we mentioned, including Fitbit and the Withings Wi-Fi scale, as well as MyTrek, Withings blood pressure cuff, a blood pressure monitor by iHealth, and the Exergen TemporalScanner, which he uses to measure his kid’s temperature.

User experience designer Whitney Hess, one of the 4HB-ers we interviewed for the article, also mentioned a new tracking bracelet by Jawbone to us. That device, called “Up”, measures Up” tracks your movement, eating habits, and sleeping patterns and then transmits the data back to a smartphone app.

Mr. Manjoo gets to the heart of why these self-quantifying with gadgets actually makes an impact on your health. Basically, it’s the shame factor. Read More

New Fit City

Healthcare Is About to Get the Techie Start-Up Treatment


Look closely at this face, you might be seeing it around more often (although we can’t promise he will be making the same expression). In a post on his Tumblr, former Spark Capital associate Charlie Huang (the TechStars advisor, not the Guitar Hero founder FYI) announced that he will be leaving Spark headquarters in Boston and moving to New York City. He will be taking a temporary gig as VP of bizdev for FitOrbit, one of Spark’s portfolio companies. The Los Angeles-based start-up facilitates online persona trainers and fitness plans.  It’s all part of Mr. Huang’s grand plan to make sure healthcare IT gets the love it deserves.

Betabeat’s feature this week on the cultish popularity of the 4 Hour Body diet among local technophiles name-checked a number of fitness products — Fitbit, Withings Wi-Fi scales, and Daytum –that scratch the itch to both get healthier and quantify those efforts. Read More

Welcome to New Fit City

I Hack the Body Electric


NEW YORK  CITY’S START-UP SCENESTERS were nowhere near the isle of Manhattan when the 4 Hour Body fad hit its tipping point among the local tech set. In fact, according to Rick Webb, co-founder of the Tribeca-based digital agency the Barbarian Group, the digerati diet craze currently upending start-up snack supplies and clogging Twitter feeds with the hashtag #4HB reached comic proportions during the city’s annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas, back in March.

Mr. Webb traced the outbreak back to the carbo-loading marathon that is South by Southwest. Or “beer and taco week,” as Mr. Webb described it. He and several other techies had recently become disciples of The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, a life-hacking manual written by Tim Ferriss that distills a decade of experiments into chapters about slow carbs, self-tracking and, yes, how to make a woman orgasm in 15 minutes. Read More