Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

David Sedaris Buys Fitbit, Becomes Crazed Roving Trash Collector

Mr. Sedaris (Photo via davidsedarisbooks.com)

Popular opinion holds that wearable tech’s biggest drawback is the potential for Big Data to catalog our personal health data and use it to sell us more crap we don’t need.

Few realize, though, that wearing a machine around your wrist that counts your every step can also cause another problem: a total obsession with walking. At least, that’s the case in Stepping Out,” a personal essay in the New Yorker by your cool European-seeming uncle David Sedaris. Read More

Fitness 2.0

New Biometric T-Shirt Makes Fitbit Seem Like a Child’s Toy

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Companies that sell fitness tracking wristbands are having a hell of a time getting people to actually keep wearing them. Fitness tracking startup OMSignal thinks the way to get people to keep using the tech is to actually put the tracker in your clothing.

As of today, OMSignal is selling their new line of fitness tracking clothes, starting with a men’s line. The collection includes long sleeve and short sleeve shirts, which you buy along with a small black tracking box. The box — which you have to attach to whatever clothing item you’re wearing — is a tracking module that hooks up to the shirt and sends the biometric data to your phone via bluetooth. Read More

Fitness 2.0

Shocker: Cloud Company Reports People Love Putting Their Health Data in the Cloud

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Companies like Fitbit, who make fitness wearables and health trackers, purport to want to help businesses wire up their employees to improve productivity — and allegedly, employees love it, according to a convenient new report by The Human Cloud at Work project.

The project is a collaboration between Goldsmiths, University of London and cloud services company Rackspace. They worked with British businesses to hook their employees up to a combination of three wearables: an accelerometer wristband, a brain wave sensor, and a posture coaching device. Read More

Wearable Tech

Fitbit Is Now Officially Profiting From Users’ Health Data

Does my boss get to set that up for me, too? (image via Fitbit)

We saw this day coming, and we tried to warn you.

Fitbit has started to sell its trackers by the thousands to employers along with “sophisticated tracking software,” says a new report from Forbes. With employees’ permission, employers can then track their workers’ health, see how active individual employees are and foster a little healthy competition.

Wiring up companies so that employers can monitor workers’ health is becoming “one of the fastest growing parts of Fitbit’s business,” Fitbit CEO James Park told Forbes. Read More

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

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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