Go Go Gadget

Crowdfunded Device That Shocks You Into Working Out Reaches Full Funding in One Day

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You’ve probably heard of Pavlok, the habit-changing device that literally shocks you into doing the things you’re too lazy to do. Team Betabeat touted it as terrible, but that’s only because going to the gym is the last thing we want to do after a long day of bringing readers the lowdown on high tech.

It turns out that a lot of people who are plagued by such laziness believe they found the answers to their problems in this wearable device. In fact, so many people want to turn their lives into a personal psychology experiment that Pavlok’s Indiegogo campaign reached full funding within one day of its launch. Read More

Big Data

Disney World’s New Smart Wristbands Track Visitors’ Every Move

Dataworld. (Wikimedia Commons)

Previously, Disney resort guests were given credit card-sized access cards that allowed them entry to both their rooms and the parks and even enabled them to charge anything to their Disney accounts.

The rubbery MagicBands that replaced the access cards do all of the above and much more. They actually give Disney the ability to collect big data regarding their guests and their experiences, according to BMW’s Reform. Read More

The Singularity is Nigh

Spark Nabs $4.9 Million to Turn Your Kitchen Into ‘The Brave Little Toaster’

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Most early attempts at Internet of Things (IoT) devices, like smart cutting boards and rudimentary wearables, haven’t proven their worth enough to become as important to us as our phones and laptops. But as of this morning, IoT startup Spark has raised $4.9 million to bring us smart objects that might actually be useful.

Until now, Spark has focused on selling home kits that let you take everyday objects like lightbulbs and cutting boards and hook them up with sensors and wifi. The new cash will help Spark move on from selling one-off DIY kits to providing thousands of cores for companies that want to use Spark to power IoT products. 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