#5: Monitoring the Monitors

Imagine a world where your every move, heartbeat, body temperature change and sleep is tracked by an intricate network of activity monitors. In this episode we talk about the wearable world of activity monitors, which live at the intersection of health and the Internet of Things.

Sensors in activity monitors

  • Accelerometer — G-force acceleration
  • Gyroscope — Rotation
  • Compass — Orientation
  • GPS — Location
  • Altimeter — Altitude

Activity monitors

Monitor Steps Calories Sleep More
Fitbit ($89-$130) Yes No Yes Stairs
Basis ($199) Yes No Yes Heart Rate
Withings Pulse Yes No Yes Distance, Heart Rate
Jawbone Up ($100) Yes No Yes Alarms
Nike Fuelband ($149) Yes Yes Yes Goals
Misfit Shine Yes Yes Yes Waterproof
Garmin Vivofit ($130-$170) Yes Yes Yes GPS
BodyMedia Fit ($89) Yes Yes Yes Temp
Striiv Play ($40) Yes Yes No Stairs
Fitbug Orb ($50) Yes Yes Yes Distance

More fashionable activity monitors

“Wearable” clothing (activity monitoring clothing)

Other fun diversions in this category

  • Whistle — The dog activity monitor
  • Google Glass — Come on! You know this will show up on lots of lists!
  • Notch — 10 sensors for athletic training
  • Tao Wellshell — Isometric device, pitting your muscles against themselves
  • Beddit — Sleep monitor for your bed, just slip it under your sheets
  • Trace — The ultimate for Surfers, Skateboarders, Skiers and Snowboarders
  • Empatica — Real-time stress monitor

Episode topics

  • Apple and iWatch and Healthbook, oh my
  • The possibility of privatized EHRs (electronic health records)
  • The Apple iWatch: It’s not a thing yet™!
  • What is the Internet of Things, again?
  • Gamification
  • Fashionable wearables
  • What’s in these things anyway? (See “What’s in activity monitors?”)
  • Accuracy (a.k.a. “truth devices”, a.k.a. how do they test these things?)
  • The smarts is in the software
  • “Wearable clothing”
  • Smart socks
  • Prescribing the Internet of Things
  • Implications for sports, including board sports
  • IoT-based scoring

2 thoughts on “#5: Monitoring the Monitors”

    1. Hi Robert, Thanks for the correction. I haven’t gotten a chance to play around with the Fuelband yet, but it’s definitely on my list. Sleep is a tricky one to measure from your wrist so I’m thinking for that one we’ll need to keep a better eye on the interesting new sleep-only monitors out there like Beddit http://www.beddit.com/.

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