iWatch Your Health

Finally, mainstream consumer technology has noticed the health of the consumer. Instead of computers just making us fatter, lazier, and more spoiled than ever before, there’s some pushback in the form of wearable health tech, and it looks like Apple might be the driving force here.

Last week they announced their HealthKit API to developers, which is a nerdy way of saying “Here, build things”. Healthkit is a set of frameworks to track, share, and communicate calorie consumption, sleep activity, blood glucose, blood oxygen levels, and other health metrics.

Any mobile iOS device (not AppleTV) will be able to act as your sensor array and primary tracking system. Macs will probably be able to track but not monitor, as they do not have the same mobile sensors as iOS devices. This is not revolutionary but evolutionary, as the iPod has been helping people track their jogging performance for almost a decade now, and of course GPS is used for tracking your travel by bike or foot. The health section on Apple’s App Store has been buzzing.

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It gets really interesting when you factor in a possible new mobile iOS device – the iWatch. If you shrink down the key elements to the iPhone5 and put them behind a curved glass wristband, well then you might have something.

I think it’s technically possible beause most of the battery life in an iOS device is used to power the display. The smaller display requires a smaller battery. The removal of all ports except a lightning connector also saves a ton of space. Apple has spent their billions the last few years working on both curved glass and custom battery shaping tech. If the whole band is battery there’s plenty of space. Have you seen the size of some current watches? Plenty of volume if you can work in that rounded shape.

If Apple gets a touchscreen iOS watchband to market I think they could have a winning product. It’s all about the feature set – what it can and more importantly can’t do. Do you need your “cloud” in your watch? Do you need the full internet? Do you need wifi, 3G, etc?

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Perhaps Apple will say no. Your watch should tell the time and help monitor your body metrics, at least version 1. Maybe if it’s within bluetooth range of a trusted device it can sync or use internet, I don’t know. Perhaps they cram those radios into it, we will just have to wait and see. I know Apple has been combining and reducing the size of their various mobile radios.

I also know my life could use a simple sleep tracker, calorie counter, exercise tracker, and electronic medical record holder that also knew my schedule, my contacts, and my habits. These apps exist as stand-alone concepts, but each one has to be configured to your liking and then your data is not shared with any other systems.

The Healthkit API could finally force the sharing of this data, both for personal goal encouragement and for medical professionals tasked with providing you care.

(BTW – This weekend I saw a Samsung ad saying ‘the future is here now’ with their smart-watch prominently displayed. Apple could counter with an ad that shows their smart-watch doing various things with the tagline ‘our future works’ ;-))

 

Pedal For Sex

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Here’s motivation to get (back) in shape: A recent study shows that women can pick the best cyclist by their “hotness”. That’s right, cycling  does indeed make you hotter to strange women, and your hotness appears to be directly linked to your ranking on the bike! The better you perform the hotter you are!

It’s kind of amazing (beyond the “no shit” element) that these 816 random people (2/3 women), without knowing anything about these 80 men and their comparable successes, do indeed apply a sexiness ranking equalling their sports ranking.

This definitely flies against the ‘gold-digger’ concept. With an unknown life ranking, the potential mate successfully ordered them in nearly the same order as the timekeeper.

 

A Broken Bike Is Such A Drag

I started riding a bike again regularly about 4 years ago. I immediately lost weight, felt healthier, saw my town in a more interesting way, and generally started to turn into a bike nerd — without the spandex! As much as I rode my bike, I couldn’t get myself to wear biker clothes. Since my daily employment doesn’t require me to wear a suit/uniform I just roll around in my regular gear and try to take more showers.

The bike I bought – classified as a hybrid road bike – has skinny rims/tires. I’m around 200 lbs and I’ve blown out 3 rear rims so far. The roads here are horrible and sometimes I ride my bike like I’m 11 again, so my back rim really takes a beating. About 2 months ago the back wheel went way out of ‘true’ again making the bike unrideable. I have been so busy with the rest of my life (and money) that I haven’t fixed that bike.

After 2 months without the bike? I gained serious weight again, am starting to feel yuck, and generally just miss my baby. I’m going to have the bike shop build me custom rims (supposedly the most durable) and I need to get back on the road soon.

This is my new desire — The Raleigh Roper. It’s 3x the price of my current ride, but if I could only learn to save my money…

Raleigh makes such pretty bikes