Thursday, January 20, 2011

Intriguing: BodyMedia Fit

I think I've mentioned some android apps before, but I found something that is quite definitely intriguing that goes beyond just a phone application.

I have a Samsung Epic for a phone, quite possibly the best phone ever made. (Okay, it's that or the Evo.) What I love about it when it comes to weight loss is that as it uses the Android operating system, there are a ton of applications that are pretty cool (and more amazing is how many of them are free). There are applications for tracking what you eat, your activities, etc. I use the Cardio Tracker app a lot to track certain activities such as walking, and that will post the activities to my facebook page. Now I'll have to admit that I'm probably at a point where I may quit posting all that stuff just because I hate seeing everyone else's Farmville posts, and my friends may get tired of seeing all the posts that say Ron walked 3.2 miles in 58 minutes and burned 479 calories. There is definitely an accountability thing there that is good but I can see the annoying factor as well.

I digress. Sorry.

Anyway, Sprint just announced a collaboration with Bodymedia that integrates a nifty little device called the BodyMedia Fit. (I probably should put little trademark thingies next to these, shouldn't I?) The device is a little armband that you wear pretty much all the time but it tracks what's going on in your body. It counts your steps, it calculates how many calories you're burning and when you are involved in moderate or more strenuous activity, etc. I'm guessing it figures those things based on heart rate combined with whatever movement it senses. It also measures how efficiently you are sleeping. All pretty interesting stuff.

Earlier versions of the device required you either connect it to a computer to download the information it tracks or you get a little display device that it communicates with. Now they've come up with an integration that allows it to communicate with your phone and let it pull the information and provide the reports.

Below is one of their Youtube video:

At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month they had an intern from Sprint who wore the device through the week and tracked his activity on his phone while doing things like skydiving, running half marathons, etc. Probably a bit more than I would ever do, but it's interesting stuff considering how much I like using the apps I have already to keep track of stuff. It definitely presents an added level of accountability. I think it's pretty close to the same thing as the Bodybug marketed by the Biggest Loser show/franchise, which to my understanding is made by the same people. Anyway, like I said, intriguing stuff.... really thinking that perhaps this is a good 300 pound reward item. Okay, that or the bike.... both would be nice really but there are budget considerations.


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