Three Wearables That Deserve a Place on Your Body
Thanks to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, there’s a wave of hardware products that work in tandem with your smartphone to do cool things. Out of these, many fresh ideas have surfaced that aim to improve human life by solving specific modern-day problems. Today we take a look at three such wearables that we think deserve a place on your body.
Today’s jobs have most of us tethered to a seat for most of our working day. With continued periods of seating, you might start slouching badly; which ultimately can result in a bunch of medical issues in the future. LUMOback is a wearable that is designed to remind you to sit or stand with correct posture, just like your mama used to tell you.
How big is it? The sensor is as thin as a modern-day smartphone with adjustable straps on either sides. It can be discreetly worn underneath your clothing and does not cause any discomfort when worn over long periods of time. So how does it remind you? With gentle vibrations, much like how our mobile phones do (but on your back). There’s a touch-button to turn in on or off, which can be a problem at times, as the device sometimes accidentally turned off when I gave in and rested my back against the chair.
Installing the LUMOback app on your phone is essential to use this product effectively. It will tell you how good you’re doing — show you analysis for the day, week and month. It even shows you the distance travelled, calories burnt and even time slept when you were wearing one. But more importantly, using the app you can turn the darn vibrations off if they’re getting to your nerves. If you’re like me and not used to sitting straight, the vibrations do get a little annoying in the beginning. You can either bear through it or go to the app and make the LUMOback more lenient in straightening you out. I’d say bear it out as much as you can — it gets easier as you use it regularly. It really helps me keep a good posture; improving my health and boosting my personality too.
At the moment it pairs via Low-Energy Bluetooth to an iPhone 4S and above. Certain Android 4.3 devices like the HTC One, Galaxy S3 and S4, Nexus 4 and 5 among others are also supported with their newly-released Android app.
2) Fitbit One
While the LUMOback is mainly focused on improving your posture, the Fitbit One is a general activity tracker. Preshit Deorukhkar of Beautiful Pixels loves how the Fitbit One is so small that it can be on you 24/7 without a hint of inconvenience. It is a device as small as a pen drive with a clip and a small display. Put it on you, and it shows you the distance you’ve travelled, the number of stairs you’ve climbed, and thereby also calculates the calories burnt. It is also a sleep tracker; it measures how well you’ve slept and has a vibrating alarm that will discreetly wake you up.
Fitbit One is more than just the device. The accompanying smartphone app fetches data from the device, and also lets you track your food consumption. You can also view details stats on their visually attractive website. It is also gamified — meaning you can challenge yourself and others and keep pushing to achieve better goals. The one thing that Fitbit can’t do, laments Preshit, is to actually make you walk or run. That’s still up to you.
3) Pebble Smartwatch
There isn’t a single Smartwatch that has satisfied every techie yet, but one Kickstarter project has often been quoted as one of the most practical ones yet. The Pebble Smartwatch uses a e-paper display making it highly readable in daylight, and has a backlight in dark situations that you can turn on by simply flicking your wrist. Because of a low-power display and frugal hardware, the Pebble can run for up to a week on a single charge! So what can the Pebble do? Primarily, it is designed to serve you notifications that appear on your iOS or Android smartphone over a Bluetooth connection. This solves the modern-day issue of having to take the phone out of your pocket every few minutes as it keeps buzzing with notifications.
Raju PP of Tech PP, a long time Pebble owner, considers Pebble’s SDK as the best feature that enables great 3rd party app integration for both iOS and Android platforms. There’s a good community backing for making Pebble go beyond its out-of-the-box functionality. He only complaints of having to use the physical buttons to control the Pebble; wishing it was a touchscreen instead.