What makes you run, your gadget or body?

Where are the good old days when one could just eat right, work out and stay healthy? Well, they are still here; it’s just that it takes a bigger effort to find the right food than it used to.

So what is wrong with food exactly?

Maggie. While the State authorities and the corporations try to figure out what is healthy for us, we can add another item to our blacklist in our attempt to eat right. But let’s face it if we start maintaining “The Blacklist” we’ll soon run out of things to purchase and we’ll have to cook all our meals. I don’t know about you but to cook all my meal? I’ll need to bring about major lifestyle changes.

Changing our lifestyle? Now, now don’t we just love that?

In the early 2000s, we saw the transformation of pedometers to fitness wearable. What do they do? They monitor and track metrics such as distance walked or run, calorie consumption, and in some cases heartbeat and quality of sleep. Now, these fitness bands have transformed into a smartwatch. A smartwatch is a fitness band which gives you notifications from your smartphone. The Apple Watch takes it a step further, it allows you to make phone calls and talk to Siri.

Man, I think I’m going get my first fitness band before I finish writing.

And no wonder the smart wearable industry is going to be worth 5 billion USD by 2019. This means it’s no longer used by professional athletes only but it has become as common gadget like a Smartphone. Even your grandparents have one, the only difference being that in this case; your grandparents need this tech more you.

We consume everything which is offered to us in a gift wrap. To understand the pros and cons of following this trend effectively we must the science and marketing behind it. The marketing aspect is responsible for the beautiful gift wrapping. Since childhood, we have been changing the goal to become healthy, wealthy and wise. We even tried going early to bed for this. There is a reason. Being healthy is first among the three goals. You can’t be wise or wealthy if you are unhealthy. This is why the wellness industry will never see a recession. Smartwatch captures the best of both worlds, on one hand, it’s a glimpse of the futuristic technology and on the other a tool which ‘helps you’ to get wealthy and wise, making it a perfect companion.

Meet FitBit Blaze.Tagline by FitBit for its latest wearable.

I wonder how my current BFIL (phone, laptop, and the internet) will feel about this new friend.

Once a need for technology is manufactured, it soon becomes a multi-billion dollar industry. There are millions of users who have transformed their lives using this technology. You can set daily challenges based on work and time. This builds the motivation. You get to be a part of the global community of people with fitness bands.

Isn’t that exciting?  But what happens to be wealthy and wise when the initial excitement wears off and you stop the fitness band.

Use and Adoption Challenges of Wearable Activity Trackers, a study by students at The Pennsylvania State University shows about 25% of them stopped using FitBit after one week; 50% at the two-week mark; and 75% stopped using the device after four weeks. Only three participants used the device every day.

But our lack of awareness of benefits of staying healthy isn’t the only problem. The threat of big data analytics gaining access to private health data is very much real. Every Step You Fake – A Comparative Analysis of Fitness Tracker Privacy and Security is done by Citizen Lab and the Munk School of Global Affairs. They discovered several issues that confirm concerns about the potential uses of fitness tracking data is capable of more than monitoring user’s personal wellness. The unique identifiers broadcast by all studied devices except for the Apple watch are fixed. These static identifiers enable third parties, such as shopping malls, to persistently monitor where fitness wearables are located at a given point in time.The lack of HTTPS encryption exposes the customers to the risk that their sensitive fitness data is being collected or tampered by unauthorized third parties.
Now, we don’t want our health insurance to collapse because of the data collected from our fitness band. And remember folks these are just gadgets and they often have glitches.

All I want to do is stay fit. Complete challenges. Monitor my sleep. But that escalated quickly right? Surveillance is Internet’s shadow. If we want to stay fit we’ll have to head back a decade or so (that’s it, not all the way back to old school) and focus on what’s important. We don’t need applications to tell us when to drink water by making a sound which is either someone pouring water or…

If we are able to match the motivation level of staying healthy with the level of motivation for increasing battery life on our smartphones, we will surely bring about the needful changes in our lifestyle.

And with that, I’ve completed the transaction. I’ll soon be a proud owner of a fitness band which allows my phone to stay unlocked when within the range of the band. And oh I also get smart vibration alarm which wakes me up 30 minutes before the alarm goes off with a gentle nudge. To wake me up gradually and naturally from a deep sleep, so when the alarm sounds, I’m ready to jump straight in your day. No need to hit that snooze button.

On a second thought, I’ll stick with the snooze button.


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