Wired: Your Body Is an API: 9 Gadgets for Tracking Health and Fitness

:/Wired: Your Body Is an API: 9 Gadgets for Tracking Health and Fitness

Wired: Your Body Is an API: 9 Gadgets for Tracking Health and Fitness


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Basis B1 Band

The “quantified self“: It’s a lifestyle philosophy that says tracking one’s own personal data — calories burned, hours slept, miles run — is the path to self-realization. All this data-tracking requires gadgets, and many innovative specimens were on display at CES 2012 last month.

When it comes to your health, correcting bad behavior after periodic visits to the doctor is a step in the right direction. And it’s even more likely that you’ll make positive lifestyle adjustments based on, say, weekly visits to a personal trainer or daily weigh-ins on your bathroom scale. But turn yourself into a platform of analysis in the Internet of Things, and you’ve got real-time feedback loops to help keep you on target and alert you to problems. Your body is an API that developers are just beginning to figure out.

Here are nine of the most interesting personal data-tracking gadgets that we saw at CES.

  • Basis B1 Band
  • BodyMedia LINK Armband
  • BodyMedia Patch
  • First Person Vision
  • iCoach Suite
  • MotoACTV
  • Kinomap
  • Recon MOD Live
  • Life Technologies Ion Proton


Basis B1 Band

Launching this spring, the Basis B1 Band is a wrist-mounted body monitor with five built-in sensors, the most intriguing of which is an optical heart-rate monitor. The device shines light through your skin and reads your pulse by measuring blood flow, eliminating the need for an annoying chest strap.

The B1 also includes thermometers for measuring both skin and ambient temperatures, a standard accelerometer for recording movement, and galvanic skin response sensors for detecting sweat levels (and, thereby, reporting physical exertion).

The data is uploadable via USB or Bluetooth. Basis algorithms then crunch the data and display it graphically in a browser-based Dashboard. The default presentation is exceedingly simple, but you can parse the data for a more granular snapshot. There are also gaming and social aspects for added stickiness.

The B1 is set to launch this spring for $199.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com