Ufffffffff....The things I do for you guys! Really! I slave through all the new gadgets, get my hands on all the new stuff before it is released and even have to try out new phones and Tablets months before anybody else even knows about them. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it! And now, just for you, I’ve even put my life, limb and body at risk. I’ve made myself a human guinea pig to test the latest gadgets and technology in the personal fitness space.
Technology that makes you fitter, leaner, helps in losing weight, builds an amazing body and controls your diet is an exciting new world. I had covered some of it last year. It was a nascent industry and I had hoped that it would grow bigger and have more radical innovations and new, breakthrough features. That time has come. The fitness gadget industry seems to have exploded. Small little devices that can be great tools and a major weapon to become ripped and fit. And it’s not just the technology category that has got into this very lucrative space – even science has raised its very powerful hand.
Here’s how you can become the next big (or thin) thing with science and technology as your partner.
Withings WiFi Body Scale
This is body weighing from the future. A sleek, black-and-steel body, huge display, built-in WiFi, multiple sensors and lots of extra features. This is what happens when you set foot on this scale. It turns on and gives you an accurate weigh in. The sensors do their magic and give you readings of your fat mass, lean muscle mass, and BMI. All of this is then wirelessly uploaded to a secure website which records it and draws charts and graphs. It also sends you a weekly email report of your progress.
It can also post all your measurements directly to Twitter and Facebook (the ultimate nightmare motivator?), has an iPhone app for you to look up all your data whenever you like and is smart enough to automatically recognise up to eight different users, so your entire family can use it. This is the weighing machine that should have been installed on the Starship Enterprise (and would have controlled Willam Shatner’s weight before he ballooned up).
Zeo Personal Sleep Coach
Surprisingly, more than your activity, workouts and fitness regime, it’s your sleep that will determine how healthy you are. That’s because a fully rested body and mind is the only thing that can keep disease and fatigue away in addition to keeping you in peak mode to perform better at everything. And now the mystery of sleep can be solved with a personal sleep coach. However bizarre and intimidating that may sound, there is true science behind this. Slip on the headband (quite comfortable) and set up for the night.
The headband can measure the electrical signals produced by the brain and can record your sleep pattern from drowsy, REM, light to deep, restful sleep. When you wake up in the morning, the bedside display tells you how well you did through the night. And now comes the kicker – get ready for a brand new phrase – ‘Sleep Stealers’! Now that your sleep can be analysed down to every second, you can do a lot more with it. Upload your data to the Zeo website and it will draw patterns for you. Did that walk before hitting the bed help you sleep more deeply? Did that soothing green tea keep you awake longer? Does a hot glass of milk really help make you sleep better? No more guesswork! Even waking up can be scientifically controlled. The Zeo can look for a natural awakening point within 30 minutes of a set time and will wake you up gently – no blaring alarm to jerk you out of deep sleep! If they had got this gadget for Kumbhkaran, our mythology may have been written very differently.
Your Smartphone and Fitness apps
Your smartphone now has multiple features, which, when put together, can make for a formidable fitness tracker. Apps (Lose it, Nike+, RunKeeper, Sports Tracker) can now harness that power and do things you could only dream of earlier. Using the GPS and the accelerometer, apps can track how many steps you walked, how far, at what speed and the level of activity achieved. They can graph and analyse it. You can now take a photo of the food you’re about to eat and an app (MealSnap) can tell you how many calories you’re about to consume. There are apps that help with your aerobics and kick boxing form (iFitness), apps that can show you how to lift weights the right way (GymGoalABC, Fitness Builder), put you in a real life pushup competition (Push-Up Wars) against other people across the world... you name it and there’s an app for it!
I’ve only touched upon the tip of the iceberg within this amazing new fit-tech segment. Next week, I’ll introduce a powder that you sprinkle on your food to stop your brain from overeating, a chewing gum that can make your craving for sweets disappear forever, a calorie counter in your hand, a personal trainer the size of your finger nail and a electric resistance machine that can give you a one hour workout in 10 minutes flat. The only reason I’m deferring this to next week is that I haven’t finished trying and testing each of these to my heart’s content. Ufffff, the things I do for you guys!
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3.
Follow Rajiv on Twitter at twitter.com/RajivMakhni
From HT Brunch, September 4
Follow us on twitter.com/HTBrunch
Connect with us on facebook.com/hindustantimesbrunch
Recall experience in India