Apps: Healthcare & Fitness
Skylink allowed me to try its SK-200 Alarm System Starter Kit ($149.99). This is a compact, easily giftable solution for anyone looking for home security without the contract and monthly payments. Because it is mostly wireless and compact, it could be a great solution for apartment or dorm dwellers looking to add a little security without permanently installing a wired system.
We will be getting the Apple Watch soon, but it may not be the watch we could have had. As powerful as the Apple Watch will be, Apple reportedly had more ambitious plans for their first generation wearable, but they were axed
for several reasons, including regulatory approval. If Apple were to start making medical claims, they would need approval from the FDA. While the watch will have a heart rate sensor, the dropped features include tracking of blood pressure and stress levels. Apple apparently couldn't guarantee accurate results, as there are too many variables, such as how tightly the watch is worn.
My daughter is participating in the American Heart Association Jumprope for Heart program. To prepare, I've had her try the VERT Jump Tracking Device ($124.99). While it's meant for professional and serious athletes, it gave her the feedback and encouragement needed to keep working. The VERT is a belt-clip wearable that's made in the U.S. and if you don't have an outfit that accommodates a belt-clip, they include an elastic belt as an option.
The fitness tracker movement reminds me of that saying about the weather. Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. Pedometers and trackers are helpful, but they are observers. I discovered a cool gadget at CES that actually improves your health. The Valedo is a two-piece wearable that sticks to your chest and lower back using the 100 included disposable stickers. The two lightweight sensors work together to determine your posture and position, while you "play" a 3D interactive game.
We are learning more about the Apple Watch, in part thanks to a conference call Apple CEO Tim Cook had recently with analysts. We already knew that the battery life (about 19 hours with light use) would prohibit sleeping with the watch on. This, and its size, make it less suitable as a sleep tracker. So don't expect the Apple Watch to tell you how you slept. In fact, it looks like the watch will discourage you from being still! There is a mode that beta testers have been using that will remind you to get up and stop being so sedentary.