Apps: Healthcare & Fitness
Wearable computing is here, as was evident at CES 2014. One of the most evident applications of this trend is health and fitness gear. There were a lot of bracelets on display, but I already wear a watch and don't want another thing on my wrist. The ibitz is a handy and compact fitness tracker that clips to your belt or clothing and you can forget about it. And thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, it can last for months without recharging.
Recently, I wrote about the XSPIN, a handy gadget that connects to your stationary bicycle (or traditional bicycle on a stationary mount) but I wanted an expert opinion. My colleague, Dennis Wurster, is both an avid cycler and a Mac and iPhone expert. Here is his expert review:
It’s time to get healthy! Isn’t that what the New Year is all about? People often take the time as the New Year rolls around to examine their lives, assess the things they would like to change, and turn over a new leaf. Often, one of the things on the list is health. And one of the best ways to stay healthy is to count your calories and maintain your weight. Your iPhone has your back. The App Store has a plethora of calorie-counting and weight-tracking apps, so manythat it may seem overwhelming. Have no fear, I have your back on this one. I’ve been an avid calorie counter since before electronic devices were invented to count calories. In the early days I used a generic notebook and carried a calorie guide I bought in the diet and fitness section of my local bookstore.
The Force ($129.95) is the latest sleek wristband from Fitbit sporting an attractive OLED status screen, and on display here at CES 2014 in force (pun intended). Not only does the latest wearable activity tracker keep tabs on your health stats including sleep quality, and waking motion, but also tracks calories burned, motivates you to stay active, compete with friends, monitors incoming calls, and leverages Bluetooth 4.0 to keep everything in sync (wow, what a mouthful)!
As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,000,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App Report, AppsGoneFree, appsfire, and more.
Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!
With over 2.19 trillion text messages sent annually, there’s a little known condition that is plaguing smartphone users known as "text neck." The injury involves stiffness in your neck and shoulders and typically is caused by excessive smartphone usage.
A 2011 study published in the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics found that 53 percent of mobile phone users suffer numbness or neck aches. Another study led by Erik Peper of San Francisco State University showed that 84 percent of subjects reported some hand and neck pain during texting. Moreover subjects also displayed other signs of tension, like holding their breath and increased heart rates.
W/Me by Phyode ($169.99)
3 out of 5 stars
W/Me by Phyode is another wristband, like Fitbit Flex and Up by Jawbone, that monitors your health. What sets W/Me apart, is its ability to inform you of your mood and your body's vitality level. This fact alone was enough to inspire me to try out W/Me, but it also has some other really cool features. I received a free evaluation unit from Phyode, the company that produces W/Me.