I recently bought myself an activity tracker. The watch-like device keeps track of how many steps I take and how high I climb, such as the amount of vertical feet I “conquer” by taking the stairs. From that it calculates the distance I travel and the amount of calories that I burn in a day. The device can also measure my heart rate and the oxygen level in my blood, but given the high heart rate I supposedly have even without doing any exercise, I seriously doubt the accuracy of the device on those accounts. While the information displayed on the device screen itself is already interesting, the data gathering and analysis opportunity multiplies through connectivity of the activity tracker with my iPhone. Through a Bluetooth connection, I can transfer all the data to a dedicated app on my iPhone. On top of that I log other activities like strength training and biking activity on another app that synchronizes the data with my activity tracker app. Plus if you want to, you can log all the food you eat and thus your calorie intake with a third app that again syncs with the activity tracker app comparing actual calorie intake versus calorie consumption.
Let me first start off with wishing everyone a great New Year! I wish everyone good health and a lot of friendship and love. And hopefully all those software driven devices around you will make your life better. At least that is the goal and the promise from the industry. I for one am a big believer in the benefits of a “connected” future. The Internet of Things really has the potential to improve our lives. That of course doesn’t mean that anything goes; we should be vigilant about privacy versus intrusion. On the other hand, the values are really too good to set aside.