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Wear your weight-manager

Tech company hopes to help consumers keep an eye on their waistlines by marketing wearable, Web-ready monitoring device in health clubs.

A tech company is hoping to help fitness-conscious consumers keep an eye on their waistlines by marketing a wearable, Web-ready monitoring device in health clubs.

BodyMedia's Bodybugg is a calorie management device designed to monitor total energy expenditure. A Web site accessible to Bodybugg users takes data from the device and automatically estimates calories consumed based on body mass changes, BodyMedia said. So there's no need for individuals to log their caloric intake or exercise, the Pittsburgh-based company said.

The gizmo keeps constant count of an individual's total calories burned as well as other data such as body temperature and position. The information is first stored on the armband and then uploaded wirelessly to the wearer's computer. From the PC, it's transmitted to BodyMedia's servers where it's interpreted and translated into usable information and sent back to the user's desktop, the company said.

The product will be available in health clubs through a deal BodyMedia has struck with Apex Fitness Group, which sells fitness training programs and nutrition products. The device was first introduced in some clubs in a pilot test last July, the company said.

Prices will vary depending on retail markup, but officials for BodyMedia said they expect it to sell for between $300 and $350.

Technology companies have been trying out different wearable computers and devices. Motorola is in a partnership with sunglass maker Oakley to develop wearable Bluetooth-enabled communications gear. It's also struck a deal with a clothing company to develop outerwear that uses interactive cell phone and portable-music technology.