NewYu fitness monitor tracks wide range of activities
The wearable, connected fitness monitor uses a special algorithm to differentiate among activities, such as running, walking, aerobics, and even cooking and cleaning.
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.
Wearable, connected fitness monitors are a dime a dozen these days. But developers of NewYu, a monitor that will be available in September, claim they've got an edge on their competition.
The device, which is meant to clip to clothing on the torso or to a pocket, is purported to provide a more accurate view of calories burned by tracking, and differentiating between, all movements throughout the day.
In other words, NewYu knows if you've been running or walking, cooking or cleaning, shopping, or (presumably) mating...You get the idea. Actually, Van Krueger, CEO of parent company Wellcore, tells me they decided to steer clear of the "mating" category, but that it will register as low-, medium-, or high-impact aerobics, depending of course on the intensity of the, shall we say, heat of the moment.
Krueger says the fitness monitor is able to differentiate among activities by using advanced pattern recognition technology. This works much the way voice recognition does; a three-axis accelerometer generates raw data, which is converted into wavelets and then analyzed using a library of activity data culled from a professor at the University of Arizona, which is ultimately tagged with words such as "jogging" or "high-impact aerobics."
And perhaps the best part of NewYu is that it has what Krueger calls a "learning engine," so that in future iterations (note: the devices are upgradeable) users will be able to define an activity they have just completed and have the monitor automatically recognize the wave pattern as that activity from then on. "The more accurate the tracking, the more likely users are to reach their goals," Krueger pointed out in a press release last week.
NewYu, which will cost $99.99, weighs in under an ounce. It syncs with the NewYu online dashboard via USB, while Android users can get the free app (which will be available on Amazon) to sync data in real time via Bluetooth.
The dashboard also uses CalorieKing to connect users to tens of thousands of foods for easy calorie tracking whether at home or on-the-go. Meet a goal and NewYu lights up, like a happy little bundle of...data.
The true test of the device, of course, will come when enough people are using it and chiming in on activity accuracy. Until then, I maintain a healthy level of skepticism that a device on my torso will know what I'm really up to. I'll report back after playing with a review unit next month.