Wearable, fitness tech pushes personal dataThe HapiFork, Basis Band, and Fitbit Flex were some of the hottest products at CES 2013. Molly Wood tries out the latest in wearable and fitness tech and tells you why they could be the future of fitness.
-Okay, so, tell me about the HAPIfork. The surprise hit of CES. -At its most basic, HAPIfork is a tool to help you eat more slowly. -Uh huh. -The demo fork that we have here has been pre-programmed on a 10-second interval-- -Okay. -and it basically means that if I'm putting food in my mouth under 10 seconds, it will vibrate. As you can see, here, I've just activated it and the light just went red and I had the vibration. So, basically, if you're having this on, it's [unk]. Okay, oops. -Too soon, too soon. -Too soon. -Can I try? [unk] to it. Oh yeah. -We've got the Fitbit Flex. The Fitbit Flex is a wrist-based device. -Yup. -It does activity tracking steps, distance, calories. It is super, super comfortable and lightweight. It's got five LEDs on it. So if you tap it, it actually tells you your progress against your goal. But what's also important about it is that it uses bluetooth 4.0, so it wirelessly syncs in the background to smartphones. -It is a band you wear like a watch. It does tell the time as well the date, but you can also do quick things like check your heart rate as you see here, check your calories burned on that day, as well as check your steps right here on the watch. -Right. -Here to trend at 2013 CES this year is this idea of the quantified self. Basically wearable gadgets and apps that can give you more information about how you behave, what you do, and how you can make yourself better. So, for example, I'm wearing this Spree headband which tracks my heart rate, my motion, and my body heat so that I can get more information about what happens when I exercise or when I just like walk around looking kind of 80s. Let's talk a little bit about this data gathering trend and this idea of sort of the quantified self. That's always been kind of, I think, the big appeal of Fitbit that you could gather so much information about yourself. Where do you see that trend going? -Well, so, we think it's really about learning insights and being able to understand our behavior and what you do on a day-to-day basis and how to fix your health. So the data is really important, but even more importantly is what-- how does that matter? What does it really mean? -Yeah. -Well, I think, for some people, the data itself is very compelling. I think, for most people, though, it does need to be aggregated in a way and delivered in a way that's really actionable. So, lots of numbers. It's so exciting at first, but unless you can do something with it that day in and day out for the long term, it's not gonna be as successful. So for us, we've really focused on these things like habits. We take all that data and make it-- bring it to people in a way that they can do something with it. -Obviously, you can't change, you know, a lifelong learned habit of eating habit overnight, when I'm asking that, but very slowly and progressively, it's a really-- we program that habit so that you can eat more healthily. -And wearable tech is starting to take all forms including more subtle options like this patch for those people who don't have to always go around, being like I'm quantifying myself. I like it. I like the patch. -So, it's a multisensory product, just like our other products that people use today. It has three axis of motion as skin temperature, rate of heat coming off the body, conductivity of the skin. We've munched all that together and create these very accurate algorithms around calories burned, physical activity, minutes of physical activity, steps, sleep patterns that you have. And people would generally use that for-- you know, use our products today for weight loss, but also diabetes management, sleep management, bunch of different kinds of conditions. Having that feedback or having that dashboard about me allows me to make proactive change and change behavior probably in a longitudinal longer term way. -All right. -And we see that-- we see that in the journeys that our consumers use everyday. -So, I have a pretty important question about the fork, though. -What's that? -Is that dishwasher compatible? -Yes, it is. So-- -I'm safe. That was my big fear.