Tag: fitness (Page 1 of 2)

Atlas Wristband is finally the device gym users need.

Atlas Green Jpeg

Price: £200 including international shipping

Atlas website

If fitness trackers and sports bands are anything to go by all you’d think people do is walk, run and swim. Those who like to stay fit by doing high intensity training or pressing weights have to usually select an option like “freestyle” which might detect some general movement and change in heart rate but never really detect the level of exertion the user was undergoing or what movements they were making. The Atlas Wristband aims to change all that.

Hardware

It pairs two ARM M4 processors with a 3 axis accelerometer and 3 axis gyroscope and an optical heart rate monitor. The creators of the device use the data from these sensors and feed them into their Atlas Engine. This engine has been trained to recognise the unique 3D movements that occur in the arm and wrist as the person is exercising and match this to the 50 exercises ( for now ) stored in its database. There is Coach mode which you select a pre-set routine on your phone and transfer it to the device or Freestyle mode. In Freestyle mode you can choose up-to 15 different exercises from a list of 50 and transfer them to your device. You can then do them in any order you wish and the Atlas will detect what you’re doing and how many reps.

The device should be worn on the left wrist as this was the way the programmes were created. In time it’s hoped the option to wear on the right wrist will come and if you buy the band you’ll be given the option to send your data to Atlas Sweat Lab which will gather user data to further improve tracking and exercise recognition. It’s a great feature that should see the product improve over time.

atlas green with module out

The central module containing the sensors is detachable and must be removed from the band allow charging via micro USB.

Whilst the design is a little odd the style aspect isn’t as great a problem as most trackers or smartwatches as this isn’t designed to be worn all day. You can keep it on your wrist to tell the time but currently it won’t be tracking your movements, steps and heart rate throughout the day. The intention was always that it works for one hour workouts and it should last for 7 days if used like this. Turning it off in between will further conserve power.

Software

Most of the time whilst working out you’re interacting on the fly with your device. Maybe you’re skipping a set as you know you’ve maxed out or perhaps increasing the weight with each set. You will still need to use your phone to sync your activity to the Atlas app before and after a workout. The app interface looks nicely designed. It’s focused on the exercises you are doing, and the map of your body and muscles lets you see what you’re working out. Perhaps more importantly it lets you see what areas you are overlooking.  The app also contains videos of how to correctly perform all the exercises and following these correctly will help improve the accuracy of the tracking too.

The fantastic thing is that you can try out the software and get a feel for how the device will work using a separate app called Atlas Engine. It’s currently free in the Google Play Store and App Store and all you need is your phone and an armband to strap it securely to your left bicep.

The company is looking to add other common exercises like running too which will make it much more flexible as a general fitness device.

The future of this device is interesting as if it’s a success I would not be surprised to see this company snatched up by one of the tech giants. Incorporating this software and hardware into the Apple Watch or Wear devices would bring us one step closer to a genuinely useful universal health tracker.

 

TomTom Spark GPS + Music unboxing and first impressions video

Picture courtesy of TomTom

Picture courtesy of TomTom

I thought for a change I would chat about my new watch and discuss my first impressions and teething problems in a video.

I’ll be writing or videoing more about this watch as I get more time to use it and get a feel for how it performs during my training.

Android Wear gets it’s first LTE smartwatch

LG-Watch-Urbane-2nd-Edition-01

We’ve already had LTE Smartwatches from Samsung and LG. These however ran Tizen and WebOS respectively. Now LTE comes to Android Wear as well in the ( take a deep breath ) LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition ( phew! ). Apart from its enormous name it comes with some added functions and a mysterious new version of Android Wear.

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Why Withings should be making more fuss about the Activité Pop

Withings Activité-Pop

With CES 2015 firmly behind us I thought I would take a moment to write about something that perhaps snuck under the wire amongst all the flashier products on show at CES.

Withings have taken to the smartwatch scene with a different approach. Very much more a watch with a hint of smarts. Under the hood however there is some clever tech in action and a feature which I think makes it much more useful than some other wearables.

The only suggestion this is a smartwatch to look at it is the percentage of goal dial on the front. That’s it. No alerts, notification or other distractions. This may well appeal to some folks who want all the tracking but would rather look at the data on their smartphones on a nice big screen.

None of the usual smartwatch battery woes either. Without an active display the Pop sips power allowing it to run off a standard watch battery for 8 or more months according to Withings. It tracks your sleep and can wake you with a gentle vibation. It will automatically adjust to local time zones.

The Pop ( sorry I just can’t get away with calling it the Activité Pop all the time ) has one clever trick that I have been waiting on for some time. It knows when you change activity. At last! Currently it can detect when you swap from walking to running and in an update it will know when you have started swimming too. This is a great step in the right direction.

Ok so you don’t have heart rate tracking nor GPS to track routes so perhaps it’s not for more serious athletes. You are getting a pretty nice looking watch with a lot of clever features and amazing battery life for £119.95. I think this should definitely should be on your short list for a wearable device and would make a nice gift for someone wanting to get started with fitness tracking.

You can pick one up on Amazon here:

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