healthy

Apple Watch heart rate monitoring is near (EKG) perfection

Apple Watch heart rate monitoring is near (EKG) perfection

A lot has been made of Apple Watch’s heart rate monitoring of late. While Apple admitted the niche market of wearable owners with dense wrist tattoos won’t be satisfied, we’re still wondering if the actual method used for monitoring your heart rate, photoplethysmography (which nobody should ever try to say) is any good for the rest of us. A new study, which ran Apple Watch in a side-by-side test with a dedicated heart rate monitor, showed the Apple Watch was equally adequate at measuring heart rate.

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MyFitnessPal now has a ‘premium’ paid tier

MyFitnessPal now has a ‘premium’ paid tier

MyFitnessPal is taking a stab at monetization, unveiling a new ‘Premium’ tier of service. For $9.99/month or $49.99/year user will get more granular knowledge on food analysis, improved customer support, and an ad-free experience. There are even personalization options for those who would like to set daily goals, which can also be adjusted based on your daily exercise level. Premium members will also get access to exclusive content and food analysis based on nutritional information you might be tracking.

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Apple, IBM deal will bring iPads to Japan’s elderly

Apple, IBM deal will bring iPads to Japan’s elderly

Apple and IBM have entered an agreement with Japan Post to bring iPads to the elderly. The move is a technological step for Japan Post’s ‘Watch’ service, which leverages postal employees to check in on the elderly now and then. Watch currently costs 1,000 Yen/month ($8.50 or so). Japan Post is government-owned, and operates roughly 24,000 post offices in addition to a large bank. Japan Post is also one of the nation’s largest insurers, and hopes iPads will both scale their Watch service as well as make it easier on everyone involved.

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Microsoft Band builds on cycling as Health starts to shy from wearables

Microsoft Band builds on cycling as Health starts to shy from wearables

Microsoft’s wearable and fitness monitoring platform — Band and Health, respectively — are seeing another update. On the back of the most recent tweak, which brought in a cycling tile and a tiny keyboard to complement an SDK, Microsoft is today building on the bicycling monitoring and adding some context to gathered data. In a strange but ultimately smart turn of events, Microsoft is also announcing they’re no longer making Band a must-have to use their Health app. In the coming weeks, your smartphone sensors will be used to push basic info to Health.

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Apple Watch’s killer feature may be ‘learning’ your stride

Apple Watch’s killer feature may be ‘learning’ your stride

If you’ve ever worn a wearable and found it inaccurate, it may have been because you’re weird. Maybe you walk strange, or run kind of goofy. It’s part of what makes you unique, though, so why try to change? In her latest blog post discussing the Apple Watch, Christy Turlington Burns noted a quirk in the Apple Watch; a quirk you might like, weird-running reader. It seems that after a few runs, Burns’ Apple Watch picked up on her strides, ‘learning’ her gait.

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Google awarded patent for their smart contact lens

Google awarded patent for their smart contact lens

Remember the Google X skunkworks project that saw the company imagining contact lenses that could monitor your glucose levels? Sounded weird, and more like some means to an end for a bigger project. Then we found Google had a partner in Novartis, and the contact lens that could monitor your health seemed a bit closer to reality. It’s now even closer to being on your eye, as Google has been granted a patent to manufacture the lenses, which have multiple layers and their own chipset.

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Fitbit adds bicycling activity monitoring, multi-sensor tracking

Fitbit adds bicycling activity monitoring, multi-sensor tracking

Fitbit Surge is great for tracking your activity level and even has some insight on the type of activity you do, but it doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. In an attempt to find a new market, Fitbit is updating their Surge wearable with the ability to track bicycling metrics. The update is also bringing in 9-hour battery life for GPS use, and a swipe-through interface for when you’re riding your bike. There’s even a new biking-centric page in the Fitbit app.

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Atari Fit lets you play games like Centipede if you exercise enough

Atari Fit lets you play games like Centipede if you exercise enough

Do you want to play Centipede? Of course you want to play Centipede; everyone wants to play Centipede. You could download the Atari Greatest Hits app, but that offers in-app purchases for games. If you don’t want to spend a few bucks, but do want to play Centipede (remember, everyone wants that), Atari will let you earn your games the old fashioned way. With Atari Fit, you get a pretty standard fitness app, but the more you work out, the more games you get!

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Jawbone UP, Nike Fuelband stripped from Apple Store

Jawbone UP, Nike Fuelband stripped from Apple Store

With Apple Watch looming on the horizon, it seems Apple is clearing room from retail stores to make room for their own wearable. In your local Apple Store, you will no longer find most Jawbone products or the Nike Fuelband. Though both are fitness bands that don’t necessarily compete directly with Apple Watch, they’ve nonetheless been removed from circulation via Apple. Neither device can be found via Apple’s online store, either. Other wearables are still available, at least online, but if you were planning to pick up a Jawbone UP24 with your new iPhone, think again.

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Fitbit buys FitStar, gives your workouts context

Fitbit buys FitStar, gives your workouts context

Fitbit, the only company we know of that actually encourage you to not wear their fitness bands, has acquired FitStar. For now, the two companies will remain separate, FitStar users can publish their workouts to the Fitbit app. Over time, the two will begin using a single Fitbit sign-in, though it’s not clear if FitStar will eventually go away, with its existing services melded into Fitbit. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TechCrunch is reporting the deal is likely between $25-40 million, cash and stock.

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