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Impact of the Introduction of Activity Trackers

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 2317 words Published: 6th Sep 2017

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The advancement of technology is no doubt one of the greatest organized creative activities of humankind today. The material world that we see around us, and the way society functions today had strongly affected by the advancement of the technology. The device that I would like to research on had effectively changed the way how human life. It records all the activities of an individual over the days – the activity tracker.

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An activity tracker is computer-assisted monitoring and graphing of health-linked metrics such as distance walked or ride, calorie consumption, and in some cases heartbeat and quality of snooze. During the early development of the products, activity trackers were computer logs, such as that provided in the US by thePresident’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sportsas part ofThe President’s Challenge;since the release of the firstFitbitactivity tracker in 2009, the term has primarily referred to electronic checking devices that are synced, in many cases wirelessly, to a computer orsmartphonefor long-period data graphing, an example ofwearable technology.

Electronic activity trackers are upgraded versions ofpedometers. In addition to counting steps or movements, they useaccelerometersandaltimetersto calculate mileage, graph overall physical activity, calculate calories expenditure, and in some cases also monitor and graph heart rate and quality of snooze.Some also include a silent alarm. The original Fitbit, released in 2009,was worn clipped at the waist; formats have now improved to include wristbands, armbands, and smaller devices that can be wore wherever preferred. AppleandNiketogether developed theNike+iPod, a sensor-equipped shoe that worked with aniPod Nano few years after the release of Fitbit. In addition, logging apps exist for smartphones and Facebook;the Nike+ system now works without the shoe sensor, through theGPSunit in the phone or iPod. In the US,BodyMediahas established a disposable activity tracker to be worn for 7 days, which is aimed at health and insurance providers and companies seeking to determine workers’ fitness and health.


Sony wants you to log your life with smart band! Sony’s Smart Band is one of the biggest-name fitness tracker. It was first published to the market on 24th Feb 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. According to Sony, the Smart Band will only be available in spring. The Smart Band SWR10 is a wearable device which consist of two parts, the core and the band. It communicates via Bluetooth with an Android Life-log application to offer fitness tracking, but the application itself also lets users log places visited, music played, games played and books read for presentation on a visual interface. The application also helps users set activity targets. Similar as a smart watch, it vibrates when calls, messages, Facebook notifications or tweets are received. It can also be used to play, pause and skip tracks in a Sony phone’s Walkman application by pressing the button and tapping the band. The device is IP582 rated for full waterproofing despite its MicroUSB port, the company said. When out of Bluetooth range from its paired phone, the band vibrates. SmartBand will also records sleep cycles.

According to the white paper, the Core is powered by theARM Cortex-M0 32 bit processer, has 256kB internal embedded flash memory and 16kB RAM. It connects to any device running Android 4.4 and later via Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy and/or NFC.

You need to download Lifelog, a companion app that tracks your physical, social and entertainment activities. The interface is quite informative, and you can use it to set activity goals and monitor your progress. Information compiled in Lifelog is collected using sensor technology in the SWR10 and data obtained from various apps and sensors in the Android phone. Here’s a quick overview of the Lifelog app:

The SWR10 also comes with music and camera remote control functions, alerts for incoming messages or Facebook notifications. You can set alarms via the Lifelog app to wake you up via subtle vibrations on your wrist. Before you do so, you have to set the SWR10 to night mode. The night mode is used for tracking your sleep while the day mode tracks your activities throughout the day. Below is a video showing the SWR10 in action:


Here is the complete list of feature of Sony SmartBand, there will be brief explanation on some of the major feature:

  • Communication and Entertainment

By using Sony SmartBand SWR10, It is easily communicate with your smartphone, tablet and Android apps can record your physical, social and entertainment activities. You can check all daily activity where you went, what pictures you took and how you have been communicating with your world.

  • Lifelog Application

The Life log can record walking, running, cycling or travelling by train timing and how long you slept .How much you take photo, how much time you are listing music and games you have played and how much you have socialized with a friends and family.

  • Life Bookmarks

All special moments you can make bookmark a great restaurant, an amazing song, beautiful sunset.

  • Battery performance

It has a rechargeable battery that can be charge your smartphone charger and Laptop can stay charged up to 5 days.

Other features:

  • It helps in measuring the sleep cycle
  • Look ahead in time to see just how much more you need to cycle to achieve your daily activity goal.
  • Helps to track weather and alert the user
  • Removable Coreunit and a stylish and comfortable wrist band
  • Sony fastening button and LEDs
  • Vibrates when a call, message or other notification comes in


The Sony SmartBand shares its design with many other wrist-worn fitness trackers. It comes in two bits – the wristband and the ‘core’. This is a little plastic brain that lives within a recess in the band, roughly where a watch face would be. The one we got our hands on was a simple rubbery band with a shiny plastic clasp on the rear, but others use different textures.

The Core

Despite the exposed micro-USB port (which is used for charging), the Core is IP58 rated for dust resistance and waterproof capabilities. The Core is a tiny plastic unit with an accelerometer inside. It sports a mini USB port and also features LED lights and a vibrate function to alert you to any notifications from your phone In addition, the Core is very light at 6g and when paired with a wrist band, can weigh between 20 to 21g depending on the choice of a small or large wrist band. We were told that the wrist band is made of silicone, a material that will feel comfortable to the skin. A Sony product staff said that she has been wearing the SWR10 for a number of days, and the use of silicone made her forget that she was actually wearing one on her wrist. During our few minutes of hands-on, we found the material to be easy on the skin. It is also easy to fasten and remove the wristband.

The Lifelog App

The Core is effectively useless without Sony’s Lifelog, a lifestyle-tracking app for Android the company demoed onstage at its presser and is planning to release to Google Play in March. Think of Lifelog as a curated Facebook feed for your life, but without much effort on your part. It records your locations, communications, physical activity and photos taken and places them in a graphed format, in addition to coaching you with set goals.

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From what little we’ve been told about the Lifelog camera concept, it seems users would be able to pair it to a smartphone and then set specific triggers for photo capture, like times of the day or activities. So say you want to record the moments of your daily jog, this concept would handle that automatically and upload the shots to your personal feed. It’s the sort of the stuff quantified selfers get all hot and bothered over — you know, those ardentlifebloggers. But just because Sony’s showing off this Lifelog camera concept, that doesn’t mean we’ll ever see it become a commercial reality. Sony may just be testing the consumer waters or simply showing off its idea of the possible road ahead.


Although the SmartBand is said to be one of the greatest improvisation of activity trackers in the market, I do believe there are still rooms for improvement. Firstly, the SmartBand is connected to the phone via Bluetooth. Although it offer the vibration notification service, it do not show up the contact or type of notification that you received. So, if you received a call on your phone, your Core will start to vibrate, however with no display, you’ll still need to get your phone out to see who is calling. It is the limitation on the Core as Sony can only choose either to extend the battery-life of the Core or to provide the display which significantly reduce the battery-life without charging.

Secondly, SmartBand is pitched by Sony to be a 24/7 wearable device. However, due to its limited battery life, there will still be times where you need to recharge the battery. I suggest that spring-powered system (self-winding mechanism) can be installed into the core, like how some watches in the market works. It uses the principle of kinetics, and store energy made by the user’s hand movement into the spring and coil in an intrinsic system. The whole idea of activity trackers including SmartBand are to record the activities of the users, which easily relate to loads of movement like walking, cycling and et cetera. As the Core requires minute amount of energy to function, the energy generated can slowly reused to operate the core.

Finally, SmartBand can be improved by being an improvised version of watch as well- by adding in function like time display and stopwatch. Adding in display into the core or the band is the key for this improvement. With the display, time can be shown on the band as well as other basic functions of a normal watch. In order to keep the long lasting battery life, LCD can be used as it is more energy efficient than other display technologies.


Ever since the development of the ENIGMA (the first digital computer), computers have inspired our imagination. In this period came the World War II code breaking machine designed by Alan Turing, and Von Neuman’s ENIAC which can be called dinosaurs compared to present day PCs. In the earlier days, computers were so huge that it took an entire building, or at least a floor to occupy one. Computers of that era were very slow by today’s standards. In the non-ending struggle to increase computing speed, it was found out that speed of electricity might become a limiting factor in the speed of computation, and so it was a need to lessen the distance that electricity had to travel in order to increase the computing speed. This idea still holds true in modern computing.

However for the past few years, industry pundits have been predicting the death of the personal computer. I look at it a bit differently—the personal computer is not dying, but is becoming even more personal. It is now something you’re going to wear—in your clothing, jewelry, shoes, glasses, watches, and even on your skin.

Sony’s SmartBand is one of the kick starter of these wearable technology, together with Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, Apple’s Ipod Nano, Google Gass and et cetera. All these improve human’s life in all different aspect. For instance the medical and health, social, entertainment, or even in the field of military.

Whatever area wearable computer technology is applied to you can see that it willl improve the quality of life and make day-to-day life less complicated. It is only our imagination which will limit the number of applications for this new emerging technology. Wearable computer is a platform for the rapid application development, it promotes behavioral architecture and Java for the design of applications on wearable computers.

In addition of the prototypes that has been released to test the viability of the architecture .There are even some reports that wearables will be the fashion of tomorrow. It may take some time for wearables to be commonly accepted. After all, it was once unusual to see people using cell phones or wireless microphones, but they have been embraced.


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