Wearing Thin

Post date: Dec 08, 2014 6:31:30 PM

"Lose some weight, you fat bastard," I thought to myself jokingly as I admired my birthday gift from Jenny and the kids in mid-September. It was one of many shiny objects on the market that I had expressed an interest in to my wife. Only this time she was listening.

The Fitbit Flex would be my baptism into the realm of wearable technology and with it I would not only find religion, but I would quickly become a believer in the power that five little LEDs can have over everything I do.

My new dark overlord.

Wearables are game changers. Hell, life changers. Wearables can track what you do and how you communicate, motivate you, inform you. Every comic book I've read and sci-fi show I've watched has nursed me on the belief that I should be looking to my wrist for information, not clumsily rifling through my pocket to whip out my phone. We've strived for decades to accomplish this (can you say “calculator watch”? - look it up, kids). Now we've reached the point in our technological evolution that our fictional desires have become a reality.

The benefits, huge. The possibilities, endless.

And no other industry will likely reap the rewards more than the health sector. Doctors getting real-time information hundreds of kilometres away as well as a historical archive of all your vitals. Or being able to instantly alert medical professionals or loved ones when these vitals show signs of an issue. Dieticians able to provide instant feedback on a patient's calorie intake or weight fluctuation. Being able to pinpoint the location of an Alzheimer's patient who wandered a little too far. Those with limited mobility being able to perform a task with the flick of a wrist or blink of an eye. From managing chronic illnesses to controlling your waistline, wearables will take those who use them to a new level of awareness and hope.

My wearable, although primitive in terms of functionality, has unlocked a world of analytics. Number of steps, calories in/out, activity, sleep patterns. I consumed this information. I craved its feedback. I challenged my wearable and in return it rewarded me with results. Measurable results. Visible results. Infomercial-before-and-after type results.

I now regularly preach what I practice to those who ask. These wearables serve as a high-tech string on your finger reminding you to get moving. That voice in your head that whispers "eat this, not that." After only two short months I am as many pounds away from the first goal I had set for myself. Once accomplished, I will change my goal from weight-based to exercise-based – and those five little LEDs will light my way.

”Shape up, you not-so-fat bastard."