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THE Lowly Peon

Health & Gizmos 
13 November 2011, 6:46pm

I love gizmos, and I love feeling healthy. So what better than a gizmo that helps you be healthier?

I recently decided to buy an Up by Jawbone, a gizmo you put on your wrist 24/7 which monitors your activity. I love this idea primarily because:

  1. It will help encourage me to be more active, which I think is the number one reason I don't feel physically as healthy in Houston as I did in China, where I walked maybe two miles and rode a bike 45 minutes on even a lazy day.
  2. I love data. I love storing data, I love analyzing data, I love migrating data, I love massaging data. I love just about everything about data.

There's just one problem about these devices: there's a 4-5 week shipping delay. They were so popular almost immediately that when I went to buy one, two or three days before the official release date, they were already sold out.

Patience, Peon. That'll help your health too!

Fast forward to now, when my impatience is driving me insane. I would love to have one of these before my trip to China this coming week, so I could see how active my life in China really was. I was checking out some of the features the UP can provide, and in doing so I realized that it's not as integrated in other services as its main competitor, FitBit. Notably, I'd love integration with Runkeeper.com, the service I use to track all my exercise progress (since 2009!).

While researching the other things I can't yet integrate UP with, I learned about this WiFi body scale made by Withings. I've never cared much about my weight, and have always consciously opted to not have a scale in my house, fearing that I'd misinterpret weight gain as bad when it could be muscle growth.

But this thing is such a great gizmo:

  1. It monitors your weight, yes, but mostly your body mass index (BMI), body fat, muscle, etc.
  2. It's all done over wifi, so it syncs with the web (and thus the iPhone app, etc).
  3. It's integrated with Runkeeper, so I can monitor how much running activity compares to my BMI
  4. It somehow senses when I'm stepping on it versus when my wife is stepping on it, all automagically!
  5. It's really beautiful

So I went to check it out and see where I can buy one (if I choose to). Sure enough, I could buy it at the Apple Store, which means I get 5% cashback (thank you, Discover Card!). And because of the new features in the iOS Apple Store app, I can even buy it on my phone and pick it up in the store.

I got so excited that this technology exists and is easy (on my bloody phone!!), and I checked the availability of the UP.

And they have one! Up until now I was using the old fashioned method of calling, and I failed to call this one because I gave up after the first three didn't even know what I was talking about.

So I'm canceling my order with Jawbone, and daisy and I are going to pick up my new health gizmos! And we know they're there because we already own them!!

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[15 November 2011]

Well?! What do you think?


THE Lowly Peon

[15 November 2011]

bentomas: well, i'd show you the results of the last two days, but UP doesn't have any means for exporting. it's hard to communicate this in text, but that is a big part of my review so far.

i've been pretty pleased with it, except for a few minor issues (it's hard to put on a long sleeve shirt because of the rubber material, for example). the thing that is most irritating is that i slept like crap on sunday night, but it said i got decent sleep (note: the objective details of my sleep were accurate, but they considered it above average. what? people really only sleep 7 hours?). and then last night i slept like a baby, and when i went to check it out, all the data was gone! this is a tremendous problem. it failed to sync a few times, and i lost some 12 hours of data. see point 2 above. i love data. thus, i HATE when my data disappears.

i'll write a more detailed review soon, but as of now my favorite parts — rather, the only parts i'd recommend — are that it buzzes when i need to move around a bit, and it's encouraging me to do small things like go for a small walk after dinner just around the block.