Wearable tech can’t defy science!

Some enlightening stories in the media are emerging with regard to smart wristband users complaining that they have GAINED weight since getting a Fitbit or Jawbone. CNBC has one where a disgruntled Fitbit user comments: “Since I was walking 10 to 15 miles a day at my stand-up desk, it told me I could eat 2200 to 2400 calories a day”.

This goes to show that the Quantifiable Self is a step in the right direction (no pun intended) but it’s still all about I/O (input/output). As the great English author Charles Dickens put it, some 164 years ago in his novel David Copperfield: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”

Today’s version: “Daily intake 1950 calories, daily effort 1950, result happiness. Daily intake 2500 calories, daily effort two thousand ought and six, result misery.”

Smart wristbands can only track movement, and consequently flag situations where the user needs to move more, or consume less. This is the availability of so-called actionable analytics: being aware of the situation is the first step towards doing something about it. Just tracking movement is not an excuse to pile on the calories …

After the soccer World Cup, a lot of fans are now no doubt thinking the same. As one German media outlet put it – the average German soccer fan now needs to switch diets after a month of existing on an intake of four beers and two large bags of crisps per day.



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