Tech With A Purpose

I’ve been on this kick for sometime now to get some kind of fitness tracker that’s independent, a bit, from my mobile. Not that services like Sports Tracker, etc aren’t good. It’s just that I don’t want to always have my mobile on me on order for them to make their value apparent. Instead, I want the tech to work with my mobile, be independent from a specific platform focus, and blend into the background when I don’t care to know it’s using my activities. That’s not too much to ask given the pace of tech now right?

For the better part of the past year, I’ve been most enamored with the Motoactv fitness smart watch. But because it’s been most like a watch, but because it seems like the device most able to be independent from a mobile or web service and still have some value. The problem with the Motoactv is finding one. For as far as I can tell they just aren’t being made anymore.

That’s fine as that availability aspect pushed me to look at other devices. The one sitting at the top of that pile has been the Nike+ Fuel Band. What I like most about the Fuel Band is the design for sure. It’s like like those rubber bracelets many of us carry out thrown away at one time or another. I’m starting to understand some about how it works. And seeing the biggest limitations (can’t swim with it, doesn’t track biking, and don’t see an API to integrate it with my newly acquired N9), I’m something on a pause to getting it. Still, a lot about the Fuel makes sense, and I think is the true motivation behind what I’m trying to do.

Technology is only relevant when it’s personal (and/or when it makes a lot of money).

In looking no longer to get the device that’s cool, but the one that’s effective to the kind of living that I see for myself and close folks around me. A little more than just aspirational tech, it’s got to enable me to do for myself what I probably would have done before.

Now, I’m plenty active already. At least my calendar seems to bear that out. Thing is, I’m active but without much of a clue towards how it’s effecting me physically other than in sleep and eating choices. If I could learn a bit more about the kind and moments of activity that I’m doing, then maybe that information turns into something that makes for longer term changes.

I’ll use the example of 30 Days of Biking last year. Even though I didn’t bike everyday, I was able to see when I ride and where. That made me change a few behaviors towards how interact with friends in the community and that’s made me much wiser cyclist. The tech that helped that along was my mobile, but was more surprisingly the USB generator I win right before I started. Having a fully charged mobile more often meant that I could stay on the bike longer and get life for in areas of town I’d resolved to only driving before. That’s what I see as the purpose of tech.

Companies are right in wanting to make ecosystems for their products. But we also have the responsibility to make ours. The tech we ascribe to had to fit a wider purpose. And when it does, what becomes of your most precious assets?