Dieters were counting calories and pedometered steps even before Richard Simmons’s day. Now, health nuts can track everything from their body composition to their eating speed, thanks to a range of smart devices capturing their every bite and footstep.
Adherents call this “body hacking” or the “quantified self” movement, and at the Consumer Electronics Show, this year, it’s getting quite a boost. A wireless armband tracks the calories you burn and the length of time you sleep. A Wi-fi enabled scale can check your body fat and heart rate. In perhaps the most buzzworthy unveiling of all, Hong Kong-based Hapilabs announced a “smart fork” that knows how fast you eat -- and graphs that questionably useful data on a phone or web-based dashboard.
The movement is hardly new, and plenty of apps have grown up around it already -- RunKeeper, SleepCycle and MyFitnessPal come to mind. Since at least 2008, developers have tinkered with ways to track users’ calories, menstrual cycles and even sex lives.