TAG: Health

First Look: Fitbit Flex

FitBit Flex with its sensorThe allure of combining technology with the need to stay healthy and fit has kept engineers busy for decades. Over the years, I’ve seen very interesting products that purported to help us measure and gamify an active lifestyle. As technology has improved and sensors have become smaller and cheaper, we have all sorts of different things we can do. When I read more about the Fitbit Flex wristband, I knew this was something I had to try out. This or the Flex’s direct competitor, the Nike FuelBand.  Many questions lingered as I unboxed the product: Would it motivate me to be more active? Would it appear accurate? Would it measure things that were truly relevant? All this and more would be answered as I look at the Fitbit Flex.

The Mental Health Panacea?

Of the massive amount of recent dialog, some of it has focused on weapons – but some of it has focused on mental health. To be sure, we all know that a problem exists, but few of us know what (or why) it happens. Why do we all have this sense that the collective mental health of North Americans has been eroding? Dr. Peter Whybrow appears to have some of those answers. In an interview with Pacific Standard, he talks about how we’ve become manic through stimulus:

“The computer is electronic cocaine for many people,” says Whybrow. “Our brains are wired for finding immediate reward. With technology, novelty is the reward. You essentially become addicted to novelty.”

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