Smart bracelets and fitness trackers are by far the most common items of wearable tech products the world over. They’re also a great way to monitor your health throughout the day and lots of people are adorning them. If fitness is your new years resolution, you might think about getting one of these.
It is a marvel how effective they can be at doing what they say they do. When paired with a smartphone app, they are able to achieve some pretty accurate readings.
However, on their own they are pretty powerful. Stocked with of lots of software, the hardware components of these devices do some heavy lifting of their own and that is what I will be breaking down in a bid to understand just how fitness trackers work.
This is to me the most key component of these devices because it is responsible for tracking movement. An accelerometer is a device that in simple terms detects and measures movement.
This movement could be from the motion of your wrist or a fall due to gravity. They are used in lots of other devices such as phones where they are responsible for that auto rotation feature. In a fitness tracker, they detect when you move your arm and body so as to start recording your activity or workout.
Fitness trackers are common with people that like to workout. It could be in the gym or especially running outdoors. For the device to be able to know how long you have been running outside and also to provide a map at the end of the run, it needs GPS to pinpoint your start and stop locations as well as all those places in between.
If you have a fitness tracking app on your phone, it also uses the GPS tracking system of the phone to create a map of the places you have been busy.
Fitness trackers are categorized as health monitoring devices and the most common indicator of good or bad health is a temperature change. High or low temperature is a sign of bad health.
Knowing that the normal human body temperature is expected to be at around 37 degrees Celsius, the fitness tracker can prove to be very valuable in tracking this which is why it is important for a fitness tracker to be able to have such a feature. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so useful, do you agree?
Optical heart rate monitors
Have you ever wondered how that little device is able to tell your heart rate? Yet doctors need to use an EKG or sit you down, put that strap to your arm and pump air till it gets too tight and then measure your blood pressure?
The answer to this question is an optical heart rate monitor. A light shines through your skin to illuminate your blood vessels and since blood is good at absorbing light, the fluctuating pulsations of the light picked up by the optical sensors is translated into the rhythm of the heart and measures your heart rate.
Ambient light sensors
If you put your phone’s light settings at automatic, you notice that when you are in a dark place, the screen gets brighter and dims when there is more light. This is made possible by an ambient light sensor which measures the amount of light the device is receiving.
Fitness trackers use this same device together with, clocks and software to determine the time of day and the difference between night and day.
There are more components that make fitness trackers operate the way they do depending on how advanced the device is and how, but we need to keep in mind how useful these trackers can be in monitoring our health and daily activities.
What’s your opinion on fitness trackers? Do you think they’re necessary or just another technological sales pitch by companies trying to make money off us? Let’s know what you think in the comment section.