Watching the TechCrunch 50 conference of selected startups LIVE on my laptop as my dog swims off the dock reminds me of my dad’s theory that you can see a football game better at home than in person! For SheGeeks like me, this is comfy, democratized, internet access to a bigwig startup event of digerati sans exhaustive schmoozing, ego-dodging, and brain-groping with 1000 people in S.F. at the concourse.
Evidently, I’m not alone in my enthusiasm, as UStreamTV just announced there are 31,000 simultaneous users here with me. (prior sessions recorded here) TechCrunch 50 continues tomorrow LIVE, beginning with rich media and games, if you want to get in on the action.
Here’s a glance at the invited startups selected out of 1000 applicants, and here are the DemoPit presenters and alumni, and finally, the powerhouse line up of judges/experts lobbing Q&A on the business models with no holds barred decorum.
My quick pick for today is FitBit…a wearable wireless sensor to get people off the couch and exercising using media to monitor their activity level…
If FitBit (launched today at TechCrunch 50) can tap into new media to get sedentary kids and adults moving as a conduit for change, I’m all for it…we need all that digital mindshare and intelligence to champion change in positive ways…
I mentioned HopeLab brought a similar gizmo to our lunchtable at YPulse for idea sharing, and Me2 Universe just launched a similar concept to prompt kids to get active in order to accrue points used within their virtual world, so clearly, techie entrepreneurs are out in force to ride the productization/monetization wave of the obesity crisis.
The show and tell feedback on the screen gives you a quick scan of your personal fitness status which ostensibly should prompt cubicle dwellers and laptop toters everywhere to take a stretch and get up and move. (or risk slug bug syndrome and ‘secretary spread’)
Needless to say, behavioral modification positives sound numerous. It automatically tracks data like calories burned, steps, distance, even sleep quality and snoring. (hey, every movement counts, even tossing and turning!)
Sharp gizmo all around…a motivational interface where users can “share their progress, compare themselves against others, compete against their friends, family and co-workers,” and manually log nutrition, weight and other health information to get a snapshot of their health, goals, and achievements.
FitBit for kids’ use?
Hmnn…Teens love those little stones/charms with motivational words on ‘em…maybe a cool case cover? Wee ones might need a lanyard or secure clip so they wouldn’t lose it! 😉
I’d like to know if there’s any electromagnetic field or health fallout in having a gizmo on you all day that’s ‘up close and personal.’
But if it passes muster…I’m thinking this could be a STRONG opportunity for Shaping Youth to track kids’ outcomes and measures if we partnered with their technology using our digital downloads for scalability via our ‘Gross out Games for Good Nutrition’…
Definitely on my ‘woohoo!’ one to watch list!”
The usual challenge with accelerometers tends to be blending accuracy, wearability, and price…and FitBit seems to have addressed all three:
1.) A powerful sensor unobtrusive enough to tuck in a pocket (they say it can even be clipped to a bra) is ‘on you’ all day to give a more realistic read of your overall output. (as opposed to strapping on sports gear like the Nike ipod or Nike Sport Band which doesn’t exactly go with formalwear)
2.) And accessible price-tag of a one-shot deal ($99 price w/free web access puts it in the gamer/gizmo category of viability).
3.) And the seamlessness of uploading data simply by walking by the wireless hub is sublime. (as opposed to keyboard input, data synching or fidgeting around)
Best judge’s query?
Since there’s the same movement to lift a spoon for a bowl of ice cream as there is a bowl of salad…
FitBit reminded it’s meant as a motivational tool for those concerned with personal fitness and health as opposed to tracking conduct and behavior, so the short answer is, I suppose there could be some fudge factor…but why bother to dupe yourself?
Here’s their FitBit official write-up at TechCrunch 50. Their website went live today and in ‘pre-order’ mode. (ETA early Jan.) so I guess it might make a nice holiday IOU to start the New Year, since January tends to be the ‘fitness resolution’ timeframe…I’ll get one for Shaping Youth and report back…
Related Resources/TechCrunch 50 Kids
(more on the whole ‘BlahGirls’ Ashton Kutcher bit tomorrow)