I think the next few years will see a massive increase in the consumer use of technology to monitor ourselves and maintain health and wellness. We are seeing the first products come to market now, and despite their clunkiness they are getting good use from early adopters.
I’ve been using a service called Dailyburn to keep track of my calorie intake for two years now and I find it a more reliable guide to whether I need food than whether I’m hungry. I like it, but calorie counting is too much effort for most people and as with most new product areas the break through will only come when the effort level required to get value and the price level get low enough – both compared with the value you get out.
Calorie counting services are free, but they haven’t taken off because manual entry of foods is too much hassle for most people given that they roughly know what they are eating anyway, but the proposed service from Belgian/US startup Scanadu has a proposition which offers much more value – quick diagnosis of your children’s health (and ultimately your own) using smartphone connected sensors.
Check out the video below for a glimpse of the future. It is also a great example of an inspirational product introduction.
Other products in the market which offer body monitoring include:
- The Jawbone Up – track your physical activity
- The Fitbit – track your physical activity
- Zeo – track your sleep
- Various blood glucose monitors (not just for diabetics)
- Body Media Fit – multiple sensors to track calorie burn
- Runkeeper and other smart phone apps which use GPS to track runs, bike rides and other exercise
We will see a lot more services like this over the coming years.