Tag Archive | fitness trackers

‘Brain Wearables’ Are But Variations On ‘Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation’ (tDCS) Devices.

by Anura Guruge


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Thanks to the popularity and success of fitness trackers and smartwatches — my Garmin MARQ Expedition an example — ‘wearables’ are trendy.

But, from what I can see, there are ‘wearables’ and then there are other ‘wearables’.

I would hate to equate these so called ‘brain wearables’ with a smartwatch or fitness tracker. To I there is a fundamental differences. Brain wearables are trying, via technology and some form of direct electromagnetic stimulation, to modify your behavior. A fitness tracker or smartwatch ONLY tries to ‘interfere’ with your behavior via motivation and/or shame. BIG difference.

I am familiar with tDCS technology. I have talked about it in my ‘Central Pain’ book. tDCS can work. But, with wearables the manufacturers have to be ULTRA cautious. They don’t want folks accidently frying their brains! So, they have to severely constrain the power output they deliver. And that is the crunch. tDCS, TMS or ECT administered under supervision can — and will — use significantly more juice. That in my opinion is what will cripple brain wearables. They will not be able to deliver adequate ‘juice’ to really make a difference.

Click to ENLARGE and read here.


So keep this in mind as you are reading about and evaluating brain wearables.


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by Anura Guruge


 

First ‘Strava’, Now ‘Under Armour’ — I Suspect ALL Fitness Tracker Apps Are Vulnerable & Probably Already Compromised!

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Google ‘Under Armour’ for more.


So the ‘Under Armour‘ breach, impacting 150 million users (and you read that right) took place in mid-February 2018 and we heard about it now.

What makes you think that Garmin and Fitbit has NOT been compromised? They very well could be. They either have not found or have not got around to telling us.

I am kind of resigned that all my data online is open to compromise and that this is now a fact of life.

I don’t think I have that much ‘secret’ at either Garmin or Fitbit. Following Equifax and Anthem ‘they’ already have my date-of-birth etc. I am NOT that fussed about my e-mail. That is available on the Internet.

But, I am giving you a heads up.

Just assume that any and all Fitness Tracker APPs you use are UNSAFE.


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by Anura Guruge

Garmin Activity/Fitness Trackers — Issue With ‘Pool Swim’ vs ‘Open Water Swim’.

by Anura Guruge



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This issue as to the difference between ‘Pool Swim‘ vs. ‘Open Water Swim‘ comes up repeatedly in the context of Garmin activity/fitness trackers/watches such as the Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645.

The Vivoactive 3 and Forerunner 645, in particular, do NOT support ‘Open Water Swim’ though they do support ‘Pool Swim’.

This distinction and restriction drives folks nuts, so, I decided to get to the bottom of it.

It has all to do with GPS/Glonass support — or lack thereof IN WATER.

GPS does not work very well when the sensor is submerged in water. THAT IS THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE.

If you just want a GPS distance and track while you swim in open water you could try putting your watch into running mode and having it attached to a swim cap. That is supposed to work.

‘Pool Swim’, by definition, means that GPS is DISABLED. Pool swim data is measured using the ACCELEROMETER. Got that? No GPS … just accelerometer.


So, how do the more expensive watches like the Garmin Forerunner 935 and Fenix 5 support open water swimming? They use the GYROSCOPE.

With the gyroscope you only need occasional GPS fixes. The gyroscopes fills in the gaps between the GPS readings. The Vivoactive 3 does NOT have a gyroscope. Hence why open water swim is not available.

But, alas, a gyroscope alone is also NOT enough. For open water swim you ALSO need a powerful enough CPU to continually calculate the data. Got that?

Hence why open water swim is not supported on the Forerunner 645 though it has a gyroscope. The CPU in it is not as powerful as that in a FR935. Got that.


So, that is the deal.

To get open water swim support you need a gyroscope and a big enough CPU. Without that you only get pool swim which only uses the accelerometer.

You can TRY and use running or pool swim in open water — though the results will be mixed and most likely inaccurate.

So, that is the story. Now you know.


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by Anura Guruge 

This Is Why I Do NOT Share My Fitness Tracking Data Or Use Strava.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access CNN original. Google “fitness tracking” for more.


As soon as you start sharing your fitness data your privacy is shot.

While I am not that much of a private person, I prefer people not to know where I am — when I am out and about.

I don’t carry a ‘cell’ with me when I run. So, there is absolutely no way that my GPS data can get to the ‘cloud’ in real time.

But, I am going to checkout this ‘heatmap’. There can’t be too many fitness trackers out in the boonies where I live.


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by Anura Guruge

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