Human bags of flesh have always feared a robotic overlord – knowing machines are stronger and more efficient. So we’ve decided to find the best bits from our mechanised competitors to create the ultimate human-machine-hybrid. Zip up, strap on and pop in these sensors to enhance yourself with the world’s best biofeedback.
Basis HR watch
Imagine Terminator-style vision that displayed your body’s efficiency. Minus the murderous red eyes and heads-up display – that’s exactly what the lightweight, customisable Basis HR watch does. Using galvanic skin sensors this wrist hugger can measure your heart rate without those uncomfortable chest straps. Accelerometers measure movement and step count – even tracking your sleep patterns. And it’s all analysed with a constantly updated algorithm that can set you personalised goals. In the future you can expect synching with all your calorie counting apps to offer an even more informed training guide. And, unlike the Terminator, you can say no to this machine whenever you’re feeling lazy.
Nike Lunar TR1+
Nike’s TR1+ trainers take a hop, skip and a lunge towards augmenting your exercise. It’s all thanks to the pressure and motion sensors built into the soles. When connected wirelessly to your iPhone or iPod Touch, sports stars such as Manny Pacquiao and Rafa Nadal deliver workout instructions to your headphones, while the trainers determine how your weight is balanced – it won’t count a squat, for example, if you’re not doing it right. Nike+ sensors also monitor your running, providing a healthy dose of inspiring online competition for when your puny willpower isn’t enough.
More after the break...
US$20 (£13), viginia.edu
An upbeat song is called that because it quite literally ups the beat of your heart. Researchers at Virginia University, using this knowledge, have developed the Musical Heart app. It works with a pair of heart rate monitoring headphones that use microphones to detect your inner ear pulse. These inform the app how you’re exercising which then chooses music based on your goals. In the future, if the designer decides to market the app, you could even set a mood – like relaxing – and have the app get you there using biofeedback and music.
Under Armor E39
Using The Bug, a central chest piece that makes us think of Iron Man, the Under Armour E39 can measure heart rate, breathing rate, skin temperature, and even G-force thanks to accelerometers. And all that data is stored in the chest piece while simultaneously being streamed to a computer – and the judgemental eyes of a coach. Seeing the numbers has even sparked competition among athletes for who can pull the highest G-force. But with no plans for a consumer release you’ll just have to wait for Kickstarter for your chance to see how many Gs you can pull on foot.
Finis Hydro Tracker GPS
U$130 (£80), finisinc.com
Swimming is a tough sport to track, especially in open water. Strapping a GPS to your head seems like the obvious solution. That exactly what the Finis Hydro Tracker GPS does, which is great for open water swimmers, sailors, kayakers, and even runners or cyclist using the armband – but not so good for those training indoors. But then there’s always the Garmin lap counting swim watch for that.
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