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Breezing device tracks your metabolism and acts as a fitness coach

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February 4, 2013

Breezing is a portable device that analyzes its user's metabolism, then advises them on ex...

Breezing is a portable device that analyzes its user's metabolism, then advises them on exercise and diet requirements needed to meet their fitness goals

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There are already plenty of devices that allow people to measure factors such as their caloric intake and physical activity levels. While such data can be a vital part of achieving your fitness goals, its usefulness is limited without an understanding of your specific metabolism – if you don’t know how fast you burn calories, for instance, then you won’t know how many you should be consuming and/or burning. That’s why researchers at Arizona State University developed the Breezing portable metabolism tracker.

Traditionally, metabolic activity has been measured using something known as an indirect calorimeter. Although makes and models vary, these are often VCR-sized devices that are wheeled around on a cart, and hooked up to the patient’s mouth (or sometimes to a full-head hood) via a hose.

By contrast, the lithium-ion battery-powered Breezing can easily be held in one hand, and utilizes a small mouthpiece. As with other indirect calorimeters, it analyzes the carbon dioxide and oxygen content in a person’s exhalations, to determine the amount of heat that their body produces.

That data is sent by Bluetooth to a paired Android or iOS mobile device, where it’s processed by a dedicated app. Along with figuring out how many calories the person burns per day simply maintaining vital functions (known as their resting energy expenditure), that app will also keep track of how that amount changes over time, while also determining whether the person’s body is burning carbohydrates, fats, or both. Users additionally supply the app with other data, such as their weight.

Along with figuring out how many calories the person burns per day simply maintaining vita...

Once everything is analyzed, the app will use the information to design exercise or diet programs tailored specifically to the user, and their stated fitness goals. Down the road, it is hoped that the device will also be able to help patients manage chronic diseases.

The Breezing company, an Arizona State spin-off, is now raising production funds for the product on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$250 will get you one, when and if they’re ready to go – the company hopes to begin shipping by May. More information is available in the video below.

While the university is promoting Breezing as being the world’s first portable indirect calorimeter, there does appear to be at least one other such device in existence.

[Editor note: This article has been amended to state that indirect calorimeters measure oxygen, as well as carbon dioxide]

Sources: Arizona State University, Breezing

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
5 Comments

Sounds like a terrific idea. if it does what it claims to, I'm in

Terry Penrose
4th February, 2013 @ 05:13 pm PST

The "other" device mentioned cost $2,000 (US) for the unlimited use kit. The other options are to lease or the same device limited to 40 measures. Bring on the $250 model!!

Phileaux
4th February, 2013 @ 06:30 pm PST

I was all interested till I read that this requires sensor cartridges.

Unfortunately nothing about them is mentioned here and the Kickstarter pages is also rather vague about it.

Kris Lee
5th February, 2013 @ 02:05 pm PST

Good catch KL!!

Breezing,

How many uses do you get out of a sensor cartridge? If the lifespan hasn't been accurately determined give a ballpark (1-10, 1-50, 50-100, etc.). How much will the replacement cartridge cost, once again a general estimate will suffice.

Phileaux
6th February, 2013 @ 08:41 am PST

Phileaux:

Cartridges are single use, due to strategy of detection using chemistry.

Each cartridge (sealed, until used) contains a chemically sensitive oxygen- and carbon dioxide- media, which when exposed to air, changes the media dramatically and completely (irreversible reaction).

Each cartridge is $3-5 (continuing to improve and cheapen) and readings are typically 1/wk when needing uptodate info, and 1x/month for regular monitoring of metabolism.

Kris Lee:

Thank you for the feedback -- since handheld, metabolic feedback is not the norm (whereas Glucose metering is more so), we naively considered sensor strips as granted. Therefore, we should make this more clear.

Jackemeyer
23rd February, 2013 @ 03:03 pm PST
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