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Omron software scales track weight management

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January 20, 2004

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UPDATED March 2005 Omron has created an ingenious set of bathroom scales which combines a built-in, clip-out, pedometer and a software package to enable the monitoring of exercise and overall bodily health.The clever bit which enables connectivity to the PC is the pedometer which clips out of the scales so you an carry it with you to monitor the steps you take, then transfer the data to a PC via a USB connection on the pedometer. The scales also use bioelectrical impedance to calculate body fat percentage and this can then be tracked over time to see the results of your efforts - far better than measuring just weight.

Omron has created an ingenious set of bathroom scales which combines a built-in, clip-out, pedometer and a software package to enable the monitoring of exercise and overall bodily health.

The clever bit which enables connectivity to the PC is the pedometer which clips out of the scales so you an carry it with you to monitor the steps you take, then transfer the data to a PC via a USB connection on the pedometer. The scales also use bioelectrical impedance to calculate body fat percentage and this can then be tracked over time to see the results of your efforts - far better than measuring just weight. The software uses data from the scales on weight and fat levels and from the pedometer on work output to offer an wholistic weight management program, which can track your progress.

Earlier this year Gizmo also looked at the Polar Weight Management Watch which addresses the weight management issue (increasing work output and decreasing calorie input in a balanced manner) from the other direction.

Polar is the dominant player in the wearable heart monitoring industry with a range of watches which capture and log heart rate via a wrist receiver and a transmitter belt. The Polar Electro logs and tracks your exercise routine via pc software and supports positive change via ongoing access to an interactive website. The only solution for permanently successful weight management is to take in less energy than you expend and Polar Electro's new personalised guidance system was an industry first with its wholistic system for tracking daily calorie intake (energy in) and physical activity (energy out), then finding and maintaining the right balance over time to achieve weight targets.

Combining all this with a software program and a support mechanism at the web site enables an individual program to be created from the user's personal information and it guides the user with information on how much energy to expend through exercise and how many calories to consume in order to achieve their weight goals. The Polar program helps to plan gradual weight loss by recommending a target weight and program duration and the Omron program does likewise, though it's only in Japanese at this stage and it only measures "steps". The Polar system measures heartbeats, and the accumulated data and overall body system is a far superior system - at this stage.

The logical next generation features for a system such as this could possibly involve a combination of the two systems, which automatically logs weight, body fat and heart rate perhaps with wi-fi for the scales and Bluetooth connectivity for the watch.

Then you could add in a GPS unit like the GP Sports.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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