Hitachi's Life Microscope gives a closer look at your life data
By Rick Martin
August 4, 2010
Readers who follow developments in the growing field of bio-signal telemetry (perhaps we can call it "life data monitoring") will likely be familiar with the Fitbit, an activity monitor that collects and measures data about your daily movements. Hitachi's Life Microscope goes a few steps further, collecting even more data that can be used to analyze your life trends.
The company presented the device at the Hitachi uValue Convention at Tokyo International Forum on July 22 and 23, but little information has been released as to when or how it will be made available to the public. But we do know that the Life Microscope will measure and record an assortment of data, including motion across three dimensions like the Fitbit, but also your pulse and temperature as well.
The wearable sensor is much like a wrist watch in appearance, and collects information around the clock, 24 hours a day, continuously for up to 10 days. Measuring 1.7 × 1.4 × 0.6 inches (43 × 35 × 15 mm) and weighing in at 1.4 ounces (40 g), the Life Microscope is small and lightweight enough to be worn comfortably all day.
The device connects wirelessly to your computer where you can view graphic data charts which show notable changes in your daily activities in different colors. In this manner, you can clearly visualize potential issues that you might have overlooked, and then take appropriate steps to improve your lifestyle.
In contrast to the Fitbit, which – if the name is any indication – targets fitness buffs, Hitachi's past information about the Life Microscope seems to indicate that it sees seniors citizens as a key demographic. This of course is understandable given Japan's famously aging population and the rising demand for products that assist with elderly care.
Given the recent news about Japan's problems tracking the elderly, one wonders if devices like this one might possibly serve as part of a solution.