One of the biggest concerns with wearables is privacy. We’ve talked about that a lot before, most recently looking at how the wireless sharing of data on many fitness trackers can be a little lax in terms of security. Of course shoring up digital defences and adding encryption is one way to improve this, but another is to make the fitness trackers disposable, like Metria has done with its IH1 Lifestyle Assessment System.
If you noticed that the IH1 isn’t named like your average fitness tracker, that’s because it isn’t one. While it does keep track of your information, this isn’t a wearable fitness tracker, it’s a “lifestyle assessment” tool. How this differs from your usual wearable tracker, is that instead of giving you a day to day break down or data or a single workout, the idea with the Metria IH1 is to wear it for a week, then take it off and download all the data from it in one go, before throwing it away.
The data can only be stored on the device for up to a month, so even once you’ve thrown it away it won’t last for long. The internal batteries will only provide enough power to record data over the seven days and even then, only enough battery to store the information for 28 days.
Just like standard fitness trackers however, the IH1 will record your sleep patterns, steps taken, calories burned and a variety of other data points that give you an idea what your day to day life is like at the end of that week. This information can be viewed on a PC or tablet and is designed to help individuals make smart changes for themselves, as well as to show medical professionals what their patients’ day to day lives are like.
At the moment, you can’t buy a Metria IH1, as it’s still in talks with retailers around the world, but in the near future it will be made available internationally. No word yet on how much it will cost, but presumably it will be relatively cheap, in order to compete with the reuseable trackers out there.
The price, if not significantly lower than standard fitness trackers, will be a real problem. Likewise people might prefer to go for a tracker that lasts longer than a week, though statistics don’t suggest so.
Considering we know that many fitness trackers are only worn for a month or two after purchase before people become tired of them, Metria is tapping into a popular market with a disposable and presumably much cheaper alternative. If it can get it to market soon, it could be on to a winner.