Why Dole Put A Fitness Tracker On A Banana

Image from Dole's Wearable Banana website.

Image from Dole’s Wearable Banana website.

The Tokyo Marathon this year seemed to be more about introducing novel fitness technology than about the running itself. The race was filled with the wackiest fitness tech, like robots that feed you tomatoes while you run and bananas that double as fitness trackers.

Dole, the infamous banana producer, created a banana that can replace your fitness tracker. The company dubbed their latest invention the Wearable Banana, “the world’s first edible wearable.”

According to the Wearable Banana website, the fruit can track runners’ heart rate and lap time as well as display encouraging social media messages on the peel. And if that wasn’t enough, you can eat it, too, like any ordinary banana. However, you do have to wait until after the race to indulge in the tasty tracker.

So why did Dole invest in fruit technology? Well, they sponsored the 2015 Tokyo marathon and gave away some ordinary bananas for free. I think it was more of a PR stunt than anything else, but who knows, maybe fitness-tracking bananas are the health accessory that we never knew we wanted.

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Ringly Is The Prettiest Wearable Yet

Ringly puts the power of technology on your hand.

Ringly wraps the power of technology around your finger.

As their website touts, Ringly allows you to “stay connected in style.”  The chic ring vibrates when you receive important notifications, so you can keep focused on what’s important instead of constantly checking your phone.

RinglyApp-Notifications

Using Ringly’s app, you can choose which calls, texts, emails, apps, and alarms you want to be alerted about. You can also change the settings as necessary, so you aren’t disturbed by work on a Saturday night or are sure to be notified when your doctor calls when you’re out on the town.

The ring also has different colors and vibration patterns, so you can differentiate a meeting reminder from a phone call.

Ringly comes in four colors and are available in ring sizes 6, 7, and 8. You can pre-order from Ringly’s website with orders shipping this Spring.

I couldn’t find any major reviews of Ringly, so I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see if the product lives up to the hype.

Would you use Ringly? What do you like? What is it missing? Let us know in the comments below!


Want to stay up-to-date with latest health/tech trends? Follow us to get emails when new posts get published, then follow Crunch Theory on Facebook and Twitter.

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Moov Is a Personal Trainer Disguised As A Wearable

Mood used as a cardio boxing coach.

Moov monitors your fitness and suggests how to improve.

It’s another #WearablesWednesday from Crunch Theory. Today I’m talking about Moov, the fitness tracker extraordinaire that puts other exercise wearables to shame.

Moov is a wearable that brands itself as a personal fitness trainer. The wearable, which is beautifully designed, can be worn around the wrist, ankle, or placed on shoes depending on your activity.

Moov is waterproof and can be used while swimming.

Moov is can be used while swimming.

Moov not only monitors your activity through common exercises like running, cardio boxing, and swimming, but it also offers suggestions to improve your fitness level and technique. For example, it can correct a golf swing or a running stride for optimal performance.

The fitness tracker was crowd funded over a year ago but is back in the headlines this week for adding a seven-minute workout feature. Like its other exercise apps, the seven-minute workout adjusts to what you can do, and then provides opportunities for you to level up as you increase your skill.

In honor of the new release, Moov is currently discounted on their website and on Amazon.

Most of the reviews on Amazon praise the wearable; one user even calls it “life changing.” With 4.5 stars, it outshines its direct competitors like the Fitbit Charge or Misfit Shine. Although one major drawback is that it does not feature sleep tracking.

 What do you think of Moov? Share in the comments below!

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Want to stay up-to-date with latest health/tech trends? Follow us to get emails when new posts get published, then follow Crunch Theory on Facebook and Twitter.

Magic May Be The Closest Thing We Have To A Genie

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Magic is a new text message-based service that can procure whatever your heart desires – from a pizza to a tiger. As long as you’re willing to pay and what you want is legal, Magic will do everything within its power to run your errands, book you a flight, get some food delivered straight to your door, or help you with whatever else you can think of.

Don’t believe me? Just try it. Text “Magic” to 408-2171721 with your request. Your wish will be answered by a human, not a robot, who will let you know what they can do to help fulfill your desire. They’ll also be sure to clarify the final total with you before you purchase in case you change your mind.

Although Magic is based out of Silicon Valley, the service is available anywhere in the U.S. Magic was created by Plus Labs, a Y Combinator startup.

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Battle of the Grocery Delivery Services: Google Express v. Amazon Fresh

Google Shopping Express icon.

Google Shopping Express icon.

As a regular grocery delivery service user, I can attest to the merits of both Google Shopping Express and Amazon Fresh. They save you oh so valuable time, and they saved me money by not purchasing unnecessary extras in grocery stores. Below I discuss the features of each service and give my personal preference.

Convenience
It’s a tie for me. Both services leave your groceries directly at your doorstep, even if you’re not home. With Amazon Fresh you can also choose an exact time for the groceries to be brought straight to your kitchen.

Quality and variety of food
This depends on what you’re looking for. Google Express sources food from stores in your area but doesn’t deliver perishables like fresh fruits or meats, so you’ll still need to run out and get those each week. If a store is out of a particular item you ordered, you can opt for a replacement by either brand or variety.
Unlike Google, Amazon delivers fresh fruit and meats. The quality of the fresh food was good, but I can pick out better from my local produce grocer. Amazon Fresh also sources some food from local-only stores, which increases the diversity of its selection and helps local businesses.

Customer service
Google Express has excellent customer service. The one time my order was delivered to the wrong address, they immediately offered to either refund the whole order or to redeliver the next day.
Fortunately I haven’t had to deal with customer service for Amazon Fresh, so I can’t speak to their quality. However, if it’s anything like their website’s, I bet it is comparable to Google’s.

Pricing
Amazon Fresh is steep at $299/year, but that price includes an Amazon Prime membership. The minimum order for free delivery is $35. Under that, you’re charged a $4.50 fee. Amazon also has an option to tip your delivery person. There is a one month free trial.
Google Express has two different payment options – $10/month or $95/year. Delivery is free on orders over $15; $3 free for orders under that. They discourage tipping, and they offer an unprecedented three month free trial.

Sustainability
Amazon Fresh packages their products with reusable bags, while Google Express uses paper and plastic. Google used to individually package certain items, but now groups them, helping to reduce waste.

Bonus features
Amazon Fresh has recipes listed on their site, so its incredibly easy to just find what you want to make and buy the ingredients all in one place. Plus, you can order other items like electronics to be delivered same day as well.

Personal preference
My delivery service of choice is Google Express. I love its customer service and price point. It’s perfect for my lifestyle of pre-planning meals and snacks but also loving to pick out my own fruit and meats from farmer’s markets and local grocers.
But that’s not to say it’s for everyone. Amazon Fresh has a lot of benefits, and if you’re already paying for Prime and want to get into easy recipe planning it could be a great option for you. Fresh is also the way to go for anyone who never wants to run to the grocery store again.

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Tangram Is Bringing the Jump Rope Into The 21st Century

photo_01

Image courtesy of Tangram Factory.

Smart Rope is much more than just a jump rope. It is a high-tech fitness device that displays your workout quality before your eyes, suggests workouts based on your previous activity, and counts calories burned based on your BMI.

The rope, which was created by design-inspired company Tangram Factory in Seoul, South Korea, is part of an initiative to bring data into your workout. The goal of the rope is to use data to inspire and fuel your fitness routine rather than just passively measure your activity.

Smart Rope is the first fitness technology from Tangram Factory, which hopes to expand it’s Smart Gym line with other data-displaying workout gear.

The jump rope goes live on Kickstarter on February 25, but you can learn more from on Smart Rope’s website.

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GeeksMe is the Wearable That Tracks Your Sex Life

Image courtesy of GeeksMe.

Image courtesy of GeeksMe.

Spanish company Geeksphone is breaking into the wearable tech market with GeeksMe, a band that can track your sexual performance.

GeeksMe comes with all the standard wearable features, including fitness monitoring, sleep tracking, and alerting you of incoming notifications, but that’s where it similarities with other trackers in the market comes to an end. The goal of GeeksMe is to make you a healthier, more productive human being, which is why Geeksphone included features to track your sexual performance and ecological footprint.

According to Google translate’s version of their Spanish-language website, GeeksMe believes that love is health and wants you to maximize your lovemaking potential by “knowing your performance” and “tracking your progress.” By “performance,” it is unclear to me if this is just for men, or if takes into account women’s needs to.  The website makes it seem that this feature is optional and private.

GeeksMe is also introducing another novel component, ecological footprint tracking. From what I was able to gather, it appears if the wearable will offer tips for how to reduce your footprint.

There is currently no set release date for the wearable. To learn more, I recommend checking out their website on Google Chrome, so you can see the translated version if you don’t know Spanish.

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Two Projects Joining the Competition to Win Your Face

Hope you’re having a lovely #WearablesWednesday! There’s been a lot of talk about wearables for you face, like hype building around Microsoft’s HoloLens and the recent announcement of Sony’s entry into the eyewear market. This week, we’re looking at two projects still in development that are joining the competition to be the wearables for you eyes.

JinsMEME

  1. JINS Meme are glasses that focus on overall wellness instead of serving as a general media device. The frames track your eye movement and can relay when you’re happy to see someone, tired, or burning calories, according to their website. They also come in three different types: a full rim for hipsters; a half rim for the smarty pants; and giant sunglasses for people who want to spend money on a wearable they can’t use indoors. As of now, JINS Meme is still in the development phase, and they aren’t taking preorders. If you’d prefer to wear a set of glasses than a watch to track your fitness, then you might want to keep an eye out for these.
Image courtesy of EPFL press release.

Image courtesy of EPFL press release.

  1. A new glasses-contact combination, conventionally named Telescopic Contact Lens and Wink Controlled Glasses, allows you to zoom in almost 3x normal vision while you’re wearing the device. The zooming mechanism is controlled by a wink that the accompanying glasses register. The goal of the prototype is to help those with normal, aging vision be able to see things clearly that are further away.  It is currently being designed by researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.

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Neptune is Creating the Future of Mobile, and It Doesn’t Include a Phone

Hub - Apps

Neptune wants to revolutionize mobile technology with a wearable and a screen.

If you want to communicate with someone, chances are you reach for your phone. But a new startup called Neptune created by 20-year-old Simon Tian is changing that with its first product, Neptune Duo.

Neptune Duo combines a very, very smart wearable and a screen that just looks like a phone when not in use.

The hub, above, and pocket screen, below.

The Neptune Hub, above, and Pocket screen, below.

Unlike our current era of technology, the wearable, titled Neptune Hub, serves as the foundation for your mobile life. Enabled with 3G/4G, Wifi, GPS, Bluetooth, and NFC, Hub is set to rival most traditional mobile phones, but can take it one step further by also serving as a fitness monitoring device.  It even runs Android Lollipop, which is not enabled on all smartphones yet.

The screen, appropriately named Pocket, acts more like a traditional phone, but does not have smart capabilities built into it. That way, if you lose your Pocket or forget it at home, you don’t lose any data and can borrow someone else’s without a second thought. Pocket also doubles as charger if your Hub is running low.

Sounds too good to be true? Perhaps. Neptune just launched today, so we’ll have to wait and see what the experts have to say once they can get their hands – erm, I mean wrists – on the product.

Neptune Duo is expected to hit the market later this year, but if you’re convinced that this is the greatest thing to happen to the mobile market since the iPhone, you can pre-order yours today on their website. You can reserve one for free and be charged $798 when it ships, or you can pledge a certain amount of money now and get yours at a discount when it is officially released.

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Button May Define the Future of Health Apps

Image cout

Image courtesy of Button.

Just imagine. You log the donut you ate for breakfast in MyFitnessPal, and, based on your calorie-heavy breakfast, Moves lets you know to increase your usual pace on your lunchtime walk. Then, when you pass Footlocker, a notification pops up saying that the sensors in your shoes read that you’ve been putting too much pressure on your feet, and you should consider buying an insert. At the end of the day, all of the information about your activity  is already logged in your Misfit app, so you can rest easy.

Sounds great doesn’t it? Well, it may not be too far off from reality thanks to a new app experience called Button. Button deep links apps, essentially letting the apps on your phone share important information with each other, to provide you with a better user experience.

When apps get smarter by using already gathered data, it helps your phone provide a more complete picture of your wellness state. Eventually, the connections may allow your phone to suggest health tips, improving your lifestyle.

Button is currently focused on delivery and ride share services with partners such as Drizly, Resy, Uber, and Glamsquad. But it does not seem like that much of a stretch for the partnerships to soon expand into health applications.

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