Where to next for Nike+ runners? Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac
Apple’s new Activity and Fitness apps for Apple Watch might signal the end of the company’s long partnership with Nike.
So what does this mean for the millions of us who were introduced to Nike+ by Apple in 2006 and have been logging our runs this way ever since? Are we about to get caught in a Kramer vs. Kramer-style tug of love?
The new Gymwatch wearable makes it easier to muscle up. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Hitting the gym with my girlfriend is an embarrassing affair. Not because she lifts almost as much as me, but because she’s so much better at it, with the all the right form and stuff.
“Move your knees farther apart. No, no, no. Push on the balls of your feet.”
It gets tedious as she makes sure I use the proper technique every single time, but her gripes and coaching are about to get replaced by a new wearable called Gymwatch. It tracks all your movements in the gym to make sure you’re getting the most out of your lifting workouts.
These smart socks will fix your heel-striking woes. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — Tons of wearables at International CES promise to help you get better at everything from brushing your teeth to perfecting your golf swing, but the last place we expected someone to toss a sensor was into our socks.
Sensoria’s Fitness Socks are aimed at transforming you into a better, injury-free runner by embedding three sensor pads into the bottom of the sock that track your stride, cadence and speed while you’re running. Coupled with the Sensoria mobile app, runners can now get direct feedback on their running style to correct things like heel striking to help them dominate their next 10k.
Going for great guns? Skulpt Aim measures and tracks your muscle mass and body fat. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
LAS VEGAS — If shedding some body fat is one of your New Year’s resolutions, you’re probably like me and looking for all the high-tech help you can get.
Activity trackers are great at logging exercise, but if you want to measure the actual progress your muscles are making, check out the Skulpt Aim — an iPod-size device that measures your body fat percentage.
The Skulpt Aim uses electroanalysis to not only determine how much excess fat you’re carrying around, but also your muscle quality. Just spritz a little water on the muscle you want to test, press the device firmly against your muscle, and within a few seconds, Aim spits out your score.
Jawbone’s new UP Coffee app can put your caffeine consumption into context. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Apple relies heavily on caffeine. A recent company job listing advertised a role for an iCup technician, with the important task of providing “a fresh brew coffee to all Apple employees within their department.”
Jony Ive’s design team is especially obsessed with the black stuff: For years they kept a $3,000-plus Italian Grimac espresso machine, despite the fact that it leaked all the time. For a while in the 1990s, the design team was even mockingly dubbed “Espresso” for their unabashed love of caffeine culture.
Apple’s not alone in its coffee snob behavior. The rise of coffee shops — with seemingly hundreds of variations on the old coffee standards — have infiltrated every city across the United States: Americans spend $18 billion per year on specialty coffee alone.
Pear Sports’ workout system pairs a heart rate monitor with comfortable earbuds and a mobile app. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
I’ve been a runner for a long time. I trained for (and ran) the 1994 Los Angeles Marathon. I’ve run 5K races, half marathons and relays for full marathons up here in Alaska, too. I find that running gives me the best bang for my buck: All I need is a pair of running shoes, some appropriate clothing (it gets cold up here), and some music to keep me getting out there.
Recently, though, I’ve been playing with a new bit of gear: the Pear Sports heart rate monitor, paired with a set of earbuds engineered to stay in your ears while working out, plus a pretty fantastic mobile app to make sense of the heart rate data.
The shoes are your own, the Boogio slides under the insole and attaches on the shoe rim. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Jose Torres, CEO of Boogio, wants you to track your fitness with the most obvious part of your body: your feet.
“We’ve got 60,000 layers of sensitivity in the Boogio,” he told Cult of Mac at last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, “so we can track gravitational force, inner balance, and three different acceleration forces of your feet.”
As the nation grows more obese yet car culture still rules, here’s the nudge of the hour: your car and your fitness app talking to each other, reminding you that you’re not moving enough.
Automatic’s smart driving assistant can turn your old hunk of junk into a smart car, but the company announced today that it’s teamed up with Jawbone to whip your belly rolls into shape by giving drivers more insight into how your physical activity and driving patterns are connected.
Wahoo’s first heart-rate sensor was of the pedestrian ANT+ variety, and connected to the iPhone through a 30-pin ANT+ dongle. Around a year later, the Atlanta-based outfit introduced the first heart-rate sensor that connected to a smartphone through Bluetooth; specifically and only to the iPhone 4s, since that was the only phone at the time with Bluetooth 4.0 under the hood.
Wahoo upped the ante again in January at CES, when they revealed a radical departure from traditional heart-rate based fitness tracking: Their new highly sophisticated, three-model TICKR sensor squad, combined with an all-new app that turns conventional fitness-tracking on its head. Now the first of the TICKR trio, the TICKR Run, is hitting the street.