What are fitness trackers?
Fitness trackers are very versatile multi purpose devices. They do every thing from keeping track of what you are doing like cardio, telling you how much fat you burned off. They may even warn you to get the heck out of the sun if you are exercising out too long.
How do fitness trackers work?
Inside your average fitness tracker you’ll find tons of components. Components like the accelerometer that allows the tracker to tell how many steps you’re taking. GPS to tell distances. Advanced fitness trackers have advanced motion sensors that are more accurate. They use positional data to determine exactly what exercise you are doing. This way it remembers which workout you’ve done and track your workouts automatically.
What about heart rate tracking?
This is important to some people that want their heart beating at a certain rate for conditioning or weight loss. Some fitness trackers use light to figure out how hard your heart is working. They shine light to your skin that is powerful enough to light up your capillaries which are the blood vessels close to the skin surface. The amount of blood flowing to the amount of light refracted determines the heart rate. Higher end fitness trackers also measure your skins electrical impedance which fluctuates on how fast your heart beats. The same tech is used in heart rate monitor on gym treadmills as well as fat percentage meter.
Additional sensors measure everything from perspiration levels to wrist movements in order to track sleep patterns. They also suggest on how you can improve your sleep habits so you have enough energy to go to the gym next day. Special ultra violet sensors that only track UV light so that the tracker doesn’t scream sun burn warning if you are siting in a bright room.
Room for improvement
The one key feature of many current fitness trackers still have some room for improvement is calorie tracking. Real calorimeters that give you a precise measurements of how many calories you have burned are expensive. Wearable trackers use user input data like age, weight, sex along with motion and temperature sensors to give out an estimate. Although these estimates give you a good idea of your actual calorie burn this should be taken with a grain of salt. Recent study suggested that fitness trackers under estimate how many calories you have burned.