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5 Ways Biometrics From One Device Can Change Your Life

Jul 18, 2017 | Biometrics

At the 2010 TED Talk where the term “Quantified Self” was coined, speaker Gary Wolf advocated for a new approach to big-data analytics. In short, people should use data not just for business and government, but for self-reflection and learning. He pointed to an arsenal of individual wearable devices that measure crucial biometrics including activity trackers, heart rate monitors and sleep sensors that could help people lead happier, healthier and more productive lives.

But in 2010 (and until now), technology had yet to catch up with Wolf’s vision. How could someone capture useful biometric data with a proliferation of devices, from chest straps to watches, each with their own applications, cables and charging stations?

That’s why we created SKIIN™, the world’s first smart underwear with technology woven directly into the fabric to help you track everything about yourself without thinking about it. Innovators strive for simplicity – it’s how they succeed in a complex world.

With that in mind, here are five popular wearable devices that we’ve rolled into one.

1. Heart Rate Monitor

The most commonly used HRM are chest straps like the Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor that users wear primarily during intense cardiovascular exercise. The device reads electrical signals making the heart constrict with data being received by the user through a separate device like a smartphone app or wristwatch. While a chest strap is ideal for tracking your heart during exercise because of its proximity to your chest, it’s not all that practical for tracking your heart throughout the day and night. SKIIN adds value by tracking the user’s heart rate 24/7 using medical grade ECG monitors in the underwear. This can potentially provide far more data than simply measuring athletic performance – for example, ECG has been used to help diagnose sleep apnea.

2. State-of-mind

In recent years, meditation has gone from the domain of Buddhist monks and New Age eccentrics to the mainstream of high-performers. Indeed Tim Ferriss cites meditation practice as the single most common activity practiced by the ultra-high performers on his podcast. Muse, a brain sensing headband, was designed to help would-be practitioners by translating brain signals into the sounds of wind.

But by ditching the headband for SKIIN, users will be able to bring their meditation practice to the next level through even more in depth bio-signals including breathing, heart rate and skin temperature. Combining these metrics with advanced machine learning algorithms, SKIIN can measure a user’s state-of-mind on a gradient from stressed to calm, suggest breathing exercises and evaluate effectiveness, to help users optimize their day and improve their well-being.

3. Activity Tracker

Most activity trackers like Fitbit are built into wrist watches with a three-axis accelerometer that measures movement. The most common applications for activity trackers is to count steps and calories. But the inaccuracy of these devices is well documented. A recent major study of seven best-selling activity trackers found that their measurement of calorie expenditure was off by a range of 20 to 93 per cent.

If Fitbit was designed to ensure that your parents are going for a daily walk, SKIIN is built for high-performance professionals who want accurate, actionable data in real-time. Combining a six-axis accelerometer and machine learning, SKIIN can track daily steps, distance travelled and calories burned as well identify the user’s activity type. It can even help improve posture in real-time.

4. Stress Tracker

The Garmin Vivosmart 3’s biggest new feature is stress tracking which ranks stress from 1-100 throughout the day through an HRM. But as we mentioned, the data quality from wristwatches is mixed at best with studies showing that they are no match for chest strap HRMs.

The good news is that SKIIN users can ditch this wristwatch due to the underwear’s built in breathing, ECG and skin temperature sensors that will provide a clearer window into an individual’s stress levels.

5. Sleep Monitor

One interesting sleep tracker is the Beddit 3, a narrow strip that fits under the user’s bed sheet. Beddit measures everything from sleep patterns to snoring to ambient noise. It’s a problem worth solving with sleep disorders becoming more and more common in part due to technology we use right before bed. But there are obvious practical problems with this device – is it travel-friendly for one?

Thankfully, SKIIN users can harness even more accurate data through the built in ECG and motion sensors. Perhaps most appealing is that it also means one fewer device to worry about charging each night before bed.

“If we want to act more effectively in the world, we have to get to know ourselves better” — Gary Wolf.

“If we want to act more effectively in the world, we have to get to know ourselves better,” said Wolf. Thankfully, we can do that now with just one device.

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