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Cambridge Consulting shows off the next step in fit tech: Finding meaning in data

Amber Bouman | Jan. 10, 2014
According to the fit tech devices I'm wearing, I've walked 4,891 steps today. So... what now?

According to the fit tech devices I'm wearing, I've walked 4,891 steps today. So... what now?

Sure, I can see how many estimated calories I've burned, or the distance I've walked in miles, but none of my various smart pedometers can tell me how much body fat I've burned today, or if I'm walking in a way that's aggravating my plantar fasciitis, or remind me to get out of my chair if I've been sitting all day.

While there are dozens of fit tech devices clamoring to be the one to deliver dozens of metrics and numbers to your devices, few are offering up the added value of actionable items—and that's what Cambridge Consulting was showing off at CES: An idea that with a little bit of hardware and the right algorithm, a lot of value can be added to your fit tech metrics.

Cambridge Consulting was demoing this idea with the example of a basketball hoop: Two $20 web cams on the backboard track your shots, which then show up in an app that can display (using color coding) where you are most accurate from. The full system also includes sensors and a processing box.

The screen located next to the net in the booth also displayed the arc of the ball, and advice such as "Try shooting more left next time," or "A little too much power," in order to help me improve my shot. And it did actually help—by my third or fourth round I was coming significantly closer to sinking a basket.

And this is the next step we can expect to see as the fit tech and wearable markets expand their reach—it's not just about providing the data, it's also about helping users to understand what to do with it. Cambridge Consulting is one of many companies trying to bridge that divide, which might make for some very interesting developments over the next year.

 

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