So many fitness trackers — and so few of them that can do more than one thing. The Atlas Fitness Tracker promises to track everything. This wrist-mounted device features an active display, a heart rate monitor, x, y, and z axis tracking and advanced software. It knows what exercise you're doing, and can also give you feedback on whether you're cheating or using proper form. It's waterproof, so it can also track swimming exercises, and knows the difference between breaststroke, freestyle, and everything else. In addition, it can actually learn new exercises, so whether you're training at your local gym of lifting boulders and swinging swords in the wilderness, it can adapt. Try that with your average clip-on sensor.
No, it's not an eyeball-mounted version of Glass. Instead, the Google Smart Contact Lens aims to help those with diabetes manage their disease by using a tiny wireless chip and sensor that are embedded in the contact and constantly measure the glucose levels in the wearer's tears. Obviously they're still in the testing phase — they're even considering integrating tiny LED lights to indicate when levels spike or fall below certain thresholds — but for those suffering with diabetes, it can't hit the market fast enough.
What do the machines have over your own hands? The ability to vibrate on demand. Fix that problem with Hello Touch ($65). Powered by a (relatively) slim wristband, these powerful fingertip vibrators are like a Power Glove for the bedroom. Just make sure your partner is cool with it first — because no one likes an uninvited cyborg in the sack.
If you still haven't picked up a Nike+ Fuelband or Jawbone Up, you ought to add the Fitbit Flex ($100) to your list of fitness trackers to check out. Like the others, the Flex is designed to be worn on your wrist, and tracks your steps, distance traveled, calories burned, active minutes, and quality of sleep, all of which it syncs to your iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth 4.0. It can even vibrate to wake you up gently. Arriving this Spring in a variety of stylish colors.
Not feeling the watch-based movement and health trackers? Check out the Withings Smart Activity Tracker ($TBA). Able to slim into a pocket or into the included belt clip or arm band, it tracks heart rate, steps taken, strides run, distances covered, calories burned, and quality of sleep, all in a tiny 8 gram form factor. Other features include an OLED touchscreen display, a rear-mounted heart rate sensor, a two-week battery life, micro USB port for charging, and Bluetooth 4.0 for low-power wireless syncing to the Withings Health Mate App. Arriving Q1 2013.
You won't be using it to train for the World's Strongest Man competition, but if all you're looking for is enough weight to keep tone while you're sitting at your desk, the Alias Barbell ($150-$200) is all you need. Available in 1kg (2.2lbs) or 2kg (4.4lbs) varieties, these sleek fitness implements are made from chromed casting brass, and feature thermoplastic rubber on the ends to keep your desk — and the weight — from getting scratched up. Designed by the one and only Philippe Starck.
Why should you have to wear your activity tracker on your wrist? The Misfit Shine ($80) is a quarter-sized sensor that hooks up to your iPhone, iPad, or Android device via magic. Or actually, some sort of new sync paradigm where all you need to do is set it on your device. It's also crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum and sports a built-in clip, which makes you wonder if it isn't a secret Apple skunkworks project gone rogue.
Everything else in your house seems to connect to your smartphone, so why not your scale? The Withings WS-30 Wireless Scale ($130) sports built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to let you keep track of your weight and BMI via the company's own app or one of the 60 other apps that support it. After each weigh-in, it automatically uploads and syncs your weight data, but that's not its only trick — it also automatically calibrates itself while you're away, helps keep you in the same position for accurate measurements, and gets to know your weight, so it knows if it's you on the scale or your roommate/spouse/overly curious dog.
Everyone knows that climbing is a great workout — but installing a climbing wall in your house isn't exactly a viable idea. Enter the Treadwall ($TBA). This innovative machine offers a 4 foot-wide climbing area and acts just like a treadmill, only for climbing instead of running. If a vertical climb sounds too dull for you, pony up for the Pro model and tackle inclines/declines of +5 to -20 degrees — or as we like to call it, Spidey-training.
Keep track of your activity day and night with the Fitbit Zip & One ($60-$100). The colorful Zip tracks your steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned, and lets you simply tap to get your stats, while the One also tracks stairs climbed and monitors how long and how well you sleep, and can quietly wake you up in the morning by gently vibrating on your wrist. As a bonus, both sensors sync to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth 4.0, making battery life worries a thing of the past.
For some folks, it's fun to be able to see inside their electronics to the silicon guts that make things work. The new Nike+ FuelBand Ice ($150) does just that for the Swoosh's fitness wristband, offering up a frosted translucent surface that lets you look upon the three-axis accelerometer that tracks your time, your daily steps, calories expended, and NikeFuel, the integrated LEDs, and maybe even the Bluetooth chip — although to be honest, those really aren't that exciting. A limited edition, it will be available later this month.
Using a Fitbit to get in shape? Then odds are you're also watching your weight — so why not combine the two with the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale ($130)? This high-tech bathroom floor-dweller tracks your weight, BMI, and body fat percentage, automatically uploads your stats to Fitbit.com, where they'll enhance the data from your Tracker, and automatically recognizes up to eight users so it won't be getting you confused with other members of your household.