Robin Raskin, founder of Living in Digital Times, a New York City-based conference and events company that focuses on lifestyle technology, and the organizer of Digital Health Summit, a digital health-and-wellness devices conference. She is the author of six books on parenting in the digital age and reviews hundreds of gadgets, Web sites and apps each year.
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Forget pedometers. Today’s wearable monitors are more accurate…record more information…and are much more fun to use. The latest gadgets measure functions like steps, distance, calories burned and even how long and well you sleep. The data is sent to an app and transformed into colorful graphs and charts that gauge your progress and goals.
Fitbit Flex. The Fitbit Flex is a water-resistant plastic wristband that stays on even if you’re exercising hard. Data is transferred wirelessly to a PC or Mac computer using a dongle or to an iPhone 4S, 5C or 5S and select Android smartphones via Bluetooth 4.0. The manufacturer has a history of improving design based on customer feedback, and the product is praised for its ease of use.
The cons: The battery requires charging every three to five days, and the wristband isn’t very stylish.
Misfit Shine. New to the market, the Shine has been engineered for elegance. The water-resistant aluminum monitor is about the size of a quarter and can be worn as a pendant, band or clasp. The Shine’s app works only with Apple devices, but what makes it unique is the method for transferring data to the app—simply place the device on top of the screen of your iPhone, iPod or iPad to sync wirelessly and effortlessly. The Shine is powered by a coin cell battery that lasts for four months.