Tag Archives: technology

Amazon Fresh’s Grocery Delivery Needs Some Work

Amazon has come a long way over the years and has certainly changed the way consumers shop. And with their recent launch of Amazon Fresh, they are slowly attempting to tackle the online grocery shopping industry as well.

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For the past five years the service has been available only in Seattle, where Amazon  launched the pilot grocery project and tried to work out the kinks. To be fair, this is one of the longest-running tests in tech history. But based on recent reviews about its newest expansions to Los Angeles and San Francisco, it sounds like maybe they should have kept trouble-shooting for a little bit longer.

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Google Glass Lets You Run From Zombies with ‘Race Yourself’ Fitness App

For all you early adopters of wearable tech, or even those of you observing from the sidelines for now, startup ‘Race Yourself’ wants to bring a new layer to your daily exercise routine: augmented reality.

Their app is launching Spring 2014 and is specifically made for Google Glass. You can pre-order a bundle of 10 exercise games for $9.95 on their website, as well as two accessories to enhance your workout experience.

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The first is a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, which connects wirelessly to Google Glass. It sells for $39.95 and includes the same 10 exercise games. Since many of the games and activities include heart rate zones, it’d be a worthy investment to help you get the most out of your work out.

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7 Health and Fitness Newsletters that aren’t Spam!

If you’re like most people, you receive dozens of emails each day that you never actually read before deleting. These are the messages you know are junk, yet somehow you keep resisting the urge to actually mark as spam. Maybe you actually took the time to subscribe to a certain email list, maybe you were added after making a purchase or signing up for a service. No matter why you get these messages, the beginning of the year is a good time for clearing out the clutter and your inbox is a great place to start.

Easier said than done, right? Wrong. Our own Brandi Koskie recently used unroll.me to see what subscriptions were lurking in her inbox and found 99 different email newsletters! She unsubscribed from about 65 of them.

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Margo Donohue, aka Brooklyn Fit Chick, also sees a lot of surplus emails flow into her inbox. “On average I read and answer about 250 emails per day,” says Margo. “These are from people I need to deal with on top of the regular newsletters. I don’t always have the time to read even the newsletters I’m  interested in, but the ones I do read usually have snappy headlines linked to a few articles.” (Note to publishers: Keep it quick and simple!)

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The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need for 2013

2014 Fitness Tracker Review Guide Available Now!

Within the last few years, the market for wearable computers has exploded. Today, we’re looking at five such devices that help you monitor your physical activity, stay in shape, keep track of your sleeping patterns, and go everywhere you go. You see, the best innovations are those that are exceedingly simple to use and assume a natural place in your life.

I looked at the latest and greatest fitness gadgets for this post: the Fitbit Force, the BodyBugg LINK, the Jawbone UP, the Nike FuelBand SE, and the Ssmart Dynamo. By and large, they do many of the same things, so how do you decide which one is right for you? Here are ten key features about each to help you decide which fits your lifestyle.

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A few key takeaways from the data I gathered.

The Nike FuelBand SE has the longest battery life. If you’re on the go more than you’re at home, this is something to consider. With the FuelBand, you can expect 12 days between charges.

If you already use a smartphone app to track your fitness or food intake, you’ll want one that plays nicely with your favorite app. The Fitbit Force, BodyBugg LINK, and Jawbone UP are the three models to look at for this.

All models have a pedometer function to track your steps throughout the day. And all models, except the FuelBand, include sleep monitoring and calorie tracking. (more…)

Feel the Burn on Skype: Video Chatting is Transforming Weight Loss

In 2003, a handful of young software developers from tiny Estonia wrote the code for a voice-over IP program and called it Skype. Derived from the words “sky” and “peer,” Skype was a video chatting and instant messaging application that allowed grad students studying abroad to chat with their significant others back home. OK, that wasn’t the only thing it was used for, but more than 10 years and $8.5 billion later—thanks Microsoft!—the uses of Skype have outgrown simple peer-to-peer communication.

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The live and instant nature of Skype holds the senders and receivers of information accountable, making the program perfect for dietitians and personal trainers. Citing affordability and optimum time management, both our resident nutrition expert Mary Hartley RD, and the wellness team at Retrofit, among many others in their shared industry use Skype to counsel patients on diet and fitness.

“I could base an entire practice around Skype,” said Mary, who meets with clients in real life and over video chat. Living in New York City, Skype saves her and her patients gas money, traffic time, and office expenses. “Their (patients) appointments are booked on their Gmail calendars, they pay via PayPal before their appointment, and then we’re on,” said Mary. (more…)

Digital Weight Loss Consultations on Expertory Virtually Eliminate All Excuses for Skipping Meetings

A lot of us these days are extremely busy. It seems as though we barely have time to do the important things in life, like taking care of our health (or those long naps on a comfy couch, who am I kidding?!). It is increasingly difficult to be able to budget our precious time to make it out somewhere to achieve our health goals. Being that we are so connected to those crazy interwebs these days, I figured I would try to take care of my wellness through an online format. Enter: Expertory.

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Expertory is a website dedicated to educating on YOUR terms, not the schedule of someone else you have to work around. I had no excuse like “Oh, I can’t make it at this time because of this, or this time because of that.” Your workouts or counseling sessions are achieved through video chats that you schedule with their enormous panel of experts, which range from fitness and nutrition experts to people who can teach you to speak Mandarin!

Being several years off of the Biggest Loser, I have a stubborn 20 pounds I wish to lose which have crept back on me (much better than the 213 pounds I had to lose originally!). I am pretty happy where I am now, as I am fit and healthy beyond my wildest dreams, but just want to tone up a bit more. Since I work out like a fiend, I know it is my diet that needs cleaning up, which is why I decided to book a session with Amy Goldsmith, a nutritionist, whose session was titled “Boosting Your Metabolism.” (more…)

Help Fund BluFit, the Smarter Water Bottle That Keeps You Hydrated

A new start-up is attempting to see that we’re all hydrated properly and have some fun in the process. The bottle is far from the ordinary, as it is equipped with a Bluetooth LE chip that takes readings from the water flow sensor inside. All of these functions sync with the accompanying app, which allows users to enter their weight, gender, and age for customized hydration goals. A sensor on the bottle can even detect temperature and humidity to adjust and give you an accurate hydration-needs assessment.

BluFit Water Bottles are trying to drown one of our country’s biggest health woes, which is coincidentally one of our most under-publicized health issues – hydration. Many people subsist on soda and coffee almost exclusively and, as a result, many children and adults are often mildly dehydrated on a regular basis. A host of side effects can occur as a result of dehydration, but know that it can slow down thinking and even impede weight loss efforts.bluefit

We could just tell you to drink more water, follow that eight, eight-ounce glasses a day rule, but it’s really not that simple. The hydration needs vary quite a bit by individual, so it’s kind of cool that this new company has emerged with some flashy new ways to get you excited about hydration. (more…)

Retrofit Announces a New Half-Price Advisor Program, Debuts New Commercial

The word retrofit means to add new technology or features to older systems, and the weight loss company of the same name has done exactly that. With the use of state of the art fitness monitoring technology and a team of wellness experts offering hands on instruction to clients, Retrofit has experienced a 90 percent success rate and revolutionized the way people lose weight. There’s just one problem, it costs a lot of money to provide high tech gadgets and 24/7 client support, so Retrofit’s 12-month package hovered around the $3,000 range. In an effort to reach a broader audience, and make it less cost prohibitive for the people who need Retrofit most, the company recently announced a new, more affordable product – Retrofit Advisor.

Retrofit Advisor will feature the same successful products and services as the premium packages, but will cost half as much. Retrofit’s two high tier packages guarantee a 10 percent weight loss and a 15 percent weight loss, respectively. With the Advisor, there is no guarantee, and clients are assigned one weight loss advisor as opposed to three weight loss experts. (more…)

Retrofit Finds That Tech Gadgets Make Weight Loss More Manageable

Weight loss is rarely a walk in the park, and some plans are so complex they can be downright intimidating. The strict dietary limitations and harsh fitness regimens of a new weight loss plan can conjure feelings of anxiety and can cramp the process entirely. A study involving the weight loss company Retrofit has revealed that their state of the art data tracking technology limits stress and confusion while producing positive weight loss results.

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Retrofit uses a 3D motion sensor called a Fitbit to track steps, calories burned, and sleep patterns to be analyzed by their team of weight loss experts. Retrofit employs a wi-fi Withings scale that calculates BMI and body-fat percentage. The data can be viewed online via software on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. In a 12-month study, lead by Retrofit, those using the technology lost an average of 19 pounds, while zealous clients who weighed themselves everyday lost an average of 26 pounds.

Retrofit CEO Jeff Hyman claims the program is effective for individuals as well as corporations looking to lower health care costs. “This statistical data proves that in personal wellness, you can manage what you can measure,” said Hyman. “In order for employers to reduce health care costs due to obesity and its related diseases, companies simply must have a weight loss program that seamlessly collects and monitors employee data.” (more…)

3D Food Printers Backed by NASA Could End World Hunger

Imagine sitting at your computer telling a program what you want to eat and how many calories you want your meal to have, then hitting print and feasting on a pizza from your 3D printer. It’s not one of Willy Wonka’s prototypes, but a legitimate concept being developed by mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor and NASA.

nasa 3d food printer

Contractor’s company, Systems & Materials Research Corporation, was recently awarded a six-month, $125,000 grant to develop the sci-fi printer, which could help eliminate food waste and worldwide hunger. The new technology could also help provide a sustainable food source for lengthy space missions, as the printer’s ingredients will have a shelf life of up to 30 years. It works by synthesizing a meal one layer at a time, using proteins, carbohydrates, oils, water, and powdered foodstuff.

Mechanically engineered food seems like a counterintuitive concept considering the prevalence of foodies and food porn, but Contractor thinks we need to change our perception of what we see as food. Experts agree the earth’s population will reach full capacity toward the end of this century, topping off at a standing room only 12 billion people. “I think, and many economists think, that current food systems can’t supply 12 billion people sufficiently,” said Contractor. (more…)