06:27 02nd Jul, 2016
Now, Fitbit Aims To Cure Your Insomnia!
App upgrade that tracks sleep patterns might end up giving us sleepless nights.
What began as a tracker of activity for Fitbit to ostensibly create better lifestyles is now morphing into something far more frivolous – tracking our sleep! All because it can then assist me to sleep better and not necessarily sleep longer.
And, pray why does it want to do so? So that it can get me back up on time and begin tracking your fitness activities! How convoluted can technology get? Depends on how crazily its makers can think. Also depends on the precise point of gullibility that marketers manage to find their target groups.
Before getting into the merits of the case, let us first understand what this latest upgrade is all about? This is what Engadget.com has to say about it: “If you purchased a Fitbit with the hopes of improving your workout plan but ended up using it to track your sleep, you might want to check out the latest addition to the official Fitbit App. The new Sleep Schedule feature is meant to help guide you to and maintain a better, more consistent sleeping pattern.” (Read the full story)
And prey what does this upgraded App do? Simply put, it uses the data gleaned off my wrists (that is if I am in the habit of carrying Fitbit to bed) to provide customized bedtime and wakeup targets, besides setting up reminders to ensure that I am actually following the recommendations.
Err! Is there some way the App could convey these recommendations to my trigger-happy boss as well as to my hyperactive clients?
Heck no! Fitbit would rather have me post social media updates about the ‘positive’ impact it had on your life with the sole purpose of suckering my boss and my clients to get their own tracker.
What’s surprising is that the company continues to secure the buy-in for this gimmickry from the medical profession, a majority of who have dissed it as a lifestyle gadget and not a medical one. The company says that it a panel of sleep experts from American Universities is putting together a new set of features that would allow users “to sleep a little more soundly with the Fitbit”.
One wonders what they’re planning to do? Maybe, create a playlist of lullabies that I can listen to while dozing off! Or whisper sweet nothing into my ears through the night!!
An article in The Huffington Post (read it here) quotes Fitbit’s director of product marketing Melanie Chase as saying that the new Sleep Schedule App aims “to help guide you to get a more consistent pattern of sleep”, because “establishing one is the simplest way to improve sleep.”
If that is the case, do we need to really spend good money chasing a superfluous product ostensibly aimed at a community of show-offs?
The article notes that while the App monitors sleep, there is no way it can differentiate between deep slumber and rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. (By the way, there are other more efficient sleep trackers doing this bit – Jawbone & Aura Sleep). So, the only thing Fitbit does is buzz me in the arm as a sort of reminder to hit the sack.
So, can the tracker make me sleep better? Scientifically, it is a proven fact that a fixed time for sleeping and waking up tends to result in quality rest as the consistency helps the body clock get accustomed to a routine.
“However, one needs to actually clock all the sleep you need to get the benefits,” is how sleep expert Els van der Helm concludes in a comment published in the Huffington Post article. “And sleep trackers can overestimate the amount of time one sleeps, resulting in building up sleep debt.”
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