Wireless devices to be more accurate
Many exercise enthusiasts and novices have been utilizing electronic devices that help them keep track of their calories burned, steps, miles completed, and changes in their heart rates. However, those individuals have noticed that many devices don’t track these fitness statistics and milestone with the same accuracy, and if you use different devices while running, biking, or swimming, you may become a little bewildered with attempting to figure out how far you need to go to actually complete a mile.
Well good news is on the way for those who love to use fitness devices to chart their exercise progress, because the Bluetooth Special Internet Group (SIG) is implementing new policies that aim to make wireless exercise technology more accurate and uniform amongst heart rate monitors, pedometers, and smartphone apps.
The SIG oversees wireless technology that utilizes Bluetooth capabilities, and creates standards that devices using Bluetooth resources must meet in order to license the technology for their products. SIG stated that new standards were sorely needed because many Bluetooth devices did record calories or effort metrics for running with ideal accuracy, because the software in these products did not take longer or shorter running strides into account when computing distances run or calories burned. Furthermore, SIG found that devices made specifically for biking did not record mileage with the same accuracy compared to devices made for running.
The new standards will require device manufacturers to measure running cadence, stride length, and total mileage more accurately. For biking, the SIG states devices will need to be more accurate when recording speed, distance and pedal cadence.
The SIG hopes that by implementing these new standards, consumers will benefit from greater accuracy in their exercise metrics while utilizing Bluetooth-enabled devices.
While the efforts from SIG are commendable, it doesn’t solve the inaccuracies in fitness statistics for all devices. For instance, I use the Nike running app for my iPhone when training for 5k races and mud runs. But the iPhone uses GPS technology, not Bluetooth, when charting my runs.
Apple recently released an update to the Nike running app, and immediately, I dropped over four minutes off my average 5k time on the route I traditionally run. Either the Nike app wasn’t recording my runs accurately with previous version of the software, or I’ve considerably increased my cardiovascular fitness in the last few weeks.
To test the accuracy of the newest version of the Nike running app, I ran with a stop watch to compare my splits and final time of my run with my smartphone. In the end, the time on the stopwatch and the Nike running app were identical, indicating that the newest version from Apple is indeed more accurate than its predecessors.
I’m now going to write a strongly worded letter to the Nike corporation for making me feel slower than I really was for all those months I used their app before the new, more accurate version was released.
Who knew a smartphone app could make me feel bad about myself?