What is Wearable Technology?
Wearable Tech Competitors
Unboxing and Getting Started
How It Works
Living with the Basis B1 Health Tracker
- ASIC design: The B1 uses an embedded ARM CPU, likely of ASIC architecture.
- Modular design: The bracelet straps are fully removable and upgradable.
- Construction: Watch face composed of glossy, thermoplastic and steel. It also has silicone rubber wrist straps.
- Display: Trans-reflective, back-lit LCD display (viewable in direct sunlight).
- Battery life: 2-3 days (with Bluetooth enabled) or 4 days
- Bluetooth: 2.1
- Dimensions: 273mm (length); 36mm (width); 27mm (height); 44g (weight).
Measures of Activity and Sleeping Patterns
Kinds of Activity
- Walking: It uses the accelerometer as a pedometer to count footsteps. I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about this measurement, but for those who enjoy walking, this worked perfectly. Through the desktop or mobile device interface, the B1 synthesizes caloric burn from walking.
- Running: I don’t run much and wasn’t able to test this particular feature very often, but it does work.
- Biking: This feature of the B1 worked perfectly. It tracks the amount of time spent cycling as well as the distance traveled. It’s also able to synthesize the intensity of your workout, over the course of the time spent working out, by looking at heart rate and perspiration. In general, I found that lifting weights just prior to cardiovascular exercise allowed for greater amounts of caloric burn than aerobic preceded by anaerobic exercise.
- Light sleep: Light sleep doesn’t provide you with much benefit. It’s really a transitional sleep state between deep sleep and REM sleep. According to the documentation, light sleepers are easily roused – in general, if you get more light sleep than any other, you’re not sleeping properly.
- Deep sleep: Deep sleep, described by Basis as “body refresh” is when your body becomes immobile and you begin physically recovering from a day of hard work. Strangely, I found that the harder I exercised, the less deep sleep I received the following night. In general, you want this number to be as high as possible.
- REM sleep: REM sleep is referred to as “mind refresh” – if an individual receives a higher amount of REM, they will feel more focused and aware throughout the day. Low amounts of REM result in the individual feeling groggy and tired. I found that F.lux helped substantially with this statistic, although overall I received the most benefit from going to bed on a regular schedule, not eating late at night and cooling down before bedtime.
- My Habits: Basis uses “My Habits” for gamification, meaning it awards points and recognizes exercise achievements. You win merit badges for maintaining good habits. However, as someone who never really got much out of gamification systems (what is gamification), this particular feature wasn’t too appealing.
- Insights: Insights show an overview of your achievements and daily activities. It’s a good summary of whether or not you’re getting enough sleep or exercise.
- Data: For me, raw data offered the largest amount of insight into my daily activities. It includes data from three different categories, including the details of each activity, the basic patterns that these activities fall into and the details of one’s sleeping habits.