Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Even Socks Can Be Smart With Sensoria Fitness

Running has become a part of life for more and more people. It is considered a great activity to promote one’s fitness and wellness. In the U.S. alone, there are over 25 million runners; out of that huge number, more than 60% of them get injured every year. And those injuries range from just minor aches to chronic conditions.

According to Maurizio Macagno, vice president of development for Heapsylon, “Technology is becoming smaller, and it will eventually disappear to the human eye.” In the far future, there is a possibility that technology will be incorporated in everything that surrounds us—and in us. Though that idea is still a somewhat far-fetched, some innovators keep us right on track.

Featuring the Sensoria Fitness Socks—a smart device that can promote one’s run. It provides more accurate details of a person’s number of steps taken, distance, speed, cadence, and calories burned. But apart from the information provided by it same as with the various fitness equipment available on stores, it gets to tell you how well you’re running. It reflects both the quality and quantity of your every run. It even integrates a virtual coach to improve your performance. If you sit down too long, the app will let you know that it’s already time to stand and get going through your mobile earphones. If you get injured, it will alert your loved ones. It essentially heightens performance and security.

The socks themselves are the sensors, and because they are directly placed on your feet, they provide you with the most accurate step, altitude, and calorie counter versus other fitness devices available on the market. The equipment will let you know how to run the proper way in order to prevent strain or any other serious injuries. It helps runners avoid potentially dangerous techniques, such as heel striking, overpronating, or excessive forefoot running that could later lead to back pain or Achilles tendon injuries. With it, you will be able to analyze your every run to make sure you improve your performance and meet your goals. It enables you to share data through social media to build a community of runners like you so that you get to reach your target altogether.

The Sensoria Fitness experience comes with a pair of smart socks that can go through wash and dry cycles, an electronic anklet that magnetically snaps on the cuff of the socks together with the anklet charger, and the mobile application that monitors your performance, shows valuable data, and provides you with real-time audio cues to improve your run. The Sensoria Fitness app is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phones. But if you prefer running without your phone, there’s absolutely no problem. You can always access your data at home with the app’s easy to use dashboard.

If you want to enhance your active lifestyle—or commence it—in making your each and every run more fulfilling as ever, then you should definitely should have a hands-on—foot-on rather—with the Sensoria Fitness Socks. It currently retails at $149. If you’re interested on this smart, wearable device that boosts your fitness level, then pre-order now and receive your very own in March 2014.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

And the Word of the Year for 2013 is...Selfie!

Language is arbitrary in nature. It changes depending on a variety of factors. It’s so common nowadays that we get to encounter peculiar words that we never have heard of nor used in the past. As it turns out, words just come out of nowhere. For as long as a word achieves global fame known with a unanimous definition, expect that it’s going to become a legitimate word in the dictionary in no time.

And yes, this digital age has become a catalyst to this trend. In text messaging for example, instead of taxing yourself in typing “talk to you later,” you can just say TTYL, and the person on the other line will definitely get what you’re talking about. And not to mention neologisms; they are like mushrooms sprouting out of every nook and cranny of all corners of the world. Surprisingly, their meaning can get to people of every race and creed faster than a speeding bullet. Well, with the internet used in a widespread extent, this should never be a surprise.

And as we talk about new words and whatnot, may I introduce to you Oxford’s word of the year for 2013. And the winner goes to ...Selfie! *claps* The credit goes to all the narcissistic duck-faces who incessantly raise their app-enhanced camera phone up in the air to snap a picture of their faces and nothing else. Just scan your favorite social media site like Instagram, and you’ll see what I’m talking about—the many faces of a single person. I bet you’re guilty on being one of them; well, we all are.

The selfie movement was immortalized in the blog of Oxford Dictionaries. The verdict, according to the blog, was unanimous. The word selfie was a part of Oxford’s “Words on the Radar” feature in 2012, and just earlier this year, it has been officially added to the extensive roster of words in the English language. The word of the year is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” Although its usage has been made popular by smartphone addicts across the globe, Oxford notes that the term can be traced back to an Australian message board post in 2002, where a writer said, “And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

According to Judy Pearsall, editorial director for Oxford Dictionaries, “Social media sites helped to popularize the term, with the hashtag selfie appearing on the photo-sharing website Flickr as early as 2004, but usage wasn’t widespread until around 2012, when selfie was being commonly in mainstream media sources.” In fact, the usage of the word has increased a whopping 17,000 percent over the past 12 months, said Oxford Dictionaries. So, if you want your gibberish to be officially legit, then now is the time to spread the word. Best of luck to you!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Have These Life-Saving Apps Against Allergies on Your Smartphone

Each and every person has a varying degree of sensitivity to external stimuli. Some people may develop a hypersensitivity reaction to substances that are harmless in nature. The name allergens are given to those substances that innervate the immune response. And the inflammatory response ranges from as simple as itchiness to a life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Let me stop myself for awhile; rather than delving into the nose-bleeding specifics on allergies, let us just find some ways on how to steer clear from that imminent danger. And if you still don’t know by now, apps are a great way to keep you safe from an allergy attack. Learn what these apps are by checking on the list below.
  1. Noshed It. Most allergens come in the form of food, and if your immune system is more discriminating than your taste buds, then you should have this app to make sure you don’t end up unconscious on the floor. Noshed It has the mapping database of FourSquare plus the social sharing capabilities of Twitter and Facebook. It lets a person of a certain food allergy share his favorite and least favorite dishes to people of the same condition.
  2. Allergy Eats. This app is just about perfect for people who are into dining out often. It makes sure that its users have a pleasurable and definitely safe dining experience. Allergy eats initiates a peer-based feedback system to see how well restaurants cater to customers with special dietary needs. Hence, you will know where to eat and where not to eat.
  3. Anaphylaxis. If you’re born with a hypersensitive immune response, then you just have to live with it. All you have to do is plan ahead and ready yourself with the necessary actions in any case the worse comes to worst. Good thing, Anaphylaxis can help you get started. You can be able to create your allergy management plan with this app. Plus, it allows you to set your specific allergens, medications to be taken, and contact persons in the event you encounter a reaction.
  4. First Aid by American Red Cross. It’s best to know a little something about first aid. To get those brain cells working, you can be able to watch the app’s collection of first-aid videos and answer the interactive quizzes during your spare time, provided that you always have a portable charger handy to replenish your handset’s battery. At least, when something dangerously unexpected happens, you know what to do.
  5. EMNet Finder. Sometimes, first aid isn’t just enough, and what you really need is an intervention from a hospital. And if you find yourself in the brink of an attack, you have to get to a medical facility fast wherever you are. EMNet Finder utilizes the GPS function of your smartphone to help you locate the nearest hospital. Furthermore, it provides you with the directions so you can get there in a jiffy.
Remember that technology always has a way on everything, and that includes your health. Never get to thinking that the apps available on your trusty smartphone are merely for entertainment; they too are capable of saving lives. And you know what, the best thing about these apps is that they are absolutely free! So don’t go dying on me because of your allergy, for these apps are here to save your life!

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Guide on Choosing the Smartphone Right for You: Platform Edition

There are a lot of factors that can influence one’s choice for the operating system of his phone. Aside from apps, services, and responsiveness, aesthetic appeal is a significant indicator as well. The three dominant mobile platforms today are Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone, which are rank-ordered respectively. Android officially comprises 80 percent of the global platform market share in the 3rd quarter of 2013, while iOS is still second in line with 12.9 percent, down from 14.4 percent a year ago. On the other hand, Windows Phone is slowly but steadily growing in number, being locked in the third spot with 3.6 percent. Given the figures, let’s just focus on the big three of smartphone platforms. So, read on.

The reason for the significantly impressive market share of Android is its availability to the smartphones of multiple manufacturing companies. Its widespread utilization in smartphones of all sorts, three-inchers to 6-inch phablets, makes it the most popular by a wide margin. And why won’t it be? Android features an easily customizable OS that hardware manufacturers and users themselves can drastically change by just a few simple tweaks. If you don’t like the current virtual keyboard, download another from Google’s Play Store. If you want the most recent tweets in your timeline on the homescreen instead of the clock, then customize it. Android lets its users get a more personalized experience with their handheld devices.

And since Android is Google’s very own, it offers Google’s vast number of innovative services, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google+, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, and Google Maps. The most noteworthy drawback of Android is what kept it the leading mobile platform in the first place. Because it’s available to a myriad of smartphone brands, third-party app developers find it labor-intensive to develop apps for Android; as a result, cutting-edge apps make their debut in iOS first because of the said factor. In addition, the quality of apps available in Play Store isn’t always up to the same standards set by in iOS.

iOS can be solely found on all iDevices. As a matter of fact, its exclusivity makes it more appealing and interesting. However, with that kind of situation, it has to prove itself as something worth having, and that is exactly what Apple has accomplished with iOS.

Among all mobile platforms out there, iOS is branded as the most user-friendly. It is generally the simplest to use and learn. Indeed, even toddlers have been able to master every nook and cranny of the iOS. But with its easy-to-use interface, comes a very stringent limitation for personalization. And talk about apps; it is a tradition that third-party software developers choose to target iOS first because of the ease of releasing an app on only limited types of devices, even though the iOS market share isn’t that much as compared with Android’s. The disadvantage is just is if you’re not much of a fan of the hardware specifics of iDevices like a limited 4-inch screen with its smartphones, then you might want to consider another OS.

Windows Phone

The mobile platform from Microsoft is the youngest of the three. Due to its considerably small share in the global platform market, it’s just but expected that its app ecosystem isn’t rich enough when compared to Google Play and iTunes. This might be the very reason why you yourself may think twice before getting smartphone that runs on Windows Phone. But make no rash decisions just yet, for the devices that run this OS are of good quality. Most of them are Nokia products. And now that the mobile phone division of Nokia has been purchased by Microsoft, we can definitely see more improvements with the upcoming handsets to be produced by Microsoft with the current technology of Nokia.

Choosing the operating system of your next smartphone could be the most important consideration you’ll have to ponder on. The platform is essentially the soul of every device, so think carefully and choose properly.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Viber Aids Typhoon-stricken Philippine Victims with Viber Out

It is in every human being’s nature to help those who are in need. Goodness is innate in all of us, and it shows especially when the situation calls for it. Whether it is something that requires our big effort to help or just in our very own little ways, helping others exudes our sense of humanity.

Over the weekend, super typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) wreaked havoc in the Pearl of the Orient Seas. It was branded as one of the strongest typhoons to date. It is the deadliest storm to ever hit the Philippines on record, with officials saying that as much as 10,000 people are believed to be dead in one coastal city alone; the typhoon trailed more parts of the Philippine archipelago, which might have claimed more victims.

Viber Aids Typhoon-stricken Philippine Victims with Viber Out
And as said, due to the recent devastation in the Philippines, Viber, a pioneering mobile messaging and VoIP company, has opened a temporary service, allowing Filipino users to call regular non-Viber numbers outside of the country for free. It used its official account to send out a message on Monday at about 8:50 am, to deliver the good news. According to Talmon Marco, CEO of Viber, “Things happen, and since we’re the largest over-the-top provider there, we rushed something to market that isn’t far from readiness but isn’t fully completed.”

The service is not yet the final product; hence, not all countries are supported. In addition, the quality of service may vary when calling loved ones abroad depending on the country. For this temporary feature to work, one may need to have to restart his device. Open the app, and tap any of the numbers listed next to “Viber Out.” Typically, a Viber user will be charged accordingly depending on normal overseas call rates if he contacts a non-Viber user. But this temporary service exclusive in the Philippines makes the call absolutely free. Marco explains that the Viber Out, which will eventually be a premium feature for everyone, but it is made available to Filipinos temporarily to aid them in terms of communications.

Currently, the service supports mobile and landline numbers in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, and Thailand; while it supports landline only numbers in Argentina, Brazil Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Venezuela.

Nothing is more calming than knowing your loved ones afar who have been stricken by the calamity to be safe and sound. Alleviate them from their long-standing agony and give them peace of mind. So, do your family abroad a big favor; call them in their mobile or landline phones to let them know that you’re just okay.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Want to Lose Weight? Texting May Help

Every commitment of any kind is downright hard to see through. Chances are, we just might engage in something that can completely capsize what we have chosen to live our lives for. And where does that leave us? Of course, it leaves us in shambles—in the realm of defeat. One of the scenarios that we often fail to keep our commitment to is with our weight loss programs. We tend to fall short with the commitment and with ourselves ultimately, which brings us to the fact that losing weight is so darn taxing.

Over the years, it has been established that technology in the form of our smartphones is one reason for the increasing incidence of obesity. Prior research shows that spending too much time fiddling over your handheld device is bad for your fitness. However, one study shows that this is not always the case; there is an aspect with technology that isn’t at all counterproductive to fitness programs. And this comes by means of texting. According to the VCU School of Nursing research team headed by Claudia Bouhaidar, “The ubiquitous spread of mobile phone short message systems (SMS) appears to offer an effective alternative to face-to-face approach when delivering behavioral weight management interventions.”

loss weight with texting

The study participants in the experiment received a text message biweekly which often involves an interactive component, such as responding ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether the participant followed the a healthy diet advice or not. In the beginning of the 12-week diet program study, 66 percent of the experimental group responded to the text messages. But that number gradually narrowed down to 52 percent until the end of the study. Be that as it may, the researchers deemed that as acceptable. Ultimately, they found out that 72 percent of the respondents considered the text messages “somewhat” to “very motivational” to reach their goal.

The results of the aforementioned study confirm that dieters who opted to receive motivational and reinforceable text messages lost around 4.5 pounds or 2 kilograms more in a 12-week period than those who did not receive any texts at all. Text messaging showed promise for increasing motivation for increasing exercise and promoting other healthy behaviors.

So you see, besides pushing you to shed off those extra pounds, text messaging also helps improve our eating behaviors, exercise and nutrition self-efficacy, and our attitude towards mobile technology. It serves as a medium to establish a social support system in keeping ourselves in good shape. As of this moment, the findings are but limited, but the researchers are hopeful that the practice of text messages will be adopted in a large-scale and long-term intervention studies to further strengthen the effect it proves. If this happens, the presence of tailored text messages might one day appear in weight loss management programs among peers or in programs for a healthier community.