Seat belts save lives, its a well known fact, but according to The Telegraph new developments have been made in order to save even more lives. Spanish engineers are currently working on a smart seat belt which detects heart rate and breathing rate in order to alert drivers when they are at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. 
A slower heart rate and shallow breathing are among the many signs of fatigue. By tracking these bodily functions, the smart seat belt may be able to prevent accidents. Many individuals may not even realize that they are becoming over tired when driving which can lead to accidents as a result of loss of consciousness, short attention span, and/or slower reflexes. By alerting drivers to changes in their breathing and heart rate, this device could certainly save lives. Just one more reason to always wear your seat belt!

Seat belts save lives, its a well known fact, but according to The Telegraph new developments have been made in order to save even more lives. Spanish engineers are currently working on a smart seat belt which detects heart rate and breathing rate in order to alert drivers when they are at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. 

A slower heart rate and shallow breathing are among the many signs of fatigue. By tracking these bodily functions, the smart seat belt may be able to prevent accidents. Many individuals may not even realize that they are becoming over tired when driving which can lead to accidents as a result of loss of consciousness, short attention span, and/or slower reflexes. By alerting drivers to changes in their breathing and heart rate, this device could certainly save lives. Just one more reason to always wear your seat belt!

Computerized pills anyone?
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
It might sound crazy, but scientists are working on creating poppy-sized computers within pills which record how a person’s body responds to a drug. The computerized pills work in combination with a patch on the skin in order to keep track of when the pill was taken and how it is working within the body. 
The concept is among the first steps towards a new wave in medicine known as “digital medicine”. While the computerized pills pose some challenges in development due to the limitations in size, power sources, and communication, scientists have managed to overcome these issues and the pills have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, the Food and Drug Administration did point out that the benefits of using the device are small at this point and if the device is going to be worth while, there certainly needs to be more development in the future. 
In the article, “Someday soon you may swallow a computer with your pill”, Alexis Madrigal points out another use for the devices specifically for the treatment of mental illness. Unfortunately, many individuals receiving treatment for a mental illness decide not to take their medication. While this also occurs in cases where mental illness is not involved, it is most common with mentally ill populations. In these cases, the pill could be extremely important because doctors will be able to keep track of whether their patient is taking his or her medication and how often. This knowledge could be extremely helpful in improving the success of treatment for mental illnesses. 
At this point it is not a question of functionality, but of popularity. Would YOU ingest a computer along with your medication? For many people this would be just a bit too Orwellian. For others, this would be just another part of our increasingly data-driven lives.  

Computerized pills anyone?

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

It might sound crazy, but scientists are working on creating poppy-sized computers within pills which record how a person’s body responds to a drug. The computerized pills work in combination with a patch on the skin in order to keep track of when the pill was taken and how it is working within the body. 

The concept is among the first steps towards a new wave in medicine known as “digital medicine”. While the computerized pills pose some challenges in development due to the limitations in size, power sources, and communication, scientists have managed to overcome these issues and the pills have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, the Food and Drug Administration did point out that the benefits of using the device are small at this point and if the device is going to be worth while, there certainly needs to be more development in the future. 

In the article, “Someday soon you may swallow a computer with your pill”, Alexis Madrigal points out another use for the devices specifically for the treatment of mental illness. Unfortunately, many individuals receiving treatment for a mental illness decide not to take their medication. While this also occurs in cases where mental illness is not involved, it is most common with mentally ill populations. In these cases, the pill could be extremely important because doctors will be able to keep track of whether their patient is taking his or her medication and how often. This knowledge could be extremely helpful in improving the success of treatment for mental illnesses. 

At this point it is not a question of functionality, but of popularity. Would YOU ingest a computer along with your medication? For many people this would be just a bit too Orwellian. For others, this would be just another part of our increasingly data-driven lives.  

Over-monitoring syndrome: A wearable technology born phenomenon
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
Dr. Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham coined the term "over-monitoring syndrome" in order to describe a recent phenomenon resulting from fitness tracking gadgets. The term was established in reference to individuals who “get so caught up in tracking that it overtakes [them] emotionally and psychologically” (Fowler, 2014). This can be linked back to the idea that fitness tracking devices may enable eating disorders, but the term is intended to encompass less extreme cases as well. Essentially, Dr. Klapow claims that individuals are becoming more focused on the numbers rather than on the bigger picture. For example, an individual might become obsessed with the number of calories that they are consuming daily as opposed to tracking their progress towards their overall fitness goal. 
While this does not mean that the technology is a bad idea, it is certainly a good idea to keep this in mind when using the device. If you find yourself slipping into thought patterns with an emphasis on the numbers and not on your goal, it might be worth re-evaluating your use of the technology. 

Over-monitoring syndrome: A wearable technology born phenomenon

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Dr. Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham coined the term "over-monitoring syndrome" in order to describe a recent phenomenon resulting from fitness tracking gadgets. The term was established in reference to individuals who “get so caught up in tracking that it overtakes [them] emotionally and psychologically” (Fowler, 2014). This can be linked back to the idea that fitness tracking devices may enable eating disorders, but the term is intended to encompass less extreme cases as well. Essentially, Dr. Klapow claims that individuals are becoming more focused on the numbers rather than on the bigger picture. For example, an individual might become obsessed with the number of calories that they are consuming daily as opposed to tracking their progress towards their overall fitness goal. 

While this does not mean that the technology is a bad idea, it is certainly a good idea to keep this in mind when using the device. If you find yourself slipping into thought patterns with an emphasis on the numbers and not on your goal, it might be worth re-evaluating your use of the technology. 

Dream without limits using the Aurora headband

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Have you ever wished that you could be more aware of your dream-state while in a dream? Coming to recognize that you are dreaming while you are in a dream can actually allow you to dream without limits which may improve the overall experience of dreams. That is the goal of the Aurora headband. The device is worn on the head while the user sleeps and stimulates the user through the use of small flashes of light which help the user’s brain recognize that they are dreaming. The intention of the stimulus is to trigger the brain into recognizing that the individual exists outside of the dream state which allows them to realize that they are in a dream. 

In addition to this, the device can help improve the sleep patterns of the user by monitoring their sleep routine and even acting as an alarm clock to wake the individual up at the point in their sleep cycle at which they will feel the most refreshed. 

It would be interesting to further the development of a product such as this in order to use it as a treatment for night terrors and nightmares. If an individual is able to recognize that they are dreaming while they are in the dream, it could be possible for the dream to seem less terrifying or even more easily manipulated for escaping whatever is causing the fear. While this technology is already full of potential as it stands now, there is still plenty of room for the expansion of this project. 

Wearables for well-being: Improving life through wearable technology
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
For many people, the idea that knowledge is power rings true when it comes to wearable technology. The ability to monitor one’s health through the use of wearable technology is a very powerful phenomenon indeed. The data that an individual can collect through the use of health tracking devices can be useful in detecting illnesses, tracking caloric intake, monitoring heart rate, and so much more. 
While I previously addressed the potential risks associated with using such technology, it is also important to recognize the benefits of using such devices. A recent article by Victorino Q. Abrugar entitled, “Quantified Self: How self-tracking technology can improve your life" delves into the benefits of such technology. 
In the article, Abrugar discusses the idea of the “quantified self” as a means of controlling one’s life. By using wearable devices to collect vast amounts of data, the user can become more self-reflective and even improve their overall well-being by overcoming their own barriers by becoming more aware of them. Perhaps one of the best examples is fitness trackers which can be used for more than just counting calories. Instead, Abrugar suggests that the technology can be used to make a plan to achieve long-term fitness goals as opposed to focusing on the short term data. In fact, this may be where individuals might start to run into problems such as disordered eating behavior. Rather than focusing on the numbers, it is more important to focus on the picture that is painted by the collection of data over time. The trends and patterns that are revealed in the data have the potential to significantly improve the lifestyle of the user which would in turn improve their life as a whole. 
Therefore, it is clear that the debate about the potential positives and negatives of wearable technology is not as black and white as it might seem at first glance. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Wearables for well-being: Improving life through wearable technology

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

For many people, the idea that knowledge is power rings true when it comes to wearable technology. The ability to monitor one’s health through the use of wearable technology is a very powerful phenomenon indeed. The data that an individual can collect through the use of health tracking devices can be useful in detecting illnesses, tracking caloric intake, monitoring heart rate, and so much more. 

While I previously addressed the potential risks associated with using such technology, it is also important to recognize the benefits of using such devices. A recent article by Victorino Q. Abrugar entitled, “Quantified Self: How self-tracking technology can improve your life" delves into the benefits of such technology. 

In the article, Abrugar discusses the idea of the “quantified self” as a means of controlling one’s life. By using wearable devices to collect vast amounts of data, the user can become more self-reflective and even improve their overall well-being by overcoming their own barriers by becoming more aware of them. Perhaps one of the best examples is fitness trackers which can be used for more than just counting calories. Instead, Abrugar suggests that the technology can be used to make a plan to achieve long-term fitness goals as opposed to focusing on the short term data. In fact, this may be where individuals might start to run into problems such as disordered eating behavior. Rather than focusing on the numbers, it is more important to focus on the picture that is painted by the collection of data over time. The trends and patterns that are revealed in the data have the potential to significantly improve the lifestyle of the user which would in turn improve their life as a whole. 

Therefore, it is clear that the debate about the potential positives and negatives of wearable technology is not as black and white as it might seem at first glance. Let us know what you think in the comments!

How much is too much technology?
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
Time and time again we see how technology has improved our lives, but how much technology is too much? With a seemingly endless parade of new technology in the market, the demand for the latest and greatest technology keeps growing. Technology has taken over all walks of life from fitness to business and beyond. 
While may individuals see this as a good thing, it begs the question, are we being overwhelmed by our technology? We have come to a point in which there is literally an app for almost anything. Even children have become extremely dependent on technology for leisure, school, communication, etc.

For some people, it has become nearly impossible to separate work from play as their technology causes the different aspects of life to bleed together into one. 
With this in mind, do you think that we have a reached a point of being overwhelmed by technology? Is there such a thing as too much technology? Let us know what you think in the comments!

How much is too much technology?

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Time and time again we see how technology has improved our lives, but how much technology is too much? With a seemingly endless parade of new technology in the market, the demand for the latest and greatest technology keeps growing. Technology has taken over all walks of life from fitness to business and beyond. 

While may individuals see this as a good thing, it begs the question, are we being overwhelmed by our technology? We have come to a point in which there is literally an app for almost anything. Even children have become extremely dependent on technology for leisure, school, communication, etc.

For some people, it has become nearly impossible to separate work from play as their technology causes the different aspects of life to bleed together into one. 

With this in mind, do you think that we have a reached a point of being overwhelmed by technology? Is there such a thing as too much technology? Let us know what you think in the comments!

The Sproutling Baby Monitor just might have new parents sighing in relief
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
Similar to other wearable monitoring devices, the Sproutling Baby Monitor tracks the body temperature, heart rate, and movements of the wearer. What is different about this device is the fact that it is intended for use on babies in order to help ease the worries of new parents about the well-being of their child.
According to a blog post by Tom Emrich entitled, “Wearable Baby Monitor Sproutling Is Like an Egg Timer For Your Kid”, the information that the device gathers can be used to predict when a baby will wake up and their mood upon awaking. In addition to this, the device is capable of sensing the surroundings of the baby in order to detect anything that could disrupt the sleeping infant. For example, if a room is too loud, the device will send an alert to the smartphone of the parent(s) to alert them that the noise level could wake up the baby. 
A device such as this could prove very useful for new parents and experienced parents alike. While more experience parents may have a better understanding of how to ensure that their infant is going to get a sound sleep, the device can help to alert parents to early signs of a fever which could be extremely helpful in alerting parents to the fact that their baby may need medical attention. So, whether you are an experienced parent or a first time parent, this device has plenty to offer!

The Sproutling Baby Monitor just might have new parents sighing in relief

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

Similar to other wearable monitoring devices, the Sproutling Baby Monitor tracks the body temperature, heart rate, and movements of the wearer. What is different about this device is the fact that it is intended for use on babies in order to help ease the worries of new parents about the well-being of their child.

According to a blog post by Tom Emrich entitled, “Wearable Baby Monitor Sproutling Is Like an Egg Timer For Your Kid”, the information that the device gathers can be used to predict when a baby will wake up and their mood upon awaking. In addition to this, the device is capable of sensing the surroundings of the baby in order to detect anything that could disrupt the sleeping infant. For example, if a room is too loud, the device will send an alert to the smartphone of the parent(s) to alert them that the noise level could wake up the baby. 

A device such as this could prove very useful for new parents and experienced parents alike. While more experience parents may have a better understanding of how to ensure that their infant is going to get a sound sleep, the device can help to alert parents to early signs of a fever which could be extremely helpful in alerting parents to the fact that their baby may need medical attention. So, whether you are an experienced parent or a first time parent, this device has plenty to offer!

Wearable Technology Enabling Eating Disorders?
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
With the rise in popularity of wearable fitness tracking devices, there has conversely been a rise in the debates about whether these devices are enabling eating disorders. Such devices can lead to obsessive behaviors when it comes to monitoring food intake and caloric output. Users may become abnormally pre-occupied with the amount of food that they are consuming and the number of calories that they are burning which may lead to eating disorders in extreme cases.
While the devices are intended to help people become more mindful of their overall health and fitness, there is certainly potential for the devices to contribute to the development of an eating disorder, or, in cases in which an eating disorder is already present, may worsen the severity of the illness. However, the device is definitely not the only factor at play here. There are other factors that may pre-dispose an individual to develop an eating disorder such as a history of the illness, a history of other mental illnesses, severe body dissatisfaction, etc.
In other words, not everyone who uses fitness tracking devices will develop an eating disorder. Indeed, the majority of users do not experience disordered eating behaviors. However, in individuals who are at risk for developing an eating disorder, it may not be wise to use fitness tracking devices or devices that count calories.

In general, it would be unrealistic to assert that fitness trackers and monitors cause eating disorders. It is important to remember that correlation does not prove causation. There may be a correlation between eating disorders and the use of fitness trackers, but this does not mean that such devices cause anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS, or binge eating disorder. There are a host of other factors that need to be considered in each individual instance. Therefore, it would be incorrect to claim that fitness trackers cause eating disorders despite the potential for a preoccupation with food and fitness to develop. 

Wearable Technology Enabling Eating Disorders?

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

With the rise in popularity of wearable fitness tracking devices, there has conversely been a rise in the debates about whether these devices are enabling eating disorders. Such devices can lead to obsessive behaviors when it comes to monitoring food intake and caloric output. Users may become abnormally pre-occupied with the amount of food that they are consuming and the number of calories that they are burning which may lead to eating disorders in extreme cases.

While the devices are intended to help people become more mindful of their overall health and fitness, there is certainly potential for the devices to contribute to the development of an eating disorder, or, in cases in which an eating disorder is already present, may worsen the severity of the illness. However, the device is definitely not the only factor at play here. There are other factors that may pre-dispose an individual to develop an eating disorder such as a history of the illness, a history of other mental illnesses, severe body dissatisfaction, etc.

In other words, not everyone who uses fitness tracking devices will develop an eating disorder. Indeed, the majority of users do not experience disordered eating behaviors. However, in individuals who are at risk for developing an eating disorder, it may not be wise to use fitness tracking devices or devices that count calories.

In general, it would be unrealistic to assert that fitness trackers and monitors cause eating disorders. It is important to remember that correlation does not prove causation. There may be a correlation between eating disorders and the use of fitness trackers, but this does not mean that such devices cause anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS, or binge eating disorder. There are a host of other factors that need to be considered in each individual instance. Therefore, it would be incorrect to claim that fitness trackers cause eating disorders despite the potential for a preoccupation with food and fitness to develop. 

Chasing Perfection: Wearable technology in the world of competitive gymnastics
Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith
In the world of competitive gymnastics, even the slightest difference in technique can mean the difference between a gold medal or no medal. For this reason, elite gymnasts spend years perfecting their skills in order to be ready for their chance at Olympic glory. That said, the competition is fierce and gymnasts can use all the help they can get on their journey to Olympic gold. 

For this reason, the MotivePro body suit could be a fundamental tool for helping gymnasts attain their dreams of Olympic gold. The device works by vibrating when the wearer is in an incorrect position for a given activity. Sensors are placed on various positions on the body in order to detect the users position and provide real-time feedback. 
According to the article, “The vibrating suit: Using sensors to train Olympians”, by Leo Kent, the device can also record movements so that users can look at the data after the performance and track their progress over time. 
Mimi Cesar, a rhythmic gymnast, tested the device and was able to gain insight into small changes that she could make in order to improve her performance. 

While the device has not yet become a staple in gymnastics training it certainly has the potential to help many Olympic hopefuls achieve their dreams. 

Chasing Perfection: Wearable technology in the world of competitive gymnastics

Reality-Shifting Comments: By Rebecca Smith

In the world of competitive gymnastics, even the slightest difference in technique can mean the difference between a gold medal or no medal. For this reason, elite gymnasts spend years perfecting their skills in order to be ready for their chance at Olympic glory. That said, the competition is fierce and gymnasts can use all the help they can get on their journey to Olympic gold. 

For this reason, the MotivePro body suit could be a fundamental tool for helping gymnasts attain their dreams of Olympic gold. The device works by vibrating when the wearer is in an incorrect position for a given activity. Sensors are placed on various positions on the body in order to detect the users position and provide real-time feedback. 

According to the article, “The vibrating suit: Using sensors to train Olympians”, by Leo Kent, the device can also record movements so that users can look at the data after the performance and track their progress over time. 

Mimi Cesar, a rhythmic gymnast, tested the device and was able to gain insight into small changes that she could make in order to improve her performance. 

While the device has not yet become a staple in gymnastics training it certainly has the potential to help many Olympic hopefuls achieve their dreams.