AIRO Wristband puts a Spin on Calorie Counting
The idea of activity trackers is not a new one in terms of counting the number of calories burned, distance walked, and even hours of sleep a person gets each night; however, a recent invention puts an interesting spin on the typical activity tracker. The AIRO wristband, launched October 28, 2013 proposes a method of analyzing the caloric intake of individuals through the use of LED lights which will shine at different wavelengths into the bloodstream to detect metabolites as they are released into the bloodstream during food consumption. This technology is new and certainly would have potential to be useful; however, there are some details that should be considered before individuals spend the money to purchase the wristband.
First, as pointed out in the article, “Can New Wristband ‘Sense’ What You’re Eating” by Rachael Rettner, there is currently not a functioning prototype in existence that can prove that the technology will work. So while steps are being made to improve the current prototype, the fact of the matter is that as it stands now, the technology does not work. Another important point that should be addressed is the fact that the device will be limited by the fact that the metabolites that show up in the bloodstream in the wrist are not an accurate depiction of the calories actually consumed during a meal. This is because much of the nutrients are absorbed by the body before the blood reaches the wrist. This means that even if a working prototype is developed in the near future, the location of the device on the body limits the accuracy of the device.
With these drawbacks in mind, would the technology really be worth the $150 price tag? With no guarantee that the technology will give an accurate idea of caloric intake, let alone whether or not the technology will work, it may be better to stick to other forms of calorie counting, at least for now.