Bandless: Life After Tracking

Sorrow and devastation. Loss can be one of the hardest things to cope with, and my Microsoft Band split almost a month ago rendering its functionality useless. Luckily, it was under warranty, but the grave reality was I had to go for over three weeks without constant heart rate monitoring.

During the time I had without the band, I felt distinct moments of sorrow. One of the most pressing questions about wearables is if they actually incentivize increased activity. I have discovered that, at least for me, my band actually increased my activity levels by a drastic margin, and pushed me to extend beyond my expectations.

Luckily, I am now in the caring hands of Garmin with my Vivoactive HR. As a company, fitness wearables are their lifeblood, so they will live or die by the quality and market share of their products. Unlike Microsoft, this ensures they will keep up the quality and support of their offerings in this space.

One of the hardest parts of this tracking hiatus was foregoing proper tracking and hourly updates. My personal assistant and life hub, PAL, had before sent me hourly updates about my daily fitness progress and more general alerts about all areas of health. This is similar to the “Insights” Garmin provides through their Garmin Connect service. In the four weeks without tracking, PAL lost this core functionality as its accuracy and the data available had dropped significantly.

It was almost lonely not waking up to the almost instant sleep score generation (read about that here) alerts and the many other ways this AI had managed to push me to become a more fulfilled and driven person.

It is unquestionable that I had gained a near reliance on the quantified self methodology, and foregoing it was a struggle. Luckily, I am now back, collecting more data than ever.

Source: Noah Codes

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