The activity tracker market is currently saturated with a plethora of products with varying degrees of accuracy when measuring and reporting the user’s physical activity data. Most of the popular products like the Fitbit Force or Nike+ FuelBand still suffer from the inability to differentiate a simple hand motion while talking from an actual step taken. This results in an overestimation of the reported step count and the calories expended.
Amiigo (Mountain View, CA) aims to solve this problem with their activity tracker that can not only accurately determine the type of activity performed but also provide valuable cardiovascular information that is relevant to the user. In order to verify the claims made by the company that the device can differentiate between a bench press and a lateral pulldown, Medgadget took the device for a test drive in the gym this past weekend.
The Amiigo includes both a wristband and a shoe clip sensor for improved tracking accuracy. The wristband and the shoe clip contain 3-axis accelerometers to accurately track the user’s motion. The wristband also contains a thermometer to measure body temperature and a pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen saturation. The wristband is made of ABS plastic and polycarbonate, and the shoe clip is made of ABS plastic. The user wears the shoe clip ideally over two shoe lace crossings in order to get a secure fit.
The wristband and the shoe clip are paired over Bluetooth with a smartphone that has the Amiigo app. Once the devices are paired with the phone, a first time user will have to perform a series of exercise repetitions for 30 seconds, for the device to register that activity. The user enters the name of the activity in the app and performs the activity for at least 30 seconds. We did deltoid flys, inclined chest presses, lateral pulldowns and lateral raises. Once the user has performed all the different activities that constitute a regular workout, the user can put away the phone during subsequent workouts and the Amiigo trackers can automatically detect the type of activity being performed.
The devices can also accurately determine the number of repetitions performed during each type of workout. During a cardio workout on the treadmill or bicycle, the user does not have to pre-train the device, as the trackers automatically detect walking, running and cycling motions. If the user performs a previously untrained activity, the device picks it up as a new unnamed activity. We performed a series of previously untrained ab exercises, which the device picked up and labeled as “Upper body bursts”.
Upon completion of a workout, the workout data is transmitted to the cloud servers for processing. Unlike most activity tracker, the processing of the data is not performed by the mobile app. Processing on the cloud servers allows for comparison of the user’s performance against a community of other users, as well as to provide more valuable and relevant biometric information than is available through most activity trackers.
In addition to giving a detailed workout analysis in terms of duration, form, consistency and speed for each workout, the device is also able to report other cardiovascular performance parameters such as heart rate variability, breathing duration, breathing rate, and blood oxygen saturation levels. Users can also compare their workout performance and cardiovascular parameters against those of another person in the community. Unlike other activity trackers, the Amiigo cannot be worn by two different people as the motion patterns of one person will not match those of another.
Having reviewed a number of activity trackers over the last year, the Amiigo tracker truly stands out due to its ability to not only accurately track different exercises, but also because of its enormous potential to use the workout data to generate meaningful health reports. The company is currently testing the product with beta users and is set for commercial launch in January.
Product page: Amiigo…