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Apple to incentivize workouts?

THE TECH CIRCUIT - Yasunari Ramon Suarez Taguchi - The Freeman

Amidst rumors that it will begin producing the successor to its iPhone SE line next month, Apple got rumor mongers talking over the weekend with talks that it is launching an incentive program that ties workout session stats with real rewards in the US.

Termed the “Apple Watch Connected” program, word has it that the firm has partnered with select gyms and fitness centers to reward individuals who tally the calorie burns of their fitness regimens with an Apple Watch.

Basically, the idea of the program is to maximize the functional aspects of the watch’s built-in activity tracking features by compelling Apple Watch owners to beat their record counts or workout goals and get real rewards in the form of Apple gift cards or gym or venue-specific vouchers.

Word of the program has sparked mixed reactions among those who’ve come by it, with most seeing it as a progressive move towards utilizing on-hand technologies to establish better healthy and active lifestyle habits.

There are those, however, who aren’t so keen about the applications of the program’s overall dynamic in marketing and advertising, given that it breaches certain personal privacy terms. Some have gone as far as labelling it as a way for Apple and its partners to profile users.

A “shape shifting chair” that simulates the “walking sensation”

Jaguar Land Rover revealed last week that it is developing a type of chair that “makes your brain think you’re walking.”

Colloquially termed “shape shifting chair,” the seat is poised to alleviate physical concerns that stem from being seated in vehicles on long drives.

The chair works with actuators that are lined under its cushions. These actuators do “constant micro-adjustments” throughout a journey, and these adjustments are measured to make a seaters’ brain think that he or she has been taking walking steps in sequence.

Still at its early development stage, the “shape shifting chair” is part of the brand’s Destination Zero initiative which envisions to make societies cleaner and people safer and healthier.

Its announcement has generally been well-received, and has even raised questions as to just how applicable and practical the technology is for regular chairs – office and workstation chairs, in particular.


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