Handheld Devices

Activity tracker Basis knows everything about your body

Sometimes it doesn't matter how many workout apps, protein shake recipes, or Nike+ FuelBands you have--it can seem like you just don't really know how well your training is going. Sure, your Fitbit can tell you how many miles you ran last week, but it can't share, say, how well your blood was flowing during those runs. Basis claims it's developed a wearable activity tracker that is much more than just a high-tech pedometer.

Instead Basis scans your physiology with five sensors to figure out exactly what's going on with your body every second of every day--as long as you're wearing it, of course. That might sound kind of creepy, but on the other hand, it's about the closest thing we have to a cybernetic health monitor.

The Basis watch is equipped with five sensors that sit flat against your wrist to collect data on skin temperature, heart rate, how much you're sweating, and, of course, a three-axis accelerometer. A pair of green LEDs on both sides of an optical sensor even beam light to your capillaries to see how fast your blood is flowing. And yes, it also tells time.

Jef Holove, the CEO of Basis, told TechHive that the magic comes when the sensors work together to better understand how your body is exerting itself.

"Two guys in very different physical conditions can both walk 10,000 steps, and an accelerometer will tell you exactly the same thing," said Jef, an electronics engineering expert who is also the former CEO of Eye-Fi. "But if you can look at heart rate, perspiration, and other measure of physiology, you might see the experience is very different."

All of that data is crunched into caloric burn and sleeping pattern charts that you can view on Basis' website. Basis recently rolled out a new Android app and has an iOS version in the works. The app lets you access your physical records on the go, and can give you little reminders to stick to your sleeping schedule or exercise more, acting as a digital physical trainer.

Basis originally launched in November and has been selling its watches direct from its site for $199. Wednesday at the CE Week Line Show, the startup showed off its stylish new bands created by a artists in Brooklyn and San Francisco.

But Basis isn't taking more orders right this second, "due to overwhelming demand." If you're looking get your hands on a Basis, you'll first have to register on the My Basis site for a private invite to buy the $200 gadget.


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