Extreme Fitness: Internet of Things Spoils Food if You Don’t Exercise
IoT and fitness geek explains how to integrate FitBit Tracker with Belkin WeMo switch to turn off the refrigerator if he doesn't get off his butt.
Since I’m on the subject of the Internet of Things (IoT) with the Lutron patent applications, here’s one of the geekiest apps for IoT that I’ve ever seen.
Here’s a guy who needs a little motivation to stay fit. So he takes a Wi-Fi-enabled FitBit Tracker that logs activity, and ties it to the refrigerator via a Wi-Fi-enabled Belkin WeMo switch.
If certain exercise thresholds are not met, the FitBit warns the slacker a few times. And if he doesn’t get off his butt, the system relays a message via the Internet/home network to the WeMo switch.
The switch controls power to the refrigerator and will turn the thing off to punish the guy, spoiling the food and forcing him to look, say, in the pantry for something to eat.
While the WeMo switch is meant to be controlled via Belkin’s own iOS (and soon Android) app, there is an open protocol that enables third-party developers to integrate the IP-enabled device into a broader ecosystem.
All I needed then was a service to monitor my Fitbit account and my activity that would also turn on/off the switch. For this I built a webscript that checks my daily activity through the Fitbit API. Every evening it will check for the total steps tracked by the Fitbit device. If my activity is below some threshold it gives me a warning email first. Then it checks again within 1 hour and if the threshold is still not met it shuts down the Wemo. It will recheck every 1 hour then and will turn on the switch in case I have made enough steps!
This is geekness and fitness to the extreme, but nonetheless a great illustration of the power of the Internet of Things.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org
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