{Via WearSens}
{Via WearSens}

We’re addicted to information. We love tracking metrics, analyzing data, and hitting pre-set goals. We use wi-fi scales, heart rate monitors, fitness bands, and an ever-growing collection of mobile fitness apps in the constant pursuit of health-centric information and personal improvement. But…how much is too much?

NY Magazine’s The Cut recently covered a new piece of wearable tech: The WearSens smart necklace. Dubbed “a choke collar to judge your eating habits” by the mag, the device aims to influence dieters by tracking “every sip, bite, and puff” they take.

Developed by a team of engineers from UCLA, the necklace tracks vibrations near the neck using piezoelectric sensors, which gauge mechanical disturbances–think, food being eaten/moving down the esophagus–and can decipher between liquids and solids, types of food, and portion sizes all based on distinct vibration patterns. It’s does this, supposedly, with around a 90% accuracy. The ultimate goal? To dissuade users from indulging in large portions. The choker does this by sending the user a feedback vibration or cellphone alert upon distinguishing their bad behavior. Lol.

According to this article from Popular Science, however, the WearSense could serve an alternate purpose. Since preliminary research suggests that the device can detect things like smoking and the ingesting of pills, the WearSens may have practical implications for other medical conditions like smoking cessation, or reminding patients to take important medication. The mobile app could then be modified to send alerts to caregivers, family members, or doctors. All good things!

Okay. Back to dieting. Aside from the necklace’s distinct lack of chicness, I wonder: is this something we really NEED? A choker that keeps track of each and every calorie and sends little shocks that tell us to skip the third slice of pizza?! Personally, I’m not convinced. {And it also freaks me out.}

Would you rock this choker?

xx,

Liza

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