I know my gym days were spent dreaming of ways to get out of gym. Wearables consisted of a zip front outfit that I can only describe as a romper and everything was tracked with a stopwatch or counting aloud. Well, things just got a lot hipper as Adidas has moved into the school territory according to TechCrunch. They have created ZONE, heart monitoring wristbands to get kids in shape, which sounds funny until you think of all the youth with diabetes. I think they are on the right track, and it’s going to be similar to the tech used for coaches monitoring pro soccer players only on the cheap. It will go something like this.
The kids aren’t chipped (what district can afford it?) so NFC it is — the PE teacher’s laptop will know that when wristband number 22 taps in during fourth period, it’s Nisha and not Neil.
One of the advantages I can see with this plan is that the bands may reach students that can’t afford gadgets. Granted the wealthier schools will get them, but with so much interest in STEM these days, perhaps grants will lend a hand. I look at it as future savings on medical insurance with a healthier body. On the negative side, young people with trackable wearables become a security issue, so there are concerns about data. Adidas is partnered with Interactive Health Technologies Spirit System, “a comprehensive and easy-to-use, cloud-based curriculum and assessment management tool for K-12 P.E. teachers”. So, students will receive one-on-one coaching to help them take control of their own fitness goals with some pretty amazing data. Given the choice between diabetes and security issues, I would probably favor going with the ZONE. If you are a PE teacher, you may want to scope out the pricing here. If you don’t want to wait that long for data, have your science teacher check out our Heart Rate Educational Starter Pack. It’s the perfect way to get started on heart monitoring; just add an Arduino and get jogging. Kids love hands-on science anyway and it’s all bonus points for the education. Let us know how you make out and keep it moving!
Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!