I wear a fitness tracker on my wrist to measure my daily steps and my heart rate during workouts. I also have a smart scale at home that syncs my weight and body fat % measurements into the same app where I track my movements.
Increasingly, I’ve become frustrated by chronic errors (whether systematic or user-generated) within my “quantified self” setup: the calorie count for my latest workout was jumping around when I adjusted unrelated settings, and then the body fat % on my scale was 7% off from the number captured by my personal trainer.
Why do I put so much stock in the arbitrary numbers my watch and scale generate to quantify my exercise and body mass? How on earth do I know they’re accurate?
The majority of this industry is predicated on blind trust. Sure, there are news outlets like Wirecutter that use third-party tools to test the accuracy of these devices, but they typically only evaluate the earliest lifetime of a product. They don’t give you much (if any) insight into how these data can impact your life over time — not to mention the implications inaccurate data can have.
Turns out, it becomes much harder to gaining meaningful insight from the “quantified self” when you lose confidence in the numbers themselves.
What’s your experience with fitness trackers and health-adjacent IoT devices?