Monday, October 8, 2007

Cellphone checks your health and gives advice
(but only in Japan)

It can take your pulse, check your body fat, time your jogs and tell you if you have bad breath. It even assesses stress levels and inspires you with a pep talk. Your new personal trainer and shrink is your phone.

The prototype Wellness phone from Japan's NTT DoCoMo targets users with busy lives who want a hassle-free way of keeping track of their health. Unveiled last week at the CEATEC electronics show, the phone has a motion sensor that detects body movement and calculates how many calories you burn.

The sensor can tell whether you're walking, running, climbing stairs, or resting, and counts the calories to tally daily totals. The handset also keeps track of jogs, letting users set targets and keeping track of time, distance, and calories burnt - all while listening to music through headphones.

Hold the phone with outstretched arms, and it turns into a mini body fat calculator. A sensor at the top of the phone takes your pulse from your fingertip.

Worried about bad breath? Use the phone's breathalyzer. After a demonstrator blew on a tiny hole on the side of the handset for about three seconds, the screen flashed, "Not too bad."

The phone also asks questions to assess stress, and offers advice.

When the demonstrator answered "Yes" to a series of questions -- including "Do you feel lethargic?" and "Do you go to bed after midnight?" -- a message on the screen warned he was under a lot of stress. "Don't worry, tomorrow's a fresh new day," the phone then flashed. "Keep your chin up!"

NTT DoCoMo is still testing some of the phone's other technology, including a function to keep track of meals and calculate calorific intake, as well as a networking capacity to let users share data.

DoCoMo has not set a release date or price for the Wellness phone. The company's phones are not sold ourside Japan. (info from The Associated Press)
This is a preview, not a review.

No comments: