Lumo Lift is another activity tracker that will hit the market soon.
It is not a bracelet, like others of its kind, it can be clipped to a shirt or top.
By the description it seems that it will provide the usual set of functions like tracking and history of activity and calories burned, can detect when the user is walking, running, sitting or lying down and it will vibrate when the user has been inactive for too long and needs to move.
Like all the other trackers, it comes with a phone app.
Reminders and settings can be customized, but the device will also learn user’s habits and patterns and be able to provide insight and personalized recommendations.
The feature that the ad and the website focus on the most, is posture tracking. Every time the user slouches it will buzz to remind him or her to stand/sit straight.
Lumo Lift has a great form factor, smooth, beautifully designed, unobtrusive and easy to handle. It can be worn under your clothes but the visible part is simple and small enough that it can work great as a discreet piece of jewelry. Even the charger has a great design.
In theory and assuming that it works as advertised, Lumo Lift meets all requirements for being a great product: it is functional, it meets customers’ needs, it is easily adaptable, easy to use and it is a beautiful object.
So why does it inspire in me a vague creepy feeling?
I think it is about being reminded to keep our shoulders straight. I can see myself in 7th grade, sitting at my desk, slouching with my chin resting on the book in front of me, as a physical representation of my contempt for homework and my mother passing by with a “sit straight, Stefi!”
The vibration is just a very, very small step away from having a maternal voice tell you to sit straight. (I haven’t seen the new Windows 8.1 update, but I am sure that Cortana could easily learn to do it once it syncs with the Lumo app).
That can be a little creepy by itself, considering also that as adults we should be able to exercise some self-control and self-awareness and with a little Pilates or Yoga, be able to improve our posture on our own.
But what really feels threatening to me, is disclosing and releasing yet another little piece of personal information “out there”, just a security vulnerability away from being available to the public at large. Another piece of the puzzle that forms our personal on-line image and identity.
Even more disturbing is the knowledge that it is not unlikely that if I used one for a while and I found it useful, I would be less concerned about sharing this extra piece of information with the ether.