Fitness and health in the world of tech

Sense helps us learn about the quality of our sleep and even suggests what time would be ideal to go to bed and wake up.

March 3, 2015 23:07

Sense helps us learn about the quality of our sleep and even suggests what time would be ideal to go to bed and wake up. (photo credit: COURTESY KICKSTARTER)


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The problem of childhood obesity has been getting worse. In an effort to counter this worrying phenomenon, social startup Go VIVO has found a way to use super-cool-looking technology to excite kids to engage in more physical activity through games.

Go VIVO developed a colorful bracelet that kids love to wear. It has an electric sensor embedded in it that converts activities such as jumping and running into virtual-game credits. Kids can then use these points to “buy” their favorite virtual games. Now parents won’t constantly have to pressure kids to exercise – they’ll want to do as much physical activity as they can so they can get more points.

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Numerous ventures have been suggested over the years in an effort to fight childhood obesity, but with little results.

Statistics show that there are millions of overweight children between the ages of eight and 14 around the world, many of whom spend up to 14 hours a week playing computer games when they should have been engaging in physical activity.

When a child is wearing a Go VIVO bracelet, however, he will feel excited to participate in the game and will have an incentive to mimic the movements of the characters in the computer game.

Wearing the bracelets make children feel like they are part of the game and excited to move around like the characters on the screen.

The Go VIVO bracelet has sensors embedded in it that record changes in body temperature and the amount of sweat. It then converts these numbers into virtual points for the child to use to purchase games.


The startup has found that children are extremely excited when they see that their jumping and running around gains them more points and helps them reach the next level in the game.

Go VIVO is currently participating in “The Rally,” a social tech accelerator for entrepreneurs that imaginatively uses technology to tackle social issues. Founded by Hub TLV and Tech for Good, The Rally is helping 13 Israeli tech startups that address social issues to succeed. Each company follows a personalized program and receives one-on-one mentoring from accomplished professionals in their fields.

Go VIVO announced that it has received $300,000 in preseed funding from Deborah Silver and Yossi Karta.

Endomondo Sports Tracker
If you’re looking for an app that will get you motivated to engage in athletic activity, this is the perfect one for you.

Endomondo creates a supportive virtual community for you that motivates you to get out and moving. Whether you’re running, cycling, walking or ice skating, this app makes what you’re doing fun. It’s free for iPhone and Android. More advanced versions are available for a fee.

JEFIT Workout
If you love training seriously and documenting your training program, JEFIT is a free fitness, bodybuilding and workout trainer for people who want to take their exercise regimen up a notch and achieve their fitness goals. Whether you lift weights or do speed walking, JEFIT provides a convenient gym log and reminder system that will help you stick to your schedule and improve your fitness. It’s free for iPhone and Android. More advanced versions are available for a fee.

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout App
If you don’t have time to go to the gym or go for an hour jog, this seven-minute workout may be just the thing for you. The idea behind this app is that exercising for seven minutes is better than not exercising at all. The easy instructional videos are right there in front of you, and there is an adjustable fitness level, so everybody can work out according to his or her current fitness level. It’s free for iPhone and Android. More advanced versions are available for a fee.

Google Fit
This Google app enables users to monitor all types of physical activity. All you have to do is carry your phone with you while you walk, run or bike, and the app will show you all your fitness data in one place. Google Fit offers performance-based recommendations and lets you customize your workout so that you reach your maximum fitness.

It’s perfect for beginners, and the app is really easy to use. It’s free for Android.

Pocket Yoga
Yoga has been popular in Israel for many years, and now there’s an app that will let you keep up with your yoga practice even if you can’t make it to a class. Practice at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. Just roll out your mat, prop up your device next to you, and Pocket Yoga will guide you through an entire yoga session. Each screen shot shows you clearly exactly what pose to strike.

IPhone and Android versions are available starting at NIS 10.90.

How we feel on any given day has a lot to do with how we slept the night before.

When our sleep is disturbed by light or noise, it has a significant effect on our ability to function during the day.

A Kickstarter campaign has begun raising money for a new product called Sense, a device that gives us insight into our sleep patterns. You put a little ball on your nightside table and attach a clip to your pillow. It measures temperature and light exposure and even has a microphone that picks up noises that could disturb your sleep.

Sense helps us learn about the quality of our sleep and even suggests what time would be ideal to go to bed and wake up. The Sense’s Smart Alarm will wake you up in the morning at the right point in your sleep cycle, which can prevent you from feeling groggy all day. Sense’s Sleep Score takes into account all the data and generates a breakdown of your score out of 100, helping you fix whatever is preventing you from sleeping well. It’s available for iPhone and Android and sells for $129.

If you run a young startup, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact info@

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

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