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Pebble pubs its activity-tracking algorithms and Happiness app

Engadget Engadget 9/06/2016 Mariella Moon
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Pebble has a few health-related updates to share following the launch of its crowdfunding campaign for three new fitness-focused smartwatches. In particular, it has revealed how its first native fitness-tracking app works by publishing the algorithms behind it, launched a mood-tracking app and published the results of a sleep study. Nathaniel Stockham, a Stanford U Ph.D. student in Neuroscience and the person who developed the app's algorithms, wrote about their details in a blog post. He explained that one of them detects and measures motion while the other counts steps and can distinguish if you're walking or running.

According to Pebble, algorithms "are the missing piece in making wearables useful to developers and relevant to healthcare researchers," but other manufacturers aren't as forthcoming with their secrets. The company believes that making its own available to the public will allow third parties to expand upon its offerings.

The smartwatch-maker has also released a mood tracker called the Happiness app, which asks you how you're feeling every hour you're awake. It also asks you what you're doing, what you've just done and who you're with, so you can get a bigger picture of what affects your moods. Pebble Head of Data Susan Holcomb talked about her personal experience with the app in a post. She said it helped her see that her mood gets better when she interacts with other people. One tester found out he's happiest after mealtimes, while another realized he's not drinking enough water, thanks to the app's questions. While it may sound like a hassle to answer random Q's throughout the day, the app was designed to bug you only for a week. It will send you an email with your results after that week is over.

Finally, Pebble has published the results of a sleep study, where it confirmed that night owls tend to be more social than early birds. The company says its results can help you make informed decisions on how to spend your day, such as when to tackle work and challenging issues and when to spend time with loved ones.

Kickstarter, Pebble (1), (2), (3)

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