Device Tracks Calorie Burning

5 years ago

Counting calories that burn through activity is a constant quandary.

One can only operate on a treadmill such a long time, watching intently because the pedometer reads the number of calories melted during a session of exercise. As well as the issue of how many calories are burned through basic daily movements and even during sleep.

But technology ““ and youthful ambition ““ is presenting a round-the-clock solution for those consumed with this calculation.

A group of Georgia Tech students has created a device that enables visitors to constantly compute the quantity of calories they burn ““ even as they sleep.

“It’s a completely converged device,” said Garrett Langley, 21, a senior within the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) who spearheaded the work. “It’s just one unit that provides complete fitness monitoring and management.”

Dubbed HappyHR, the instrument is really a personal monitor that allows users to determine and compare day-to-day physical and caloric activity. The name is a reference to the euphoric feeling that follows a powerful round of exercise ““ the “happy hour.”

The small, rectangular-shaped instrument straps to the wrist or ankle, gathering data related to heartbeat and use. The details are then transferred via Bluetooth to a PC, where the statistics can be analyzed through Web-based software.

Although the device focuses on counting calories, Langley envisions more thorough health applications including respiratory and glucose monitoring.

This tool began like a senior design project for Langley, who viewed a marketplace which was lacking such technology coupled with a results-hungry populace eager for more health information. A future entrepreneur, also, he discovered that it provided a natural way for him to build up a business.

An avid runner, Langley himself was frustrated in the challenge of quantifying fitness results.

“I saw that there was a huge gap in the market,” he explained. “There are simple $30 pedometers, and there’s nothing in between that and $400 health monitors.”

Comparatively, HappyHR should carry a $100 price tag whether it becomes commercially accessible.

Shortly after conceiving the concept, the expansion process became an interdisciplinary endeavor incorporating several colleges at Georgia Tech.

Fellow electrical engineering student John Hamilton, biomedical engineering students Stephen Mann and Nathan Kumar and industrial design student Stuart Lawder all contributed their expertise to actualizing Langley’s concept.

The result: a deft and subtle device that resembles a concise MP3 player a lot more than fitness monitoring technology.

The project, and the fortitude behind it, has impressed Steve Chaddick, Tech alumnus and chairman of the ECE Advisory Board. Chaddick has served like a mentor to Langley and his team, lending his advice to both design and business plan process.

“It’s an awesome chance to promote things i believe in engineering education,” Chaddick said. “We should be teaching the “Ëœwhy’ before the “Ëœwhat,’ as they say. It’s been very satisfying personally.”

Langley is finalizing the HappyHR prototype and beginning discussions with manufacturers. His goal is to make HappyHR commercially accessible some time this fall.

“Ideally, this might alter the way America stays fit,” Langley said. ” ‘Stay fit and become happy’ is the slogan. This really is likely to motivate people to exercise more and become happier.”

Don Fernandez GATech


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