Unhealthy Health Apps

Younger generations have been experiencing health in a way never encountered before, with the availability of phone apps to quantify exercise and calories. Phone manufacturers like Apple offer health-focused apps to track seemingly every variable in a person’s life. The App Store is also saturated with other software bundles that claim some variation of helping the user lose weight or otherwise maintain good health. The functions range from mileage trackers for runs to detailed nutrition facts on all food intakes, to programs designed to make you get better rest at night. The novelty of your watch telling you to stand up and move around is undoubtedly cool, but is there actual usefulness in this expensive tech?

Photo creds: https://www.apple.com/ios/health/

One type of fitness app that may be unfamiliar to some are sleep trackers. Any insomniac will tell you how much a good night’s rest will impact the coming day, but how much can a high tech sleeping pad really help? It turns out the answer is entirely clear cut. No commercial tracker can directly measure sleep cycles, so they instead rely on data such as movement and heart rate at night. This can often result in the apps not addressing any issues actually disrupting rest. Perhaps technology will improve in the future, but real concerns will still be best answered by a doctor.

 

Many people are aware that what you eat makes as big an impact on your health as physical activity. The availability of calorie tracking apps lets anyone track their food intake. Just add meals and the app will tell you what you can eat for the rest of the day. The problem with this is that users can become obsessed with the idea of calorie counting and then avoid higher calorie healthy foods like avocado or olive oil. Many nutritionists stress that moderate consumption of even less healthy foods is better than eating fifty servings of low calorie foods or drinking a liter of diet soda. Again, it’s best to leave the health advice to doctors for now.

Probably the most commonly used health app are fitness trackers. I personally use my smartwatch to track heart rate and distance on my runs and gym excursions. For the fitness-inclined, these can be lifesavers when developing workout plans or to see when you are pushing yourself too hard. A negative side-effect is how this functionality forces itself into everyday life. Many may find themselves constantly checking how close they are to their step goal for the day just like they would refresh an Instagram feed. Sometimes you can’t address the push notification telling you to be more active if you’re in the middle of a lecture. These apps cultivate a dependence to their data, which may be difficult to break like any other app addiction. The endorphins that come naturally from exercise should not be overshadowed by the chemicals released from seeing that you walked more than average for the day. The concept and goals of fitness are shifting from simple healthiness to constant improvement at any cost, for better or for worse.

The Harmful Effects of Blue Light and the New Accessory That Can Help​

The Harmful Effects of Blue Light and the New Accessory That Can Help​

In today’s technical age, everyone is constantly glued to their phones, from the moment they wake up to when they close their eyes to go to sleep. I, myself, am guilty of going to bed holding my phone while watching a show on Netflix or a video on YouTube. Although it may seem like the only issue with this is your empty iPhone battery, looking at your phone immediately before bed is actually bad for your eyes. For years, scientists have warned against looking at screens before bed, and the reason for this is that blue light is emitted from these screens.

Blue light is a certain type of visible light found all around us. With the rise of technology and the use of screen such as those in televisions, iPhones, and computers, our exposure to blue light has increased immensely. People might wonder, if blue light is found naturally all around us, why is it so bad? When people are constantly looking at their screens, their eyes are being constantly exposed to light that our retinas aren’t capable of handling. Long-term exposure can also lead to issues such as eye strain and retina damage.

One of the biggest issues that people are finding for blue light is how it is detrimental for your sleep. It has been scientifically tested that blue light keeps people alert while also slowing down your body’s creation of melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates your sleep. As college students, it is crucial for us to be getting enough sleep. When we are running around to class and spending long hours in the library, we need to balance it with good rest or else you can burn yourself out. Getting enough sleep isn’t only important for you physically, but mentally, and if you don’t rest your body properly it could make you more exposed to sicknesses. This is why doctors don’t suggest the use of phones at night, and although this may be difficult for college students who study right before bed, we should all begin the practice of separating from our technology when it’s time to get some rest.

Picture Creds: http://briabella.com/the-quay-australia-blue-light-glasses-magnetic-clear/

With the rise of this information on blue light, eye glass companies are stepping up with a new invention: blue light lenses. Companies such as Warby Parker and Zenni Optical have begun production of glasses with special lenses that help protect your eyes from blue light. These lenses are a great buy for anyone stretching from college students to children to people in the work force. This day in age, everyone is looking at screens, and with the purchase of these glasses you can maintain your eye health and protect yourself from the harmful rays of your iPhone. An added plus to these glasses is the array of styles they come in; unlike the readers found in shops like CVS or Walgreens, these lenses can be put into various styles and colors, so you can find the ones that fit you best. The production of these glasses is spreading, so if you don’t find a pair you like on one website, scour the web for other companies, and there’s a good chance you’ll find ones you love. Not only will you be protecting your eyes, but you’ll be doing it with style.

Picture Creds: https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/israel-news/1319606/screens-blame-haifa-u-study-blue-light-emitted-screens-damages-sleep.html

The State of Wearable Technology

The State of Wearable Technology

The Wearable Tech Consumers Can Find Useful in Daily Life

The hybridization of clothing and electronics first appeared on the radar of average consumers in the early 2010s with the showcasing of Google Glass. While this product ended a forgotten commercial failure, Glass has found use in manufacturing and industry. The augmentation of reality, through smart applications and quick access to the Internet, however, has become mainstream through apps available on consumer smartphones. As manufacturing processes become more streamlined and cost efficient, a decreased cost of production will plausibly lead to realistic prices for consumers to add smart glasses to their collection of connected devices.

Image: https://dwhs7eit3h8mr.cloudfront.net/assets/images/a5146f4327c494253819e13c417b00df/wearables-e1455299947895.jpg

One common addition the average person’s growing selection of technology is the smartwatch, as the market offers a wide selection at all price points and levels of connectivity. The Apple Watch is one popular choice, due to its integration with the Apple smart ecosystem, and allows the user to access apps and send texts and phone calls from their wrist. Android users might find a similar smartwatch available from their platform manufacturer of choice. Other options include specialized fitness trackers to record miles walked and activity. While many fitness trackers and by extension smartwatches are purely utilitarian and for use at the gym or on runs, stylish options exist; many companies have invested in creating “hybrid” smartwatches, which at first glance appear to be normal mechanical timepieces. Oftentimes, a closer inspection reveals that many fitness trackers include a small screen for notification access or a heart rate tracker. The continued market interest in wrist-mounted smart devices has even led to high-end fashion companies such as Hermès cashing in by providing bands for Apple Watches. Louis Vuitton produces their own highly customizable smartwatch and even true Swiss watchmakers such as Tag Heuer (owned by Louis Vuitton) have unveiled smartwatches available to the public.

As mobile technology continues to improve in power and form, companies are beginning to integrate smart technology in more unconventional ways to create smart clothing. Recently, Google and Levi’s revealed their second iteration of Jacquard: a collaboration to create a connected smart jacket. This new innovation combines the classic looks of Levi’s denim trucker jackets with the power of Google’s Assistant and interaction with the user’s smartphone from the cuff of a sleeve. Jacquard also released a project with Saint Laurent, a smart backpack with an integrated touchpad in a shoulder strap, along with a vibration motor and notification light.

It’s clear that smart accessories have already made an impact on the consumer, and that high-end fashion will continue to pave the way with smart clothing. Google innovates with Glass and Jacquard, having created smart fibers that can be woven into fabrics. New smart clothing technologies are constantly created both by small tech startups and established giants. As America moves toward more technological connectivity with smart homes and AI integration, clothing is bound to be drawn into the mix. In the meantime, accessorizing seems to be the way to go until smart clothing options further develop.

Starbucks Now Delivers in San Francisco Through Uber Eats: Expansion to Follow

Starbucks Now Delivers in San Francisco Through Uber Eats: Expansion to Follow

After having successful test runs in Miami back in fall 2018, Starbucks announced in December its plan to provide delivery services from 2,000 stores in the US by 2019. Why the change? Though coffee sales continue to flourish in America, the famous coffee supply chain struggles to compete against businesses. Think McDonald’s and Wawa (who sell a Cup of Joe for less than $5) – even Starbucks’ most popular lattes and espresso drinks cannot win. 

 

With an additional $2.49 delivery fee, hopefully, the new Uber services will become another source of steady income. In addition to delivering through Uber Eats in Miami, Starbucks added services in San Francisco starting on Tuesday, January 22, and will add Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. in the spring.

 

 Starting delivery services should bring Starbucks more customer loyalty. Especially for employees who work a typical eight-hour day from 9-5 in addition to taking care of a family – stopping and waiting for coffee is not a priority, nor is it reasonable. Now, hustle-and-bustle Americans can order Starbucks with the simply use of an app at the convenience of their own time. Though some people prefer Wawa and Dunkin drinks over those from Starbucks’ (specifically, the prices), coffee-enthusiasts will feel more inclined to consistently invest in $5 Starbucks’ because of its new fast and furious delivery services.