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Wearable Activity Trackers Motivate People to Exercise More, Lose Weight, Study Says

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Millions of people worldwide believe that fitness trackers, pedometers, and smart watches motivate them to exercise more and lose weight, according to a new study by Australian researchers. The findings of the research were published in Lancet Digital Health.

Wearable activity trackers encourage us to walk up to 40 minutes more each day (approximately 1,800 more steps), resulting in an average 1kg weight loss over five months.

Researchers from the University of South Australia reviewed almost 400 studies involving 164,000 people across the world using wearable activity trackers (WATs) to monitor their physical activity.

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Their findings underline the value of low-cost interventions to tackle a growing epidemic of health conditions partially caused by a lack of exercise, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancers, and mental illness.

Lead researcher UniSA PhD candidate Ty Ferguson says despite the popularity of WATs, there is widespread scepticism about their effectiveness, accuracy, and whether they fuel obsessive behaviours and eating disorders, but the evidence is overwhelmingly positive.

“The overall results from the studies we reviewed shows that wearable activity trackers are effective across all age groups and for long periods of time,” Ferguson says. “They encourage people to exercise on a regular basis, to make it part of their routine and to set goals to lose weight.”

The 1kg weight loss may not seem a lot, but researchers say from a public health perspective it is meaningful.

“Bearing in mind these were not weight loss studies, but lifestyle physical activity studies, so we wouldn’t expect dramatic weight loss,” says UniSA Professor Carol Maher, co-author of the review.

“The average person gains about 0.5 kg a year in weight creep so losing 1kg over five months is significant, especially when you consider that two-thirds of Australians are overweight or obese.”

Between 2014 and 2020, the number of wearable activity trackers shipped worldwide increased by almost 1,500 percent, translating to a global spend of $2.8 billion (roughly Rs. 22,500 crore) in 2020.

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Apart from the extra physical activity and weight loss attributed to WATs, there is some evidence that fitness trackers also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes and other health conditions.

“The other reported benefit is that WATs improved depression and anxiety through an increase in physical activity,” Ferguson says.


Are affordable smartwatches worth it? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Fitbit to Discontinue Support for Music Transfer From Computers This Fall

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Fitbit is putting an end to Fitbit Connect app, soon leaving the users unable to transfer music from their computer to a Fitbit device. The Fitbit owners will soon lose the company’s service to transfer music files to their Fitbit device.

In their statement on the Help page, Fitbit stated that they are discontinuing their Fitbit Connect app on October 13. However, the company has also given two options to users to download music to their devices. “You can continue to play personal music stored on your watch and transfer music to your watch with the Deezer app and Pandora app,” the statement read.

In the FAQs related to the discontinuation of the Fitbit Connect app, the company has elaborated that users can undertake a 90-day trial of Deezer or Pandora before subscribing to their paid services for downloading music to their Fitbit devices in the future.

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The Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Sense, and Fitbit Versa users can download the Deezer playlists and Flow directly to their watches. However, this feature is not available for Fitbit Versa Lite Edition.

Meanwhile, Fitbit users in the US can download the Pandora app to listen to music. The feature is supported in the Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Sense, and Fitbit Versa series (except Fitbit Versa Lite Edition). To download music from the app, one will need a paid subscription and a working Wi-Fi connection.

Fitbit Connect is a companion app for Mac and Windows computers that lets you sync fitness data between devices and transfer music to legacy Fitbit devices. The phasing out of the software on desktop is also evident from the fact that the company no longer recommends Fitbit Connect on its setup page.


Are affordable smartwatches worth it? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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LG Tone Free T90, T60 With 9 Hours of Battery Life, ANC Unveiled: All Details

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LG Tone Free earbuds 2022 lineup has been unveiled along with some specifications by the South Korean company. The lineup includes Tone Free T90, T60, TF7, and TF8. The true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds are going to be rolled out starting late-August, according to LG Electronics. The Tone Free T90 TWS earbuds are this year’s flagship earphones from the company, and they feature up to 9 hours of battery life with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) off and a IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance.

The South Korean tech giant, LG Electronics, has not revealed the prices for any of the above mentioned four TWS earbuds so far. Although the company is yet to reveal a definite launch timeline, it has announced that it will start rolling out the TWS earbuds in major markets globally in late-August. As previously mentioned, the company revealed some specifications of the LG Tone Free T90, T60, TF7, and TF8 earbuds.

LG Tone Free T90, T60, TF7, TF8 specifications

According to the company, the LG Tone Free T90 will be 2022’s flagship TWS earbuds offering from LG Electronics. It features a new internal structure with larger dynamic driver to help the earphones generate deeper and more satisfying bass, according to LG Electronics. The Tone Free T90 uses graphene, a material that is said to reduce vibrations. The earbuds also use Meridian Headphone Spatial Processing (HSP). The technology is said to enable the Tone Free T90 to offer a consistent tonal balance at a given volume.

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LG Tone Free T90 TWS earbuds also feature Dolby Atmos with support for Dolby Head Tracking technology across all content. The company claims that the Tone Free T90 earbuds are the first wireless earbuds to feature an audio virtualiser designed by Dolby. They also support the Snapdragon Sound Technology Suite 1. It is said to offer 24-bit/96kHz resolution audio. The ANC technology on the Tone Free T90 gets the Double Step ANC Algorithm and Real Time ANC Optimiser. The Tone Free T90 feature a three mic + VPU setup. The eabuds support wireless charging. Both, Tone Free T90 and T60, feature IPX4 rating for water resistance.

The design of the upcoming earbuds’ has been created by LG Electronics in collaboration with POSTECH Ergonomic Design Technology Lab. The four TWS earbuds are said to be smaller and lighter in weight. The company said that the “Performance Fit” ensures the right positioning of the earbuds inside wearer’s ears. LG Tone Free T90 and T60 get the UVnano charging case, which offer a wider coverage by sterilising all parts of the ear gels. They also sport the Plug and Wireless feature that is said to enable the charging case to also work as a Bluetooth transmitter. The package will include a USB Type-C and an auxiliary cable as well.

LG Tone Free T90 and T60 are claimed to offer up to 9 hours of battery life with the ANC off. The charging cases of the two are claimed to come with up to 20 hours of battery life with ANC off. The quick charge feature on the Tone Free T90 and T60 TWS earbuds enables them to be completely charged after about an hour in the UVnano charging case.

Meanwhile, LG Tone Free Fit TF7 and TF8 feature a three-microphone setup. They also get the Median Sound technology and ANC. Both these earbuds models will also get UVnano charging cases. The earbuds are said to be designed for active lifestyles, and hence, they feature the SwivelGrip technology.

The Tone Free Fit earbuds also support fast charging. The Tone Free Fit TF8 and TF7 are claimed to offer up to 10 hours of battery life with ANC off, and the charging cases are said to come with up to 20 hours of battery life with ANC off. Both the TWS earbuds models from LG Electronics get a IP67 rating for dust and water resistance. The Tone Free Fit TF8 TWS earbuds also feature Plug and Wireless technology.


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Apple Watch Series 8 Design, Colour Options Tipped: All Details

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Apple Watch Series 8 has been tipped to feature the same design as its predecessor, the Apple Watch Series 7. A tipster has shared the expected colour options for the company’s rumoured next-generation wearable device. The leak specifically refers to the base variant of the Apple Watch Series 8. It is also said to feature four aluminium colour options and two stainless steel colour options. According to the tipster, who cites an unnamed source, no new sensors were noticeable on the smartwatch. A recent report had suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could support a ‘fever detection’ feature.

Tipster ShrimpApplePro (@VNchocoTaco) has leaked details regarding the base variant of the rumoured Apple Watch Series 8. According to the tipster, the wearable will feature a design similar to the previous generation smartwatch form Apple. It is said to feature Midnight, Starlight, Product Red, Silver colour options in aluminium. It could also get Silver and Graphite colour options for the stainless steel version, the tipster added.

The base variant of the Apple Watch Series 8 will not be available in a titanium model, according to the tipster, who also notes that their source was unable to visually notice any new sensors on the rumoured smartwatch series from Apple. Additionally, the tipster has also shared that the box of the Apple Watch Series 8 will get a new seal with stronger glue. This is said to prevent retailers and from repackaging the smartwatch. It is said to enter mass production this month.

Apple Watch Series 8 will reportedly sport the largest display that the tech giant has placed on a wearable. As per the report, the Watch Series 8 could be called the Apple Watch Pro. The report also added that it could be the first major redesign for an Apple Watch since 2018. This claim has been purportedly refuted by tipster ShrimpApplePro.

According to a recent report, the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a body temperature sensor that can reportedly detect if a user has fever. It is said to recommend wearers to see doctor or use a dedicated thermometer. The report added that the feature might not display the exact temperature like a traditional thermometer.


Missed Apple’s WWDC 2022? We discuss every major announcement on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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