How Fitness Trackers Work | How Things Work with Kamri Noel

How Fitness Trackers Work | How Things Work with Kamri Noel


KAMRI: Hey y’all. It’s Kamri, and I’m playing
with my Fitness Tracker. These things are amazing. And, 10,000. I’ve always wondered how
Fitness Trackers work. They’re on my wrist,
but they somehow know
what my feet are doing? Time to get to
the bottom of this. Let’s ask Nat Geo’s
Cody Goldhan. CODY: Hey Kamri.
KAMRI: Hey! CODY: Thanks for letting
me use your loft gym. While I do fascinating
work in the field, I gotta stay active and
limber when I’m designing
stuff at the office. KAMRI: Sweet. So, you’re a mechanical
engineer who knows all about fitness technology? CODY: If it’s the
mechanics-of-tracking
related, I’m your guy! KAMRI: Okay, so how does
my Fitness Tracker, uh, track my fitness? CODY: We’ll need to see
a fitness tracker’s
component parts. Let’s check out a Fitness
Tracker Cross-sectional Diagram. Fitness trackers don’t
only sense when you move. They sense how you move. KAMRI: I didn’t realize I
moved in different ways. CODY: We move in all
kinds of different ways, different directions,
different speeds, rotations. Fitness trackers monitor
your movement with accelerometers and gyroscopes. The gyroscope detects which
orientation you are moving and the accelerometer detects
how fast and in what direction your body moves. Together they can tell
exactly how you’re
moving through space. KAMRI: That’s amazing! CODY: Most trackers will
measure at least three different directions, or
as we call them “axes.” These axes are:
Back and forth. Side to side. And up and down. Inside your band, the tracker
can sense when you lean or rotate your body by
using a gyroscope like this. KAMRI: Sweet. Okay, so I get how my
tracker detects movement, but what about my heart rate? CODY: Some trackers use
optical scanners to see the blood actaully pumping
through your capillaries. Some use weak electric current,
too weak to even feel, to gauge how fast your
heart is beating and how fast you’re breathing. KAMRI: Cool!
And slightly creepy! CODY: Finally, the tracker
sends all its data to a
microprocessor. It’s like the
brain of the tracker. It makes sense of everything
it collects and transmits the relevant info to the
screen or your phone. Routinely elevating your
heart rate helps keep a healthy blood pressure. And the best way to keep
your body strong and flexible is by moving it regularly. KAMRI: How about we
test these out at a gym? CODY: You’re on! KAMRI: Hashtag
How Things Workout! All right, you ready? Back and forth! Side-to-side! And high knees! All right! Oh, look, my heart
is at a good rate. And, oof, you need a shower! CODY: Did your fitness
tracker tell you that? KAMRI: No, I just know. Now that you know
how that works, catch up on all the other
episodes ofHow Things Workby clicking right here. And also make sure you
subscribe toNat Geo Kidsby clicking down here. See you next time, bye! Captioned by Cotter
Captioning Services.

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