BodyMedia is a New Fitbit-like Activity and Body Measurement Device--Launching With an API

BodyMedia provides insight into your body’s physical state through four scientific measurements.  It uses a pedometer-like device to measure physical motion and steps, but also has galvanic skin response, skin temperature and heat flux measures.  The BodyMedia API will give application developers access to all these metrics on your body’s recent activity.  FitBit is in a similar space, but FitBit just doesn’t have as many measurements to use in its applications.

The primary target audience for the product website appears to be those that are looking for weight loss results.  Last time I checked well over half of all Americans are overweight or obese.  That statistic makes it easy to understand why BodyMedia would be marketed toward weight loss.   I still think that the ‘optimal wellness’ facet of this device may have been overlooked.   Would a healthy desk worker be interested to know how their body changes throughout the first 4 hours at work?  If sedentary workers could see that their body becomes increasingly less active while they continue sitting, would it encourage them to take breaks for physical activity?

There certainly are a lot of applications with this type of device and a lot of possibilities.  I wonder if this device’s measurements could be correlated with the different digital events in my life.  Could BodyMedia show me which emails or phone calls raise my heart rate the most?  I would love to see a body monitoring device aimed at stress management, which I think is an underserved health area.

The BodyMedia API is RESTful and can return either XML or JSON.  It allows access to statistics on activity, entered meals and sleep.

Be sure to read the next API article: Unofficial Video Game APIs Help You Know Your Foe