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How do smartwatches count steps?

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A smartwatch is a gadget that can be worn by an individual throughout the day to keep track of various body parameters.

Any wearable smartwatch needs the person using it to input physiological details such as their weight, height, gender to help the smartwatch make better sense of the data that it collects.

This personalization helps in processing the data generated by the smartwatch. There are a number of sensors which may be added to a smartwatch, but most commonly motion sensors are used to determine body movements.

How does a smartwatch measure steps?
A smartwatch continuously senses the movements of the body on a 3 axis accelerometer. The data is recorded all the time it is worn and powered up, which enables the smartwatch to trace if the individual is walking forward, running fast, or even standing still.

All this data is stored in the smartwatch for further processing. Processing occurs when the data is transferred to the software associated with the smartwatch on the smartphone or laptop with which it is synced.

Since the individual has already shared personal details with the software, the data collected is run through a personalized algorithm. This makes it possible for the software to detect what the different movements recorded actually imply.

It categorizes the movements into different activities and then generates more information based on these details. These are usually stored under different headings in the smartwatch app.

When the individual taps the app a wide variety of information is available from the processed data, ready for reading. The app lets the individual know how many steps have been taken, at what speed, the pace of the individual, and even the number of calories likely to have been burnt. The app allows the individual to interact with the information in a user friendly manner.

How does a smartwatch tracker help an individual?

A smartwatch can help an individual in self-monitoring their activities. It helps in setting fitness goals such as meeting a basic regular exercise activity goal, burning a specific number of calories in the day, and even drinking a set number of glasses of water.

There are a number of options in the app. It can reinforce motivation by showing the individual exactly how much of a goal has been met. It is easy to use and very convenient to measure different parameters.

Think about it. An individual may have the goal of losing five pounds in a month. Now this goal is split up into different heads by the app using the algorithms available. There will be a target for calories to be consumed each day, as opposed to calories that need to be burnt.

The app will then figure out how much of each exercise needs to be done in the day. Now daily targets are available to the individual at a single swipe of the smartphone.

By meeting these targets the individual will eventually lose weight. The constant ability to monitor how much of a target has been met is a good motivator for the individual engaged in the weight loss process.

Add in the ability to share this progress on social media sites with their family and friends using the app. The constant positive attention and feedback is sure to help the individual stay the course till the target is achieved.

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