Japanese watchmaker Yamasa Tokei had a cool idea: a small wearable device that uses the natural motions of your body to keep track of how many steps you take. Tokei called his device the Manpo-Kei, roughly translated as “10,000-step meter.” That was almost 50 years ago. The problem is that, since then, the pitch for fitness trackers has barely changed. The curtailing of Nike’s Fuelband highlights the problem when wearable tech doesn’t offer enough that’s new to justify its existence. Keeping track of your steps in an app or getting a badge when you reach a goal might not be enough to justify the purchase of a new piece of hardware, or more importantly to really change your habits for the better. The real power of wearables is more likely to lie not in the devices themselves but in the underlying software layer that integrates your own activity with data from other, seemingly disparate sources.
Read the full story at Wired.