‘Smartwatch is bad in tracking energy consumption’

‘Smartwatch is bad in tracking energy consumption’


‘Smart’ watches, including the Apple Watch and the Samsung Gear 2, prove difficult to measure how many calories the wearer burns. This is evident from a research where some of the best selling devices were compared.

At the research of Stanford university was the operation of a total of seven devices (Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn and the Samsung Gear S2). Sixty subjects started with a training session on the treadmill and exercise bike and carried during the move to four of the watches to their wrists.

By the Stanford team was set up with equipment, including a mask on the head, the heart and the energy with scientific precision measured. The results which it stemmed, were compared with the measured heart rate and the energy consumption that the smartwatch portfolio.


This showed that all seven devices more than 20 per cent of the actual energy use systems. The device that is most accurate can be considered, has a afwijkpercentage of 27 percent (the Fitbit Surge). In the PulseOn was even a percentage detected 93 percent.

As regards the heart rate to give the devices a reliable result. That week, an average of five percent of the findings from the analysis of the Stanford team. The researchers dare not to ask how it is that the watches the energy consumption as much as a bad estimate.

“I think it is very difficult to make an algorithm that fits a wide variety of people,” says researcher Anna Shcherbina. “Energy consumption is different when you, for example, note the length and the weight of the person and how much he or she moves.” Because the measurement of the heart rate, a snapshot is concerned it is more logical that this result is much more accurate, says the researcher.


Human biologist Gijs Goossens of the University of Maastricht tells Trouw that it is also of interest is where the device body is placed. “The smartwatch will have a higher energieschatting give quite a back and forth movement of the arm, as in a game of tennis. More than cycling, for example, where the arms are pretty silent.”

Also notable was that the colour of the skin and circumference of the wrist affect the accuracy of heart rate measurement. “That heart rate is measuring them with short pulses led illumination”, says Goossens. “Thus ‘sees’ the watch how much blood due to the pulse flows. At a higher heart rate, there will be per minute more blood to pass through.” The biologist warns of the watches do not use weight, because they may not correctly indicate how much a person needs to move to a certain number of calories to burn.

The results of this research were published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine.

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