If you’re out to dinner and decide to just let go and overeat, you can always just loosen your belt a notch and no one will be the wiser, right? Well, you won’t get away with it with a Welt Corporation WELT.
The WELT belt tracks your waist size, steps, sitting time, and overeating. Spun off from Samsung’s Creative Lab and funded by a Samsung investment group, the WELT encourages you to follow healthy behaviors. Available in casual and formal belt strap and buckle styles, the WELT was first shown at CES 2016. An ongoing and already goal-topping Kickstarter campaign ends October 6. The company plans to ship WELTs in January 2017.
WELT is simultaneously about fashion and unobtrusive health tech. A lithium-ion polymer battery charges via a micro-USB port and runs for up to 20 days. Companion iOS and Android apps let you set goals and track data sent from the belt. A compiled overall, color-based quick evaluation displays on the smartphone screen. Up to seven days worth of data can be stored on the belt before transferred to a paired smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 wireless.
The primary measure for the WELT, naturally, is waist circumference. A magnetic sensor on WELT senses waist sizes from 28 to 44 inches. Waist measurements greater than 37 inches for men and 32-inches for women raise the potential risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, sometimes referred to as Syndrome X, is a catchall for any combination of three of five factors: a large waistline, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar. The presence of metabolic syndrome increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
The WELT captures the number of steps you take via an embedded pedometer. The step count also tracks calories burned. If you’re not moving around, WELT is always there tracking and calculating your sitting time throughout the day. WELT doesn’t have an exact way to measure eating, but based on waist expansion and contraction, the company says it can detect overeating and add that behavior data to your records. The smartphone app “curates personalized health guidance.” The app analyzes the data based on your behavior and activity and displays your current overall healthy behavior status based on waist size, steps, and amount of time sitting with a single color — blue for best, orange for good, and red for poor results. The app can also suggest customized health care and weight management goals.
It’s up to the individual make healthy decisions. The unobtrusiveness and simple reporting by the WELT belt have an appealing simplicity that may work for some. Depending on one’s viewpoint, the belt could be a healthy-living conscience, a nag, or a source of encouragement supported by simple data measurements.