Perhaps it is premature to say that Big Brother is watching your weight, but he is certainly trying to develop the capacity to do so.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, “Feds Spend $2.1 Million to Develop Weight-Tracking Insoles, Buttons.”
Buttons? “Wearable button videotapes what an obese person eats.” Gotcha.
The federal government is spending more than $2 million to develop wearable insoles and buttons that can track a person’s weight in order to fight obesity.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded grants for two projects that will monitor “lifestyle behavior” through technologies that will encourage people to exercise more.
The first project, awarded to SmartMove, Inc., a company that provides physical activity “coaching solutions,” is creating insoles that will track a person’s weight.
“A single device that accurately monitors body weight, posture allocation, physical activity (i.e. movement), and energy expenditure would be an extremely useful tool for weight management,” the grant’s abstract states.
The insoles work with a mobile phone app that would show the user their weight and physical activity levels. A video shows a person using an early prototype in 2011 while walking around a fountain.
“Such a device could be used to quantify and modify physical activity and lifestyle behavior in overweight and obese individuals and others with sedentary lifestyles,” the project reasons.
The grant added that the insoles “can assist in successful weight management in free-living adults.” SmartMove, Inc. has received a total of $1,334,397 for the project so far.
The diet and fitness industry in the United States is huge. Companies are continually coming up with new offerings to please customers. Yet these insoles require a government grant of over one and a third million dollars “so far.”
Perhaps that is because, while people want to do something about their own health, they aren’t interested in being spied on all day.
What does the government plan to do with these insoles once they are developed? Who is going to have someone track their weight and movements at all times? Who will be doing the tracking?
And will that button only be used to keep track of food that is eaten? Or will it have other purposes?
Perhaps we should update “Big Brother Is Watching You,” to “Helicopter Parent Is Hovering over You.”