Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Vinegar strokes

Amidst all the talk of foundations shaking in Wall Street and in the Square Mile, I thought it would be nice to escape for a while to the fantasy land of Wii, where it has been interesting to read about the lawsuit in regard to the motion detection technology so beloved of fat families throughout the developed world. I am a late adopter of the fabulous fun to be had from this thang, and am defiantly retro in my undying love of Mario Kart, which I remember from the SNES days and nights wasted (oh yeah!) in Old Street.

I have a mobile phone with its own motion sensing (from the Sony website, I quote: "It's all in your moves. With Shake control, you select a song from your playlist randomly at the flick of your wrist") capabilities - a Sony Ericsson W580i - which is, on the whole, rubbish (battery life is very poor, and I feel like a 13 year old carrying it around) but which nevertheless has an interesting feature. It detects motion. After a few simple configurations (much simpler than setting up a cycle computer) you can work out your walking or running speed and the phone then monitors your activity. It calculates the number of steps and miles walked or run and the quantity of calories burned, has the capability of downloading to CSV, and even awards you medals. Fantastic! I have a silver for being a 'Wanderer' and a gold for 'Round the World', but so far the 'Fitness' and 'Jogger' sections have remained medal free.

I have developed a habit of watching the counter as I walk - just to verify the accuracy of the metrics. There are some irritations, but on the whole it seems to be reasonably on the button. I like it when the counter clicks on as I walk, and have even been known to increase my pace to see what effect this has, but sometimes the thing just freezes. Yesterday, for example, the counter reached 11,107 steps, and so I slowed to a stop, desperately trying to make it hit 11,111, but it stuck there, 4 steps back! I walked a little, then restarted the application, but was infuriated to see that it had jumped straight to 11,115.

I don't know how the phone detects motion, and I have spent the odd evening in the kitchen furiously pumping my arms back and forth to see if and how it registers that. Natch, one thing leads to another, and I thought that there ought to be a masturbation setting on the phone. I'd be sure to get a gold medal at least.

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