Button camera spies on, coaches the obese

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eButton

The eButton looks more likes something used by the Pittsburgh Penguins, not the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Image from pitt.edu)

If you are like me you wake up every morning hoping the U.S. government will find a new way to get involved in your business.

Prayer answered.

According to one report, the U.S. has awarded $2.1 million in grants to two companies to develop technologies that will monitor Americans’ “lifestyle behavior” and encourage them to not be so fat.

The creepiest of the technologies has a cute name — the eButton — but it will allegedly yell “No way!”at you if you pick up some McNuggets after downing a Big Mac or two.

That’s not cute at all.

But, one must assume the government — and the eButton — knows what’s best.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Laboratory for Computational Neuroscience calls the button an “unusual device” and has already made the camera small enough to hide in a Pittsburgh Steelers pin. Unfortunately, the “pin” is the size of an iPhone, so it may need refining.

Ladies who see men with NFL pins mounted on their shoes have been warned.

Comfortingly, the button will “monitor when a person eats, drinks, or smokes, and will also be linked to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) database to measure the ‘outdoor environment.'”

The button will sync with the user’s smartphone and allow researchers, or whomever can hack such things, to “monitor the operating status of eButton remotely in real time.”

The university ramps up the creepiness by saying “Unlike the cellphone, which spends most times sleeping, eButton never sleeps—it helps the user all the time.”

Another taxpayer-backed company is developing a shoe insole that will communicate with a smartphone to monitor a person’s weight, posture and physical activity. A YouTube video shows the insoles in action, and it has 308 page views and no “likes” which should tell you how successful this particular project is going to be.

I understand why taxpayer funds are being spent. It’s highly doubtful Apple, Google, Samsung or any other big company would spend millions developing wearable technology.

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