After plenty of earnest self-reflection, I’ve given up on my Fitbit, on my Nike+ Fuelband, and on my Jawbone Up. I’m pretty much convinced that tracking my own sleep and activity can only make me feel worse about staying up late and taking fewer steps a week than I should. I’m a full believer in the post-quantified self, cracking an America at 3 p.m., and going for a run until the pain–not a beep–convinces me to stop.
Or I was. Then I spent a week with the Motiv ($199 this spring). It’s essentially a device that has all of the accelerometer and heart-rate sensing technology you’ll find in a Fitbit, miniaturized down to a sleek titanium ring that could pass for a wedding band. This tiny, downright elegant marvel of technology–powered by a battery so small it hadn’t been invented before the project began–makes the breakthrough curved batteries inside the Fuelband look like medieval iron cuffs.
Ultimately, I still don’t really believe in data tracking for data tracking’s sake. But wearing the Motiv for a week, I got a taste of the wearable future to come–a future that won’t be defined by blinky, distracting gadgets like the Apple Watch, but technology that’s subtly woven into the fabric of our lives–and our clothes.