Philips DirectLife Turns Exercise Into a Status Bar

The Philips DirectLife Activity Monitor may not look like more than a glorified waterproof accelerometer. Yet it might be brilliant.

Using Philips' software, you preload your fitness goals (the amount of daily activity you're aiming for) onto the device. Then, as you go about your day with the monitor in your pocket, its series of opaque dots will begin to glow green.

With each 15% you finish of your daily quota, this makeshift status bar fills that much more.

If you're as addicted to watching status bars complete while doing mundane tasks like downloading or copying files as I am, the device could lead to straight-up dangerous levels of exercise—especially since the meter leaves space for overflow should you give, say, 115%.

The Activity Monitor currently sells for $80, plus you'll need to pay a $12.50 fee every month, which also gets you personalized advice from a real person. And Philips tells us that they have a lot of custom algorithms to detect movement much better than a regular accelerometer, like the difference between running and jogging and doing housework and so on. If only Philips also sold a Wallet Monitor that could track their petty nickle and diming that turns us off to an otherwise promising device. [Philips via ubergizmo]