Disclaimer

The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

IDEA: Enhanced Timeouts to Ramp Down and Ramp Up Treadmill (watchapp)


This is not a complaint!  I am the happy owner and user of a TR1200-DT3.  

I just want to make a suggestion that you might consider for an enhancement.

CC'ing workwhilewalking.com since they are the reason I both the LifeSpan treadmill and one of their electric desks - even though you don't allow them to sell over web.

From the TR1200-DT3 Under Desk Treadmill Manual
Intelli-Guard™ Walk confidently knowing your safety is assured with Intelli-Guard™. Step away from your treadmill for more than twenty seconds and your treadmill’s belt will automatically glide to a smooth stop. 
Intelli-Step™ Never miss a stride with Intelli-Step™. Your steps are automatically calculated with meticulous precision, displaying immediate feedback and historical trends via your Club account. (OK, a minor complaint: the LifeSpan Club and apps are pretty useless. But that's okay, wearing a FitBit on my shoe works.) 
Problem:

Intelli-guard stops 20 seconds after I step off treadmill, if walking faster than 1mph.

Well, up until now this was never a problem - but all of a sudden I have started being able to walk 1mph and faster, while working on my PC.  E.g. while writing this email. (And I am regularly getting 30-40K steps a day, counted by FitBit, and feeling great!)

The problem:  I often step away for a bit.  E.g. when doorbell rings, or for a biobreak, or to get a cup of tea (typically while a slow build is going on)

When I get back, Intelli-guard has stopped the treadmill.   Whereas in past, when walking slowly, it would stay running, and I would just hope back on and resume walking while working.

That's not a problem so much that I often forget to start the treadmill up again, thinking "oh, I will just make a quick change and rebuild".

... eventually I realize that I have been standing without using the treadmill for 2 hours.  Knees and back aching, etc.  (Walking on treadmill is much less stressful than standing - and better exercise as well.)

I have tried disabling the Intelli-guard timeout (that's hat I am doing now), and/also resuming at last speed.  Neither is satisfactory - especially not when I realize that I left the treadmill running overnight.

Suggestion:

1) Preferences for timing out the treadmill.   E.g. not 20 seconds, but configurable, up to an hour or so.

2) Two timeouts:

2.1) Timeout #1 ramps the treadmill down from speed in use to some slow default, like 0.4mph.   

2.2) Timeout #2 stops treadmill after an hour or so, to avoid wasting power.

These two timeouts should be easy.

For extra credit:

3) Recognize when user is back, and ramp back up.

3.1) e.g. if in the "slow mode", you can recognize that the user is back by noticing the steps.

3.2) extra credit, a sensor - visual, or bluetooth with phone or watch, or ...

Ramping up might be a safety challenge.  Best if you can query user, and ask "do you want to ramp back up to speed".

Where to query?
  • existing primitive console
  • fancier console (you probably have)
  • phone app (oh, no, I hate phones, now that I use a ...)
  • watch
    • could be as simple as a text or other push 
      • "Do you want to ramp up treadmill?" 
      • that user can reply to (some watches can, e.g. Apple or my Pebble, apparently not a FitBit yet.
    • might be a no-reply notify / text
      • "I am about to ramp up. Press stop while ramping up to stop at that speed..."
    • or you can write a watchapp
      • but that gets you into the losing game of "which watch?" And you thought Android/iPhone was a pain.
    • IMHO watches are a great way to control stuff like this
      • more personal than a phone
      • much harder to set down
  • IMHO a text (or better, a secure messaging app, if there is a standard) is the way to go.  Gets you watch and phone. and also PC. With or without reply from device sent to.
BTW - although SMS texts are not secure - you would not want a hacker to be able to remote control a treadmill, that could be severe injury - you can send authenticated messages between LifeSpan treadmill and device.

BlueTooth, of course - probably BT/LE - is more secure.
Once again: I am a happy user of my treadmill desk. 
But I am an engineer, and always want to improve.  (Worse, a computer architect)
---+ LOW PRIORITY

FYI I have corresponded with you in past about
flakey boot (looks like power sequencing)
  •  y'all offerred to have me send in the console for a fix
  • but I never got around to it - too much hassle, and what I have works - don't want to give it up. 
  • and transferring LifeSpan data to somewhere, anywhere, 
  • like FitBit 
    • not useful - I already have a FitBit, sometimes 2 
      •  one on my feet that counts while on treadmill, since hands typing don;'t count (on shoes I keep by treadmill for use on treadmill, clean, not used outside)
      • wristband, that counts when not using treadmill
      • FitBit can handle multiple FitBit stepcounters, but not non-FitBit stepcounters
  • or Apple Health 
    • again doesn't understand multiple stepcounters
  • or my own spreadsheet
    • I can certainly handle / record multiple stepcounters
    • I can even reconcile, so long as I have fine grain counts, e.g. per minute
      • even if clocks are out of synch (time warp)
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