The Basis Fitness Thing:
So, I’ve got a new toy. I hadn’t planned on buying one this month, but, it ends up being Kat and I’s Valentine’s Day Present to each other (and ourselves). She had purchased and tried a FitBit Flex, and didn’t much care for it. We both had researched the fitness band concept, and my choice was the Basis, which looks a great deal more like a watch than the rest of the fitness bands. Honestly, it reminds me, size wise, of the old Casio watches from the mid-80’s. Big, sort of clunky. But, I wasn’t as nearly as interested in style as I was the functionality.
FitBit and the rest of them tend to be overpowered pedometers. What I wanted was something that actually pulled in performance data (keeping in mind that whole numbers geek and quantification thing) – heart rate, blood pressure, sleep data (important to me, because I don’t think I’m sleeping as well at night as I should be), and a few other things. Well, I don’t get blood pressure, but, I get heart rate and a ton of other data, including the sleep quality stuff I wanted. FitBit “sort of” does sleep quality – it can detect tossing and turning. But, the Basis does quite a bit more, since it’s sensor array has accelerometers, sweat, heart rate, skin temperature, and at least one other thing I can’t remember. That ends up giving you light sleep, REM, disturbances, heavy sleep, and durations – a pretty solid picture of how you’re actually sleeping at night.
Oh, and when you turn your Basis to face you? It turns on the backlight automatically. How cool is that?
Since it already has all the sensors, they have been adding new abilities along the way. For instance, the advanced sleep analysis stuff that I mentioned was released in January 2014. So, they have a solid product, and they’re updating it. Awesome!
The reason for buying them ended up being that Kat returned her FitBit, and about the same time Basis announced a Valentine’s Day sale – it ended up being $90 off a pair of Basis B1’s, which make the price not so bad. The not so funny part about it is I’m on hiatus from working out until I get my back and my hip fixed up. So, I’m not going to get serious use out of it for a bit. But, given the price discount, it was definitely time (Kat ended up paying for the bulk of them – until the Jumpman Forever OUYA beta comes out, I’m broke.)
And, when it comes to being broken, I’ve also got one of those “insult to injury” moments going on – I now have a bit of a cold, too. Bleh. Two colds in a row? This is almost unheard of for me. I wonder if my back being completely out of whack now lowered the rest of my defenses?
Anyway, in a couple of weeks I’ll post my thoughts on the Basis after I’ve had a chance to really experience it! 🙂
The Final (Beta) Level
I did manage to finish the last of the levels for the OUYA beta of Jumpman Forever.
So, here’s my take on the levels – the Jumpman levels are fun, and challenging. The levels for Red are better. Part of the real fun behind her levels starts with level 2, “Smart Bullets 2.0”, where I end up introducing a new game mechanic that really keeps the player moving. With the original Jumpman, you had to move – but, you could just spend your time side-stepping the Alienator bullets if you wanted to. With smart bullets 2.0, it’s no longer an option – they destroy the environment around you. Or, they bounce, depending on the type of girder. Plus, I felt I was able to let loose a little more with Red’s levels. With Jumpman’s levels, I feel I have to stay very true to the concepts and level design behind the original game. With Red, however, I don’t have the same constraint. Double jump gives her slightly more mobility, and the new bomb difusal mechanic for Red keeps the player moving around the level a lot. There’s enough combination of random and static elements, plus dynamic environments, to really pack a punch.
Tomorrow, I get to cleanup User Interface and sound stuff. Then, we’re ready to roll!