Data from activity-tracking devices such as Fitbit are now being used in the courtroom, presenting another potential application for channel partners selling wearable technology.
In an apparent first, a law firm in Calgary is using activity data from a Fitbit to help show the impact an accident had on their client, according to a Forbes article. Previously such cases had to rely on clinical interpretation.
The law firm involved will begin processing data from the device next week to show their client's activity levels. Rather than using the data directly, it will be filtered through analytics platform Vivametrica, which can compare a person's activity data with that of data on the general population.
The Forbes article suggested the development could pave the way for wearable device data being used not only in personal injury claims but also in prosecutions, and by insurers.
According to Canalys, smartband shipments boomed by over sevenfold in the first half of 2014, with Fitbit responsible for almost half of the 2.7 million units shipped in Q1.
Mark Needham, chairman of Widget, which claims to be Fitbit's largest UK distributor, said until now most people used the devices to prove to themselves how much exercise they do, rather than to others.
"It's quite right the data from a Fitbit should be valid in court – it's more accurate than asking people how much exercise they take," Needham said.
"Most Fitbits are sold to people who want to encourage themselves to take more exercise. If they measure how many steps they are taking, it tends to improve it. But there is also an application of this to prove to other people how many steps you are taking, for example your doctor or in court."
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