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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.


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Big Technology

Peloton is now worth more than Ford. Instructor Emma Lovewell gives us a look inside the company’s pandemic boom.

Emma Lovewell

OneZero is partnering with the Big Technology Podcast from Alex Kantrowitz to bring readers exclusive access to interview transcripts with notable figures in and around the tech industry.

This week, we’re joined by Peloton instructor Emma Lovewell. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

To subscribe to the podcast and hear the interview for yourself, you can check it out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Overcast.

With the pandemic forcing people to stay home for nearly 10 months now, many have turned to interactive fitness companies, such as Peloton, to stay active and perhaps fill a social void…

It’s been a long and bumpy ride for loyal users

Photo: SOPA Images/Getty Images

You are — I am, I should more accurately say — officially old if you can remember a world without Strava, the ubiquitous social fitness app that lets you share activities and workouts and compare performances. In the 11 years since its founding, it’s become an irreplaceable part of the workout experience for millions.

Small wonder, then, at the ensuing meltdown when Strava abruptly announced that several of its core features — including training logs and historical performances — would now be limited to paid accounts, effectively cutting off athletes from their own data.

But for long-time users, the sudden…

Exercise Mirror on the wall

The $1,500 “Mirror.” Photo courtesy of author

Right now many of us are struggling with not just working from home, but also working out from home. One of the many gadgets that promise to help is the Mirror, a $1,500 mirror with a screen that projects a fitness trainer onto it.

When I saw the ad for the Mirror on TV, I ordered it instantly. It had a 30-day return policy, so I figured I would just send it back if it wasn’t worth it.

While a $40 monthly charge seems to be the standard for these home fitness products, I personally think it is pretty steep.


They do more harm than good, research shows

Credit: Annie Otzen/Getty Images

UNICEF, the United Nations agency devoted to delivering aid to kids around the world, now makes a fitness tracker for American children. Called the “Kid Power Band,” the smart bracelet petitions kids to get active with an unconventional incentive: If they complete enough steps in one day, UNICEF will deliver a food packet to a hungry child in need. “The more kids move with the Kid Power Band, the more lives they save!” the product page declares.

Apparently it needs to be said: Compelling children to exercise by holding the lives of other kids over their heads is magnificently problematic…

The Switch is a success, but it certainly won’t help you sleep better

Credit: Handout/Getty Images Plus

Near the end, mortality weighed heavy on the mind of Nintendo’s youngest-ever president. He ached. He was tired. But even as his own body failed, he was preoccupied with the health of his company — one that had shape-shifted through the ups and downs of an entire century — and the well-being of its fans.

When he died, Satoru Iwata was thinking of you.

Iwata began his career at 19, as a part-time programmer at HAL Laboratory in Tokyo. …

The dopamine rush we get from our devices isn’t all bad

Photo: THANATASDcom/Getty

In 1994, I was a case study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The study involved gathering problem children, those of us with too much energy and not enough attention, to try and figure out strategies for making us behave.

At the time, not much was known about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and many of us — myself included — were incorrectly diagnosed with the disorder. ADHD shares many common characteristics with childhood post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), something I wouldn’t learn I had until I was 33 years old.

For every “good” task I completed, I was given…


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