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McLaren is developing a wearable that will spell the end of jet lag

Everyone hates jet lag, even the boffins at Formula 1 specialist McLaren who are using their distain for the post-travel blues to rid it from the world.

According to a new paper published by the car company, McLaren’s Applied Technologies team (MAT) is working on a wearable that could spell the end for jet lag.

Instead of spending the first two days of your holiday or work trip bleary-eyed and irritable, advanced wearables will reportedly prompt you ways of monitoring and adapting your behaviour to overcome the travel and time-difference troubles.

“At the moment you’ll choose a flight and then manage the jet lag, change of environment, time difference and other disruptive factors,” said Duncan Bradley, MAT’s Head of High-Performance Design.

“Everyone just accepts that when they travel by air, they’ll feel slightly peculiar when they arrive at their destination.”

Looking to the wearable-laden future, he added: “What we’re imagining developing is a scenario where you can turn that on its head – we’ll get people to think about the condition in which they’d like to arrive somewhere, and then make it possible for them to achieve this.

“What we’ll be able to do is take your body’s vital signs, look at your travel details and actually predict the best way for you to travel and get to a point in time where you’re feeling as good as you can be.

“So instead of looking backwards, we’re looking forwards, and we’re able to do that by collecting information about your body over a period of time, and knowing how your body reacts in context. You’ll be offered information about interventions, even if they’re counter-intuitive.”

With a mass of wearables – from the Apple Watch and Google Glass to the Moto 360 and Withings Activité – all currently struggling to find their footing in the fledgling market, McLaren has suggested that the current crop of wearables aren’t actually addressing tangible problems.

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“When we talk about mass-market applications, if it doesn’t bring you something useful, why would you wear it?” Caroline Hargrove, MAT’s Technical Director asked.

She added: “We feel that these benefits shouldn’t be vague and nebulous. Wearable technology has to be about something that you specifically want to monitor, change and improve for a reason.

Bradley echoed Hargrove’s comments, adding: “The applications we’re developing will be far more proactive than the ones available at the moment. When you’re doing a particular task, it might record vital signs, but it will also record what you were doing to make those vital signs behave as they did.

“So the next time the algorithms start to see a similar pattern, the app will recognise that the last time you did this, your body reacted in a certain way. It will then make a predictive leap to say that if you continue on that path, this is how you’ll feel.

“We’ll then tell you the interventions you can make and what the likely results would be of those changes, so you can be proactive and take control.”

It is currently unclear what form McLaren’s jet lag culling wearable will take or when it will become a reality. Sadly, we don’t imagine it will be anytime soon.

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