The Space Force is kicking fitness tests out of this world.
The U.S. Department of Defense requires all branches of the military to take an annual fitness test to prove members are up to the job. But the Space Force (an actual military branch that somehow still exists) will soon trade in the yearly physical test for wearable tech that tracks members’ every move.
Why is this better?
The annual physical fitness test measures people on a few specific things that they might not excel at. With wearable tech like smart rings or watches, someone who isn’t great at push-ups or sit-ups could get credit for all the stairs they climb to get to their 6th-floor walk-up apartment. Space Force Guardians (yes, that is what they are called) could also get credit for eating healthy and sleeping well.
“This program will promote not just physical fitness; it will pair fitness with robust education on diet, sleep hygiene and other physiological factors to promote social, mental and spiritual health as well,” Patricia Mulcahy, the Space Force deputy chief of space operations for personnel, wrote in a memo.
This is where it starts to get creepy, where we bump up against whether a member of the military has ownership over their own body. If they’re machines, these tracking devices make sense. If they are people? Maybe not.