Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fitbit - first look

So I bought a Fitbit - a small "wireless activity tracker" that you can use to track your steps, sleep, etc. It's small (H 2.125 in x W 0.75 in x D 0.5625 in, or 55 x 19.5 x 14mm) and light (0.4 oz or 11.34 gm) and clips to your belt or trousers. Containing a small 3D accelerometer, it "measures your motion patterns to tell you your calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled, and sleep quality." With a battery that should last a minimum of 3 days, the Fitbat can maintain seven days of data. However, whenever you pass within a few feet of the base station it wirelessly syncs its data. This is uploaded to the web application that you need to register with...

Out of the box you get the Fitbit, the base station which doubles as a charger, a belt clip, and a sleep wrist band. Download the drivers from, then plug in the base station, and pop on the Fitbit for its initial charge. You will be prompted to sign in at the web site, where you register the device via a "pairing number" (press the button on the Fitbit and the screen displays the number, enter it and then provide height, weight, and gender information. Once the Fitbit is charged, place it on your belt and you're good to go...

Below are screen shots of another active user (not this blogger), showing a number of the statistics available:

OK, so as you can see from the above, some of your data may be visible to others! You do have full control and can set up the "visibility" to the level you are comfortable with, but the default values do encourage sharing, see below:

Not all people seem to realize potential issues with "visibility". In addition to the information collected by the Fitbit you can manually log your food intake, exercise activities, and a whole host of other things, and it is possible to perhaps reveal more than you really want to, see Sexual Activity Tracked By Fitbit Shows Up In Google Search.

More to come later....

Fitbit reviews:
Amazon user reviews
Fitbit Pedometer Wellness Monitor
User reviews at gdgt

The Fitbit blog

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