This Week in the Mercury


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fitbit

Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 2:09 PM

I usually think of gadgets like this as being one more thing along with keys and phones to accidentally leave at home, but the Fitbit actually looks pretty neat. And it uses Wii technology? That's just cute.

The Fitbit accurately tracks your calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled and sleep quality. The Fitbit contains a 3D motion sensor like the one found in the Nintendo Wii. The Fitbit tracks your motion in three dimensions and converts this into useful information about your daily activities.
You can wear the Fitbit on your waist, in your pocket or on undergarments. At night, you can wear the Fitbit clipped to the included wristband in order to track your sleep. Anytime you walk by the included wireless base station, data from your Fitbit is silently uploaded in the background to Fitbit.com

Okay that last part is kinda creepy, but overall this looks like a rad update on the pedometer—I don't use one but the people I know who do are obsessed, such as Mercury copy editor Courtney Ferguson, who compares stats with her friends and says she has "shaken it once or twice to make it more accurate for when I walk naked from the bathroom to my closet." This gadget claims to be a much more accurate and dynamic pedometer (one bummer is that it doesn't do well with things like cycling, so you have to plug that info into your online tracking data manually—boo!), but it's the sleep tracking that seems to be the real novelty here:

When you get into bed, you slide the Fitbit Tracker onto a wristband that is provided with the Tracker. As you fall in and out of sleep, the Fitbit tracks the movements that your body makes and can tell you how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up throughout the night and the actual time you were asleep vs the time you were in bed.

Cool.

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Fitbit: Will call out your bullshit when you justify skipping the gym because you walked to work, with hard data.

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