Monday, September 15, 2008

Fitbit - Tracks your physical activity, & sleep

[caption id="attachment_655" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Fit Bit, (prototype displayed) a tiny monitoring device that tracks your physical activity"]Fit Bit, a tiny monitoring device that tracks your physical activity[/caption]

I've never been one that's been too conscious of my physical well-being though I need to start taking it into consideration.  I was listening to Leo Laporte's TWiT podcast, and they mentioned this website, that's working on a device which will monitor your physical activity throughout the day as well as monitor your sleeping habits.  The idea seemed interesting so I decided to dig a little deeper and get a better idea as to what this product does.

The company Fitbit Inc., was founded by two former members of CNET, Eric Friedman and James Park, both who were former co-founders of Windup Labs, a P2P file sharing photo site which later was acquired by CNET.

The Fitbit Tracker is a ultra-compact wireless wearable device that automatically tracks and wirelessly uploads data about your activities, such as exercise intensity levels, calories burned, sleep quality, and measurement of the number of steps/distance traveled. (1)

One interesting about the FitBit tracker is that it uses motion sensing technology (similar to the Nintendo Wii) which allows it to capture your movement/activity throughout the day.  The pictures you see are not the finalized product; the tracker is to include an OLED screen which will provide you calories burned, steps and distance taken.   It will also provide you information showing progression towards your goal in a form of an avatar that will change as your advance or fall behind.  They mentioned that it's been tested hundreds of times on several different body sets; meaning they've had people of all sizes try this thing out and the accuracy of this tracker is said to be about 95-97% accurate. (2)

[caption id="attachment_657" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The Fitbit tracker charging station.   It's my guess that it also acts as the base station that receives the information from the tracker and loads it online automatically."]Charging station for the fitbit.  It's my guess that this is also the device that recieves the information from the tracker, and loads it online automatically.[/caption]

The tracker will include a base station which uploads your activity wirelessly online to the Fitbit website where you can view a more detailed report of your status.  Synchronization is automatic assuming you're within range of the base station.

Although I wasn't able to find any information about your physical activity and goal information being private, I am assuming this is the case.  According to their press release, the website is supposed have a "motivational looking" interface, which can be sharable among family and friends, and allow you to log your nutrition weight and other health information in order to gain a complete picture of your health.

The estimated battery life (between charges) they claim is approximately 10 days.  I would hope this is true because the longer this device is off you, the less accurate reports you'd get.

[caption id="attachment_666" align="alignright" width="259" caption="A sample of what the Fitbit Report/Dashboard will look like."]A sample of what the Fitbit Report/Dashboard will look like.[/caption]

The entire Fitbit bundle will cost you under $100 and there are no additional monthly fees to access the reports online.  The Fitbit device should be available late Dec. 2008 - Early 2009.

I've decided to pre-order one of these things, to at least try this thing out, granted I'm not content in saying this device works, I'll play the guinea pig here and write about it whenever I do get it.


  1. Fitbit Website

  2. Fitbit Press Release