2015 January

This news was posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
tagged: Uncategorized

Fitbit is a very well written piece of technology

Fitbit Blog

Fitbit is an electronic recording device you wear in a special bracelet or necklace that records your movements.  It translates your workout into steps to give you relatively accurate and relatable comparison data.  It synchs with a smart phone app where you can see your progress, record your food intake and set your goals.

You must create a login to the Fitbit web site to use the Fitbit device, set up your profile and some settings to make the device more accurate for your use.  You will receive weekly reports in your email inbox reviewing your progress and giving you positive messages of encouragement in the form of badges.

Recording your food intake on the phone app is nice because you can you can typically choose from a list which gives accurate calorie counts thus educating all of us about the reality of how many calories are in each food.

This is also handy to see how many calories we are taking in versus how many we are actually using throughout the day.  I found myself, however, looking for the smallest number of calories in the list and choosing that one.  This is still good because you can only cheat so far.  Of course, if you get tired of looking at calories, you can make the mistake of not recording your food intake at all.

When you workout you have to start and stop the exercise part of the app.  Then Fitbit will use the GPS signal to show the amount of exercise you have performed.  If you do not travel during your exercise time, Fitbit cannot record your workout and so you must hand-input treadmill activity or an aerobic class workout into the app.  Of course, it will record your steps and arm movements regardless of the workout but will not give you accurate credit for something like a Yoga or Pilates class.  The device already records steps but this gives you credit for working harder during your workout than just everyday movements.

I have several days where I did not turn on the Bluetooth setting on my phone which the app needs to sync with the wrist device.  Since Bluetooth drains the phone’s battery, and only updates when activated on the phone, I elect to turn it on only when I want to see my Fitbit progress.  Now I have several days (Jan 15th – 20th) that recorded zero steps and Fitbit is unable to catch up its record for those days.  This is easily remedied by syncing more often, but is something of which the users should be informed.Downfalls;Graphs can be found in the Profile portion of the online app when you login.

I would also like to see a heart rate monitor built in.  If worn on the wrist (not in the necklace) I can see where it could record heart rate automatically.

There is also no place to record glucose levels which would be great for Diabetics and easily added to the “self-record” portions of the app.

The sleep portion of the app is also less than ideal.  It shows colored bars which are difficult to read instead of a graph.  They should take a lesson from Sleep Cycle app which clearly shows at what time the sleeper was in deep sleep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and the quality of sleep they achieved.

Summary; No single application can please everyone. Fitbit is very helpful in most areas and was very well-written.  But with just a few upgrades it could be much better.