Posts Tagged ‘Fitbit’
The state of Fitbit wireless syncing is far from ideal for Android users, but the company’s latest step is proof that it’s slowly getting better. Today, Fitbit updated its Android app to bring wireless syncing to the Galaxy S 4, which follows a previous update for the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II. According to Fitbit’s blog, its difficulty in supporting more devices stems from software differences on various Android smartphones, which causes trouble regardless of whether the device includes Bluetooth 4.0. On the upside, just yesterday, the Bluetooth SIG announced that Android will gain support for Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart devices in the coming months, which Fitbit reckons will solve much of the compatibility issues that it and other device manufacturers have faced. So, if you have a Galaxy S 4, take the opportunity to get syncing your fitness data today — it won’t be long before other Android devices get to join in the fun.
Fitbit’s freshest fitness fob, the Flex wristband, may not be the most comprehensive activity tracker on the market, but it does deliver quite a bit of bang for your buck, as we discovered during our review. The company’s latest gadget is set to compete with the Nike FuelBand and Jawbone Up, but at $ 100, it’s more affordable than both. A single Benjamin buys you step, distance, calorie and moderate-intensity cardio time tracking, with wireless Bluetooth 4.0 syncing to Android and iOS apps. It can also keep tabs on your snoozing habits, including how long and how well you sleep, offering up tips should you need to make some tweaks. There’s also a vibration alarm that’ll shake you awake without disturbing others. Fitbit Flex is available through major retailers and at the source link below — for an up-close work at how it works, be sure to check out our full review.
Filed under: Wearables
This week on the TechCrunch Gadgets Podcast we talk about the Blackberry Q10, The HTC One, and the Fitbit Flex. This time we’re joined by Matt Burns, Darrell Etherington, Chris Velazco, and a tiny thinger that won’t fit into the bracelet. Enjoy!
We invite you to enjoy our weekly podcasts every Friday at 3pm Eastern and noon Pacific.
Intro Music by Rick Barr.
FuelBand vs Fitbit: Which Exercise-Tracking Device Is Really Better
The sensor sends information from the shoe to the band about where you've run or walked, your heart rate, calories burned, and pace. It comes in white/black, red, yellow, and black/blue. iPod Nano ($ 149 from Apple, syncs with Nike+ data.) Nike+ Kinect …
Read more on San Francisco Chronicle
An excerpt from Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen's “The New Digitial Age”
Microsoft's Kinect, a hands-free sensor device for the Xbox 360 video-game console that captures and integrates a player's motion, set a world record in 2011 as the fastest selling consumer-electronics device in history, with more than eight million …
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Microsoft & Pizza Hut Pair Up For Xbox 360 App – Speak Your Orders with Kinect!
The app will include the restaurant's full menu and customers will use the standard controller or gesture control through Kinect's motion sensor to scroll through the options and can verbally call out additions to their orders as they appear on screen …
Read more on Gadget Helpline (blog)
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Founder James Park Reports That Fitbit Users Average About 6,000 Steps A Day, Introduces Us To The Flex
The Fitbit pedometer is a fun way to track your everyday perambulations. They ’ ve introduced a number of products over the past year consisting of the One and the Aria scale.
At CES company just announced the Fitbit Flex, a small wrist-worn pedometer that syncs wirelessly with your phone or PC and, in a globe apparently loaded with pedometers these days, is a cool little gadget.
We rested with James Park, founder, and discussed the service and the brand-new pedometer. He kept in mind that numerous users are amazed by how few steps they take each day which the average energetic Fitbit individual hits about 6,000 steps a day.
The Flex will be delivering later this year for $ 99.
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The initial Fitbit initially saw the light of day over 4 years ago, and boy just how things have actually altered given that then. Now it seems like everybody from old incumbents to ambitious upstarts have supplied their own takes on the activity-tracking formula, so exactly how does Fitbit ’ s most recent offering stack up to the competitors?
The Fitbit One is …
A small, two-tone doodad that will certainly set you back $ 99 and track your motion throughout the day. Many of the moment, the black or burgundy Fitbit will certainly live inside a similarly-colored silicone skin, and a sturdy metal clip mounted on the back keeps the Fitbit securely affixed to your garments (the business advises keeping it somewhere on your torso). When it’s not clipped to your individual, chances are it’s bedtime and you have actually tucked it inside the black elastic armband to utilize as a quiet security (a lot more on that in a bit).
Prior to I ramble on for too much longer, understand this: the Fitbit works like a treat. It competently tracks the number of actions I take, and its distance tracking seems to be more than appropriate to boot– taking the One on one of my periodic runs saw distance counts that never strayed too far from the numbers the Nike + GPS app supplied up. The One is additionally clever enough to determine whether I’m just walking around or if I’m bounding up and down stairs, which then influences its appraisal of exactly how many calories I have actually burned for the day.
The only thing that didn ’ t impress as much as I anticipated it to was the One ’ s oft-touted sleep monitoring function — I can never get the Fitbit to proffer an amount of time rested that matched up with exactly how much rest I thought I got. It ’ s not a dealbreaker for me, however appears I ’ m not the only one with this trouble, and the business should really take a closer appearance here.
Exactly what else does it do?
The Fitbit experience is only as strong as its partner– the part that takes all of that activity details and turns it into a comprehensive suite of individual analytics. The process of getting all that data connected with your Fitbit account is dead simple, too. All it takes to get begun is plug the featured wireless USB dongle in, combine it with the Fitbit by method of the featured software, and begin moving around.
Ideally that dongle will remain in one of your USB ports indefinitely, where it will certainly connect with the Fitbit whenever they ’ re in close proximity. I wasn ’ t having any of that though, and took to syncing it specifically with the friend iOS app thanks to the One ’ s low-power Bluetooth radio — a precise component that Android users sadly could ’ t benefit from just yet.
Fitbit pros can easily feel cost-free to gloss over this area, but as soon as that information is uploaded, individuals could see their levels of task splayed out in chart upon chart, along with log their meals consumption to see if they ’ re running a calorie shortage for the day. The Fitbit itself just collects a fraction of the data the solution has the ability to keep tabs on, though. Truly motivated people can throw details about their weight changes, blood pressure, state of mind, as well as sugar levels into their Fitbit accounts.
One of the most pleasant surprises about this thing was the quiet security, which worked like an attraction. When the designated time rolls around, the Fitbit ’ s very small vibration motor begins pulsing in short spurts (protip: the vibration is durable if you place the Fitbit with its screen facing your skin). My only beef? That it stops pulsing after about 10 spurts, just to launch once more a couple of minutes later on. Sure, it always managed to rouse me from my deep and fitful spurts of slumber, however I can not shake the feeling that a constant vibration would do the task even better.
And then there are the touches that you’ll rarely notice. If its screen is off and you choose it up, the Fitbit’s display will certainly come to life with an encouraging (if terse) message to assist keep individuals encouraged. They ’ re not all that convincing — think “ CLIMB IT CHRIS ” and “SMOOCHES CHRIS” — however it’s a testament to the kind of attention to information that went into making the One.
Now for the truly frustrating component
Actually, if there ’ s something that irks me about utilizing the Fitbit One, it ’ s needing to keep up with all the little bits that include it. I have actually been a passionate individual of Nike ’ s FuelBand for the previous few months now, not so much because it ’ s my optimal activity-tracking solution — I ’ m no supporter of the whole Fuel rating conceit in the very first spot, and it’s awfully restricted when it pertains to functionality– however due to the fact that I never really should take it off till I should sync it with my COMPUTER. It ’ s a greatly self-contained system, and one I never had to spend much time agonizing over.
Not so with the Fitbit One. I ’ ve misplaced the rest wristband even more than when these previous couple of days which indicated no quiet security for me, and the stubby USB charging cable showed a comparable tendency to go AWOL. Oh, and it could ’ t really be used to sync with the Fitbit, which strikes me as a bit of a missed out on opportunity. Rather, the dongle is a necessity for non-mobile syncing, as well as pushing updates to the Fitbit, so that ’ s yet another thing you ’ ll need to keep your eye on (I honestly have no idea where mine is right now).
To purchase, or not to buy?
At $ 99, it ’ s not the most affordable little monitoring gizmo, but it ’ s most definitely worth the premium over its little brother the Zip. I haven’t invested any substantial quantity of time with the Jawbone Up (see John’s evaluation for much more on that thing), however my week with the Fitbit has been enough for me to stick my once-trusty Fuelband into a drawer. If you ’ re searching for a precise (and unabashedly geeky) method to keep tabs on just how active you are, the Fitbit One is a remarkable option — as long as you don ’ t mind tracking all those add-ons.
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Fitbit has consistently proven to be the best smart pedometer on the market. Competitors exist, including the excellent Striiv, but the ease of use and portability of this little pedometer clip beats them all. In short, Fitbits just work.
With the launch of the Aria wireless scale, Fitbit has added another sensor in the panoply of health data available to high-tech health nuts. This innocuous-looking device takes both your weight and your body fat percentage and automatically sends it to the Fitbit website for later perusal. Like the mini-pedometer, these readings help you understand your current health status and remind you, ceaselessly and without mercy, of your – well, my – failures as a biological entity.
The Aria supports up to 8 users and it senses uses based on previous weight measurements. When the wife or kids hop on, you see their readings (if shared) pop up in the main user’s account. To take body fat percentage measurements you need to take your weight reading with your socks off. Once the Aria senses your vitals it transmits them via WiFi to the server.
The service, in all honesty, couldn’t be easier to set up. In setup mode you simply connect to a WiFi access point that the scale creates initially. You connect to the access point, tell the scale your local Wi-Fi information, and save your settings. Then all you have to do is change batteries occasionally. The screen is easy to read – it’s blue on black, similar to the Fitbit’s OLED screen – and the instructions are simple. Readings are taken in a few seconds.
I didn’t have long to test the scale, but in comparison to similar devices (remember the Tweeting scale?), this device is superior. Because there is no real set up involved, it’s perfect for the technically averse and those who may want to set this up for a loved one in order to help monitor weight loss.
These things work by making you actually think about your weight and exercise. Rather being offered some nebulous terms like “working out” and “shedding pounds,” these devices offer feedback as bluntly and as clearly as possible.
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This was the year of the sensors. From Fitbit’s new Aria Wi-Fi scale to the Basis sports watch, I saw more devices to keep you healthy and lean than ever.
I sat down with the folks from Fitbit and Striiv who both saw the power of self-reporting and mindfulness when it comes to weight loss. Striiv, for example, has a new feature that allows you to connect to your friends wirelessly to compete in contests like walkathons and races. For example, you and the wife can compete to get to 5,000 steps first during the day and the winner has to do chores or gets some of the losers “energy.”
Fitbit, on the other hand, is closing the loop when it comes to health data. The Aria scale sends your current weight and BMI to the Fitbit web app and lets you figure out what’s working and what’s not.
In the end, these products are only as good as their users. However, with a little bit of data you can go a long way towards getting on track to health and/or weight loss. That’s the plan, at least. Whether it works in practice is another question.
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I had the opportunity to use a Fitbit Ultra, the successor to a glorified pedometer that has become oddly popular and addictive to a certain subset of non-torpid technophiles. To be clear, the desire to measure your days in terms of steps taken is an old one (there is heard tell of an old Chinese tradition of walking 10,000 steps a day to reach health and prosperity), but the Fitbit does this in a decidedly 21st century fashion.
The device connects wirelessly to a small base-station/charger and records the steps taken as well as, when the device is strapped to your wrist, a fairly spotty rendition of your sleep patterns. A small OLED readout tells you current stats including calories burned, distance travelled, and steps taken. It snaps to your clothing like a clothespin and lasts about a week on a single charge. When you approach the base station the device sends its stats to the Internet where they are compiled and presented as handsome charts and graphs of current activity.
I gave the Fitbit a try early on in its creation and found it slightly lacking, especially in that it broke in half after a bit of use. I found the thought of measuring my every step as slightly disconcerting, a sort Prufrockian measure of one’s day, existence reduced to blue numbers on a little piece of plastic. However, as I began testing the $ 99 Fitbit Ultra, a slightly upgraded version that adds a stopwatch and altimeter for measuring stair climbs, I began to warm to the device’s charms.
This is why I’m fat
Call me a sucker for simplicity, but the thought I could improve my fitness by strapping a little thinger to my pants and walking around is fairly compelling. Wearing it for a while I noticed that I was decidedly sedentary and even my bursts of exercise that I attempt of an evening barely pushed me past the 5,000 mark. I also saw that some folks I knew were literally walking circles around me, hitting the high 20Ks while I was piddling around in 3K by the time I went to bed. I turned off Fitbit’s automatic Twitter notifications because they were quite embarrassing.
The new Fitbit is slightly more accurate than the old version and seemed to measure other exercises better including more aerobic activities like floor workouts and running. You can feasibly trick the thing into counting biking as an exercise (a process that delightfully pads the stats) but that’s not why this product exists. In short, it’s there to tell you you need to get off your butt and walk.
You can then track your progress using the online dashboard (here is mine so you can follow my exploits). If you’re really into it, you can add food consumed as well as blood glucose levels. The dashboard also tracks your sleep by telling how much you toss and turn at night.
I have a few beefs with Fitbit, though. First, I’ve not been able to trust the device after it cracked oh so long ago. To be fair, the first versions were made of chromed plastic and could have suffered some structural problems but I’ve been overly careful with this new model. Second, if you’re not careful, you will lose the little thing. The Fitbit slipped off my pants just as I was totally getting into a long run and it now remains, unloved, pining away for my hips in the dark and cold of the Brooklyn streets. To avoid this, they recommend women attach them to their sports bras, an option that while potentially possible given my pectoral girth was not applicable in my current attire. The best place to put it – on a pocket – is also the most potentially lossy. Also the Fitbit is quite small so once it’s gone it’s gone.
If you’re willing to accept that your Fitbit may disappear on you and that you’re essentially measuring out the steps until your imminent demise, this may by the statistical-gathering tool for you. If you’re a hardcore runner, biker, luger, or anything else, this is probably not the best device. A sports watch with GPS and heart-rate monitor would be far superior. However, if you’re just now realizing you spent most of the 2000s playing WoW and reading ebooks, you may want to pick one of these up if only because you can treat your daily walks like dungeon runs and your daily records like wizardly achievements.