If you had a look at the title of this blog entry you might be wondering what exactly is a “Fitbit”. I actually came across this little gadget that I hope will help keep me honest and on track with some weight loss.
The fitbit looks a bit like one of them Bluetooth earpieces that you see on people and perhaps secretly think to yourself how silly it makes them look. As an aside, I remember when my wife and I went to a restaurant in Circular Quay for dinner and a man had an earpiece in his ear all night at his table complete with that annoying flashing blue light. Thankfully, you don’t wear the Fitbit on your ear or your head but instead simply clips on to your clothing or a wristband.
The device itself is pretty simple on the outside and features a blue OLED screen that will give you a summary of many different types of statistics such as steps (like a pedometer), calories burned and distance travelled. This information is tracked by a three-dimensional accelerometer inside the device similar to those found in high end smartphones to determine screen orientation and in the Wiimote to interact with objects on screen.
Interestingly, the device will also keep track of your sleeping including information such as time you went to bed, fell asleep, how many times your woke up, total duration in bed and your the amount of sleep you received. In order for this to work you’ll need to use the wristband and attach the Fitbit or you can attach the Fitbit to your pyjamas.
At this stage, you might be thinking that this is just a fancy and overpriced pedometer. What really makes this device interesting is its online component. With your Fitbit account you can keep track of all of your statistics uploaded from your device to the website. This is done automatically when you are within range of your Fitbit base station. You can then view all of your information in a variety of formats to get an idea of exactly how active you are for any particular day. There is also a Fitbit Premium service (for US$50 a year)that also provides a twelve week fitness plan and personalised analysis of your results to help you work toward improved fitness.
As expected, there is also the ability to hook up your Fitbit account with Facebook, Twitter and even WordPress so that you can share your achievements and maybe even have your friends keep you honest if you are slacking off.
Anyway, I have just ordered one which will hopefully arrive in early December (as these appear to be in high demand) and I have to factor in the additional time for the mail forwarder to work their magic (as the Fitbit is not shipped outside of the USA by the manufacturer at present).
Of course, you can be sure that you will hear about it the day I receive my Fitbit. Stay tuned!