I’ve been using my 5th generation iPod nano as a pedometer for 8 months. I found I really liked being able to track the one data item it automatically logs for me and posts to the Nikeplus site: Steps per day. In March a friend provided a presentation about the Fitbit wireless activity tracker that I read about last year and had, quite honestly, forgotten about. Its ability to monitor and track more that just simple step information intriqued me. So, I ordered one a day or two later. Unfortunately, the order was backlogged an Fitbit only started shipping again recently. I received mine on Monday. You can see the components laid out in the photo above after unboxing it.
The wrist strap at the bottom lets the Fitbit monitor your sleep activity. I can tell that this design is going to be much too warm to use during the hot summer months. I’ll need to find an alternative wrist band soon. I’m also a little concerned about the durability of the plastic belt clip provided.
The wireless hub at the top of the photo plugs into a Windows PC or Mac. Software is available for download from Fitbit.com. Note, if you use a Mac, you will get an annoying message about a network connection everytime you start up your Mac. Fitbit advises you to cancel the request to use this network connection.
The data is automatically uploaded to your account on Fitbit’s website. All activity is displayed through that website. Fitbit does not provide a client-side application to work with the data.
You can see a tiny fraction of the kind of information Fitbit reports to you about your activity in the screenshot segment above. It also provides information about estimated calories burned, steps taken in 5 minute time periods, sleep patterns, and comparisons to other members of the Fitbit user community. You can also track your weight, food eaten, and water intake. However, all of this information must be obtained and entered manually.
I’ll report back here from time to time to update you on how the Fitbit is working out for me and the durability and comfort of its accessories.