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Fitbit (Strava for life)
 
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Old 4th May 2012   #1
Velociodonor
 
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Fitbit (Strava for life)

Right, who's heard of this, and who has one?

http://www.fitbit.com/uk



Basically it's a pedometer with a load of sensors built in and it can measure a whole load of things, and auto-sync it to a website that shows you trends of how you're doing over time.

You can also get a set of weighing scales that sync up to the same website and show how you're doing.

So as a system it quantifies your activity that isn't on the bike (you're probably using Strava for that already), and then gives you that info for you to use as you like (including comparing to others if that's your bag).

Anyone actually used it? I'm pretty interested in trying it out, to the point that I added them to the list of affiliates just in case I'm tempted. Would love to know if someone on here has one though.
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Old 4th May 2012   #2
dancing james
 
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i saw it on your list of affiliates the other day, wondered why it was there and had a look

but i hate walking
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Old 4th May 2012   #3
DFP
 
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But whats the point of it really?

What is the value of logging every little bit of walking you do?
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Old 4th May 2012   #4
hippy
 
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Data nerds

MOAR!!!!!!!
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Old 4th May 2012   #5
DFP
 
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But you can do it with your phone. Why buy an extra piece of gear for it?

Why not log and chart more meaningful stuff. Like actual high intensity training sessions instead of strolls to the boozer..

I spend a lot of time in gyms, ive only ever seen one other person with a training log. the bikey/running/tri crowd could really do with writing down more useful stuff.
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Old 5th May 2012   #6
Velociodonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFP View Post
I spend a lot of time in gyms, ive only ever seen one other person with a training log. the bikey/running/tri crowd could really do with writing down more useful stuff.
Exactly the point. Far more of your activity is written down automatically. Not the weight training stuff, but just whether you're active in general, how well you sleep, an actual monitor of your weight over time, etc.

Just as when you weight train and it becomes a game: If I do this I'll be able to lift this... and then when the goal is met you set a new goal and start again.

So with Fitbit and Strava everyday activity becomes a game, a sport. If I belt it down Embankment I might displace 6pt, and if I get out of this chair and walk into town for lunch I'll beat yesterday's numbers for steps.

It uses a record of information to act as a motivator by showing you your own activity ledger as well as comparing against others.

That is the point of writing it down, that is why my girl already uses a pedometer, and that is why loads of people on here already use Strava.

Why Fitbit and not an iPhone app? Because the iPhone app isn't nearly as accurate, because it would kill the battery if used constantly. More importantly to use an iPhone like this, it would need to be permanently mounted near the hip... which is pretty inconvenient, most of us stick our phones in pockets or bags.

I'm basically a data nut, I like data. I like observing progress (or lack of). I also like automation, I like not forgetting to record something.

To date though, I've not really had means of acquiring data without lots of ugly tools to do so and it's all required manual stuff which I'm likely to forget.

So for me, the Fitbit ticks a lot of boxes. Garmin and a HRM take care of me on the bike, but I like the idea of measuring steps, staircases ascended, sleep, etc... I like the idea of a full holistic picture of my activity. Maybe it's an aging thing, but with each month and year that passes I want to provably know: I was more active this month than last.

For me, that's the point. Exactly what you said.

Anyone tried it?
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Old 5th May 2012   #8
Domdonor
 
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Personally, I'm not fussed about tracking my every move but I can see why people are.

I have never looked into the Fitbit, but I've heard about the Jawbone UP which is a similar idea. The UP is worn as a bracelet (which syncs with your iPhone) and it has a vibrate feature. If you've been inactive for too long it'll give you a nudge, encouraging you to move – great for people stuck at a desk all day. Like the Fitbit, it can also monitor your sleep but what's also cool is that it has the ability to be used as an alarm to wake you up at the best possible time during your sleep. :)

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Old 5th May 2012   #9
Velociodonor
 
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Yeah, but Jawbone actually withdrew the UP product because it simply didn't work because of the fragility of it: http://www.tuaw.com/2011/12/08/jawbo...rn-the-device/

On usage: people liked the Jawbone, but complained about the lack of accuracy (little better than an iphone app).

Hence, I prefer the look of the fitbit which was the first in this space, but only recently got their European certification for their hardware and became available here.

On the wake up thing... there's a few products that try and do that. Some based on sleep cycles and detecting the best part of the cycle to wake you up during, and others based on daylight simulation.

Wakemate is another product in the "timed wakeup" market, but it generally doesn't score well whilst the Fitbit (which isn't an alarm) rates really highly: http://paulstamatiou.com/review-wakemate-fitbit

You know, the more I post... the more likely I am just to buy the thing without knowing anyone who's tried one.
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Old 6th May 2012   #10
lemonade
This guy tried one:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...rom-fat-to-fit
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Old 6th May 2012   #11
mr_tom
 
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I'm using a FitBit. It's good for what it does. ie: count steps / flights of stairs and give you a website / phone app that lets you input your weight, food consumed etc.

The downer is that the food database is very US-centric. So none of the brands for branded food products exist here, and it's hard to find unbranded variants for regular foods. Which is hard if you're trying not to eat processed food-like substances. Also, the measurements are by default in crazy US speak, like cups and ounces.

It's early days for me, but so far so good. The hardware is nice - lasts 3-4 days on a charge. Although the client daemon did cause a couple of kernel panics. Seems to have calmed down a bit now.
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Old 6th May 2012   #12
BringMeMyFix
 
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^kernel panic - OMG, they're so calorific!

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Old 6th May 2012   #13
Balki
 
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My yoga teacher uses one and she is very attractive.
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Old 6th May 2012   #14
miro_odonor
 
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Here's one for you Balki.

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Old 6th May 2012   #15
casparnelson
I heard god things about the Nike version.

http://www.nike.com/fuelband/
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Old 6th May 2012   #16
Balki
 
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I like his shoes
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Old 6th May 2012   #17
BringMeMyFix
 
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I like the cut of his gib and the cock of his wrists.
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Old 6th May 2012   #18
Velociodonor
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casparnelson View Post
I heard god things about the Nike version.

http://www.nike.com/fuelband/
I can't bring myself to own or use a Nike product.
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Old 20th August 2013   #19
hippy
 
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Horizon, Monitor Me

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b038p1pm

Anyone watch it?

This guy uses all manner of self-monitoring and sends his turds off to be analysed and detected diseases, etc
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...ed-man/309018/
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Old 20th August 2013   #20
hippy
 
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Monitor Me also featured this 17yo girl who wrote a neural network to analyse biopsies for cancer:

http://www.geek.com/news/17-year-old...ancer-1505223/
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Old 22nd August 2013   #21
Velociodonor
 
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We should start a general wellness and technology thread.

Fitbits and Nike Fuelbands are the primitive end of this stuff and there's so much more potential.
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Old 22nd August 2013   #22
hippy
 
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How about making it this thread? *rename*
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Old 22nd August 2013   #23
Velociodonor
 
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Nah, something new to put it in the right direction from the outset... I'll do it later.

23andme, Strava, Fitbit, Withings, experiments in sensory enhancements, etc
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Old 22nd August 2013   #24
hippy
 
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I'm tempted to buy a fitbit - but should I? More for the sleep monitoring as I basically don't walk and it doesn't work for cycling. Then again, I'm not sleeping much either so maybe I should step away from the tech..
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Old 22nd August 2013   #25
Velociodonor
 
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Did I finish my story on the fitbit?

It broke, it was shit.

The Aria scales have a fundamental design flaw that means that they must always be stored flat and basically not moved. They calibrate over many weigh-ins, and if you move them about or store them vertically it means that they're never calibrated and the even weigh-ins moments apart can be +/- 1.5KG.

So the Fitbit scales: Avoid at all costs, unless you have a palatial bathroom and can leave them flat, in one place.

The Fitbit itself? I found 2 major issues with it.

1) The device casing broke. It was clipped to jeans and I cycled, and the place it was clipped caused it to move on every pedal stroke, except there was a minor twisting action and the Fitbit has zero flex, and this caused the casing to pop open which exposed the internal electrics and rendered it useless.

2) The way it operates is to send aggregate data to Fitbit, and you access via Fitbit.com, but this means you are constrained in the info you can get, by the capability of their tools. And their tools are shite. It's not possible to capture this data pre-send, and so you cannot ever get deep info and patterns out of the fitbit.

Fitbit = shit, avoid at all costs.

I'd recommend the Withings scales instead, and perhaps the Nike Fuelband.
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Old 22nd August 2013   #26
Velociodonor
 
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Oh, and worse, I told fitbit all of this, and CC'd their founder... their response was largely: We can replace the units, but the design decisions are done and there will be no changes to the product.

So they won't ever issue new firmware for the scales to offer a calibration mode pre-weigh-in (which is what most electronic scales do), and they aren't considering a re-design of the fitbit casing.

Basically: What's the point of having a flawed product replaced with a flawed product?

I gave away my fitbit scales and fitbits, they were of absolutely zero value to me considering they were literally worse than useless.

I'd avoid them like the plague, there are better alternatives.
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Old 22nd August 2013   #27
hippy
 
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Fuelband is meant to be shit too, which is why I was looking at fitbit wrist band.

Back to the drawing board.
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Old 22nd August 2013   #28
Velociodonor
 
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Jawbone UP is the only other one: https://jawbone.com/up

I have no experience with it.
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Old 22nd August 2013   #29
hippy
 
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I read poor reviews about that too. Sod this, I'll just measure rides and ignore the rest. That 23andme looks interesting.
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Old 22nd August 2013   #30
pharoahsandersdonor
 
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The NYT reviewed/compared a couple of these not long ago if it helps.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/27/te...tyle.html?_r=0
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Old 9th December 2013   #31
Rascaledonor
 
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I see that the Jawbone Up has updated its software and opened up the API now strava syncs back to it, slightly more tempted by it now
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