I’ve always loved walking. I walk several miles every other day, if not everyday. I figured the Fitbit is a good way to ‘gamify’ all that.
I previously used RunKeeper to tracking my walking and cycling, but I got a little put off by the fact that you have to manually start and stop each activity in the app, the fact that it’d take forever to lock on to a GPS signal (without which, it doesn’t track anything) and also its impact on battery life.
The Fitbit is better, because it tracks your steps and distance automatically. It’s tiny, so I don’t even need to take my phone with me when I’m out for a walk. It doesn’t have a GPS, so the signal lock issue doesn’t arise. This does, however, mean that the Fitbit won’t know exactly where I’ve been – just how much I’ve walked.
I got the Fitbit One. The simple reason for getting the One instead of a Flex or a Force is that I got a good deal on it. Secondly, it has a clock. I waste a lot of time generally, but I really love to keep track of time. (I’m very annoyed by the fact that the Raspberry Pi doesn’t come with a built-in real time clock.). Finally, I like the clip-on idea. I can keep it anywhere on me as opposed to brandishing it constantly on my wrist.
Out of the box – and from whatever I’ve been reading about it – here are a few things that I think they should improve upon in the Fitbit Two (for lack of a better name), which probably applies to any other Fitbit tracker out there:
1. Get rid of the wireless sync dongle.
The Fitbit already has Bluetooth. All laptops and desktops and smartphones have Bluetooth. If you (Fitbit) can make a mobile app that syncs with the tracker over Bluetooth, you can do the same with the desktop app. If someone doesn’t have Bluetooth, you can easily buy a $5 dongle, or you could sell one separately.
2. Get rid of the charging cable.
This is an extra accessory which adds no value to the experience. If it was a charge-cum-sync cable, it would be a replacement for the wireless sync dongle or Bluetooth, but it isn’t. It doesn’t even have a plug point, so the user needs another little adapter for wall charging. Simply include a micro-USB charging port within the tracker and allow the user to charge it with his mobile phone charger or any regular USB cable. You can provide one short cable in the box, which is cheaper to procure than producing a custom charge cable.
3. Put in a GPS receiver.
I know I said good things about the lack of a GPS receiver earlier on, but I do miss it. The Fitbit One tracks everything from steps to distance to floors and even sleep, but it has no idea where you are or where the user has been. Combined with the super-detailed diet and activity log online, a map of activity be a great addition.
4. Track everything.
There’s an app called Moves that does everything the Fitbit can without using any tracker at all. So long as your phone is with you at all times, it tracks your walking, running cycling etc. automatically. It even detects when you’re in a car or any vehicle and marks it as ‘transport’, not counting towards an activity. Since it has access to your phone’s GPS, it can map out your activity too. It’s brilliant for a $2.99 (iOS/free Android) app. Moves doesn’t track climbs and sleep. Moves doesn’t have huge online community and dashboard thing where you can log in your food and other stuff.
Fitbit should be able to auto track multiple activities, location and mode of transport as well. It will be the most perfect tracker ever made.
I have now successfully reviewed a product right after buying it and not using it AT ALL. I’m fit!