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Fitbit Wearable Electronics: What a Wonderful Motivator!

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kfield
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Competition is fierce!
kfield   9/26/2013 3:52:52 PM
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Max, a great, informative writeup but you forgot the part about sharing your results with your friends and family and having it become so visciously competitive that you want to divorce them all!  Also, one tiny glitch: The device does not compensate for different time zones, my husband was in Colorado yesterday and his workout at the end of the day rolled over to today, much to his chagrin!!!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/26/2013 4:13:46 PM
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@kfield: ...you forgot the part about sharing your results with your friends and family and having it become so visciously competitive that you want to divorce them all!

On page 2 I did say "There are also lots of other cool features, like the ability to form/join groups with other users and then compete against each other."

Good point about the device not compensating for different time zones. That's not going to be a major factor for a lot of people, but it can be annoying for some.

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/26/2013 4:14:49 PM
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@kfield: I'll be doing a follow-up blog tomorrow that I think you may find to be interesting if you sometimes use your Fitbit while walking on a treadmill...

Garcia-Lasheras
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Garcia-Lasheras   9/27/2013 5:04:37 AM
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@Max: I'd been doing a bit of research by my own about which processor powers the Fitbit devices after the APP chat -- I was interested in how they were able to perform such a smart DSP algorithm.

I found some teardowns pointing that at least the Fitbit Zip and One were powered by an ST's Cortex-M3 powered SoC -- 32bits arithmetics was the answer for the processing capabilities of those little scamps!!

But if so... what's the point with the PIC24F? Maybe Fitbit has done a quiet product upgrade/revision?

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/27/2013 10:05:57 AM
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@Garcia: But if so... what's the point with the PIC24F?

I think it was just a small tie-in that that the 24F is suitable for low-power applications -- and they wanted to give a gift that reflected this -- just something showing an example of a low-power application even if it didn't contain their procerssor.

Whatever ... I'm, walking on my desk treadmill as i pen these words -- and the think that's motivating me to do so is the Fitbit :-)

truthfinder
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Re: Competition is fierce!
truthfinder   9/27/2013 11:42:17 AM
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You were walking on the treadmill while writing your post and the Fitbit on your wrist. So your arm was not moving/swinging with every step you were taking ? And you expect the Fitbit to record your step without your arm swinging ? What nonsense is that ? The Fitbit and every other similar arm/wrist band pedometer that pretends to count your step while sitting on your arm is making fools of consumers like you. And once the step count is wrong, every other information such an instrument gives out is wrong. Did this never occur to you ?

 

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/27/2013 11:58:43 AM
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@truthfinder: You were walking on the treadmill while writing your post and the Fitbit on your wrist. So your arm was not moving/swinging with every step you were taking ? And you expect the Fitbit to record your step without your arm swinging ? What nonsense is that ? The Fitbit and every other similar arm/wrist band pedometer that pretends to count your step while sitting on your arm is making fools of consumers like you. And once the step count is wrong, every other information such an instrument gives out is wrong. Did this never occur to you?

I don't know where to start. I certainly don't appreciate your tone. Did I say the Fitbit was on my wrist? (No) Do I look like an idiot? (Don't answer that :-)


As an engineer (I R an engineer), these questions/points certainly did occur to me. But rather than me taking the time to answer you here, may I suggest that you read the follow-up blog I will be posting later today that actually addresses all of the questions you raise.

I hope you are having a happier day than the tone of your comment would suggest :-)

docdivakar
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Re: Competition is fierce!
docdivakar   9/27/2013 4:04:24 PM
Max, I concur... instead of trashing you, the person could have given some useful info... like when I walk, my good old fashioned pedometer is clipped to my waist (which has gone to waste these days with min exercise!) and it gives me the number of steps walked was well as miles. That type of usage does not count arm movements!

MP Divakar

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/27/2013 4:34:47 PM
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@DocDivakar: The funny thing is I wasn't wearing it on my arm -- check out the follow-up blog I just posted :@truthfinder: Feast your eyes: Fitbit Wearable Electronics – One Step at a Time!

truthfinder
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Re: Competition is fierce!
truthfinder   9/30/2013 12:12:28 PM
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Max Maxfield : In your post you did not mention (or atleast I missed) the model of Fitbit that you had on. I was commenting on the Fitbit Flex and every other brand that you wear on the wrist or on the arm. Isn't it common sense that when the arm is not moving sufficiently at every step taken by the leg, a step count cannot be made correctly ?  Other reviewers have noted that when they shook hands with someone, the fitbit recorded steps. So was it when they waved. On the other hand, if your style of walk/run is such that you do not move your arm, you do not get a step count. Again, statistically speaking, the (in)accuracy of these gadgets become evident only when you can compare say 5000 actual steps with the reading they give out. But who can count 5000 steps correctly ? So, what I expected from you was a statement to point out the limitation of such gadgets. Your later evaluation does address these flaws to some extent. But not fully. My complaint is not against the Fitbit alone but all those that claim to give out correct readings of steps taken while sitting on the arm or the wrist. Anyway, I did not desire my statement/post to be against you personally.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/30/2013 12:30:35 PM
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@truthfinder: In your post you did not mention (or atleast I missed) the model of Fitbit that you had on...

Actually, early in the blog (third paragraph, I think) I said: "When I opened this package, I discovered something called a Fitbit Zip."

I do agree with you about the wrist ones not being likely to give 100% accurate results, but I woudl like to try one to see. I actually think that they might be better than you expect -- I'm not sure if they work oby detecting a swinging motion, or by detecting the "jaring" motion when your foot hits the floor.

Re counting the steps -- I think mthe desk treadmill in my office is as close to 100% accurate as I coudl hope -- I can watch the step cound advance with each step. Now you have me wanting to try one of those write units (but not enough for me to pay for one LOL)

Thansk for your follow-up note -- Max

kfield
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Re: Competition is fierce!
kfield   9/27/2013 4:01:13 PM
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FItbit can be clipped anywhere you'd like, FYI.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/27/2013 4:06:27 PM
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@kfield: FItbit can be clipped anywhere you'd like, FYI.

I know -- some places are more comfortable than others (LOL)

Wait till you see my follow-up blog, which should appear anytime now...

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/27/2013 4:33:32 PM
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kfield
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Re: Competition is fierce!
kfield   9/27/2013 5:33:55 PM
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My husband walked up an escalator with his fitbit on, and got MEGA credit!!!

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/27/2013 5:36:33 PM
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@kfield: My husband walked up an escalator with his fitbit on, and got MEGA credit!!!

how many times did he circle back to do it again? LOL

kfield
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Re: Competition is fierce!
kfield   9/27/2013 5:37:57 PM
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LOL! It does make you think twice, though, about taking the stairs instead of the elevator! The biggest thing it does is create awareness, no magic bullet, but gets you thinking all the time about the healthier option.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Competition is fierce!
Max The Magnificent   9/27/2013 5:43:39 PM
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@kfield: The biggest thing it does is create awareness, no magic bullet, but gets you thinking all the time about the healthier option.

I agree -- both awareness AND motivation (walk just that bit father to get a few more steps) -- especially if you are in competition with one or more friends, relations, or workmates.

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