At the beginning of a new year, many people are embracing an age old resolution: to become more physically fit. Many companies, such as Nike and Fitbit are taking advantage of this trend and are releasing new gadgets to help motivate and inspire people to exercise.
The Nike Fuelband and Fitbit Zip are two devices designed specifically for this. I have had the opportunity to test both the Fitbit and Fuelband and found good points and flaws in both.
Both devices are powered by an accelerometer, a cutting edge device that measures movement and converts that information into data, such as calories burned, steps taken, etc.
The Fuelband converts the data collected into something called NikeFuel, a universal point system based on the user’s specific height and weight. The information collected lets the user set a daily goal and compete with friends and family who also have a Nike tracking product on the Nike website.
Smartphones are playing a big role in this new wave of technology. Both the Fitbit and Fuelband are Bluetooth capable so they can sync with your phone wirelessly. The underrated allows you to update your Facebook friends or Twitter followers about your current workout. It’s like Snapchat, but for exercise.
The Fitbit Zip is a tiny clip about twice the size of a quarter. It tracks steps taken, calories burned, and the distance the user has walked that day. The disadvantage that the Zip has over the Fuelband is that it is clunky, easily knocked off your belt or forgotten about and washed in the laundry. Since I started using a Fuelband, which doubles as a watch, I have been checking my phone about half the time that I used to.
Overall, the Fuelband is the superior device. It is sleek on your wrist, has bright colors to represent the progress you have made towards your goal and it has less risk of being lost.