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Fitbit - tracking your way to a healthy future

If there was ever an intuitive and well packaged product, the Fitbit must surely be it. Whenever I hear Fitbit, I do think of Wizbit, a children's television programme for children. Like Wizbit was the entertainment programme for children, Fitbit is the tracking tool for getting and staying healthy.

Curiously enough, I was setting this device up with my 4 year old nephew. Whilst he wasn't reading all the onscreen questions during setup, he knew exactly how to get through the config pages and use it. Furthermore, he understood the small screen display on the Fitbit itself.

So what is Fitbit?

There are three parts.

1. The wearable Fitbit device

2. The Fitbit app 

3. Fitbit website (optional)

The Fitbit device is a neat little package, no longer than four centimeters and two centimeters across. It comes with a clip-on case which not only protects the device but is super grippy and holds onto the clothing and gives you a confidence that this isn't going anywhere. It's also incredibly light, and you wouldn't notice carrying this around with you. 


The Fitbit device pairs with a smartphone, using the Fitbit app. It is compatible with Windows and Mac computers, syncing wirelessly and displaying data collected through a browser based 'Dashboard' interface. For smartphones and handheld devices, there is a Fitbit app, available for some Android smartphones, iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch.

As you can see in the screenshot (right) a whole raft of data is captured and tracked. What I love most, is that the synchronisation happens autonomously and discreetly. You wouldn't be aware that it's happening which is a very good thing, because that's not what I care about. What I'm interested in is analysing and comparing data as it is collected.

I love the graph that's generated (see below) allows lots of parameters to be compared and contrasted. The 'Very Active Minutes' is particularly enlightening.

I'm really delighted with this new gadget and it will be the perfect companion to clip to my belt to track my daily activities. Not only does it capture physical activity, but also rest time too. You can add drink stops too, but you'll need to manually add this data to the app or website.


I cannot wait for tomorrow. I'll clip on in the morning and get on with the jobs that lie ahead. 

I'm going to try cycling, motorcycling and driving as well. I'll be interested to note whether Fitbit can distinguish between the vibration on a bike, road surface and actual steps (walking.)

In summary, I don't think I've ever used a product which is as intuitive as Fitbit. It's great. 5 minutes of setup, straight out of the packaging (which has also been given quite a lot of thought!) and I was up and running. Given this device is technically quite complex in terms of small screen = minimal user interface, synchronising wirelessly yet small enough to be light and portable, this really is quite an achievement. To the untrained eye, this is both seamless and gorgeous. I love it.

Are you interested in getting a Fitbit

Flat-pack, foldable plug and built in iPhone charging socket

I'm really captivated by sleek, flush fitting designed hardware at the moment having just rewired and installed wiring in my new house. Looking back, my old house was just the prototype for much of what I'm doing now except without so many wires visible.

To create an automated home setup which includes controlling the central heating boiler, PIR security and TV recording and streaming devices around the house, there's quite a bit cable running under the floor, between walls and through ceilings. Keeping the cables hidden is quite a challenge.

Chargers are often the worse with long cables, most of which is left hanging or laying around.

Maplin Electronics sell a UK 13A plug socket with a built in USB charging socket. A neat solution for de-cluttering any kitchen or lounge. Reasonably priced at £14.99.







This week, I also spotted that designer, Min-Kyo Choi has won the Brit Insurance Design Award 2010 for creating a flat-pack plug. See photo above. I really liked the way several plugs can folded up and still plugged into a specially designed multi-way plug. Really smart thinking.

Check out the YouTube video....


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