I’m a strong believer that if you can monitor something well then you can make big leaps and bounds forwards. This especially applies to the world of IT; where for example, if you can monitor how fast a file server is running you can see if it needs a disk upgrade.
Even more so this applies to the human body and that’s where the Fitbit comes in use.
The basic idea is you have a small tracker that monitors your daily activity and reports back to a website through a wireless base station hooked up to your PC. The handy mobile website (no need for a silly ‘app’) also lets you log Food intake (there is a search option with most common options), add activity’s and record your daily weight.
So here come the first impressions!
Its small – very small
Living in this mobile world you should never feel that a ‘gadget’ weights to much – with its compact size and (website stated) 11.34g weight this is about as small and as mobile as you can possibly get.
The device its self works as a belt clip (I prefer to hook it through one of the loops) or you can just put it in your pocket however you will be checking to make sure its still there every now and again!
Having easy access to the tracking data and adding your own updates (food/weight/activity’s) is a key part of the whole Fitbit experience. As well as using the full web version you can use all the key features on the mobile website as well which has been optimised for small screens. One thing that I did quite like is the way the site resizes its self without refreshing when rotating the screen on my HTC Pro 7.
The tracking data its self is very well presented on the dashboard with a nice simple line and percentage display to see how close you are to meeting predefined targets (which you can always change as and when you like).
From a very geeky perspective its a shame that the graphs are using Flash instead of the wonderful world of HTML5 (and so have compatibility with things like the upcoming Windows 8 tablets) but I’d like to think this is something that’s in the pipeline.
Data sync between device and PC ‘just happens’
Once you have setup the Fitbit with its base station (simple process just remember don’t plug it in until the wizard says so!) the syncing of data between device and PC just happens in the background – you don’t even need to be overly close (just sitting at my desk now the time on the website of the last sync is just 2 minutes ago) its that kind of ease of use which really does sum up the Fitbit.
Next article will be looking at the mobile website….