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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:19 PM   #1
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CES 2013: Wearable Health and Fitness Tracker Roundup




Health monitoring products have recently seen a huge surge in popularity, with offerings like the Jawbone UP and the Nike Fuelband bringing consumer awareness to the connected devices.

Several different companies debuted new wearable fitness tracking devices at CES this year, including Fitbit, Fitbug, Withings, and BodyMedia.
Fitbit Flex
Fitbit, known for its tiny clip-on Fitbit One, announced the Fitbit Flex, which is a wristband that is similar in design to the Jawbone UP.

Like the Fitbit One, The waterproof Flex automatically counts calories burned, distance walked, and steps taken. It can also be used to record food intake and sleep quality, via an app.

Data is sent to a personalized website using Bluetooth Smart, and the band lasts between five and seven days on a single charge. The Flex will be available in Spring 2013 for $100.

Fitbug Orb
Fitbug (via Engadget) is a UK-based company that just debuted its new Fitbug Orb, a small, button-sized activity monitor.

The Orb measures steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep quality. Like other offerings, the Orb allows for food recording. The Orb is designed to be worn in different accessories, like a belt clip, lanyard, fitness band, or sleep pouch.

Though the Orb has no display, it does use Bluetooth Smart to connect to the iPhone or the iPad. Fitbug's Orb will be available in Spring 2013 for $50.

Withings Smart Activity Tracker
Withings Smart Activity Tracker is a small, clip-on health monitor that is similar in design to the Fitbit One. It measures sleep quality, food intake, movement, and pulse rate, with a touch-sensitive front and a heart rate sensor in the back.

The Activity Tracker also uses Bluetooth Smart to connect to Withings' Health Mate app, and it comes with an estimated two week battery life. Withings Smart Activity Tracker is due before the end of March, and while no retail price has been announced, Withings says that the pricing will be in line with competing products.

BodyMedia CORE 2
BodyMedia CORE 2 is the second iteration of BodyMedia's popular health and fitness tracking band. Like the prior version, the Core 2 captures 5,000 data points per minute, measuring calories burned, exercise intensity, and sleep patterns. It has a three-axis accelerometer in addition to heat flux and galvanic skin response sensors.

The quarter-sized device is designed to fit into a range of fashion-oriented interchangeable straps and cuffs, and connects to BodyMedia's existing apps and web portal using Bluetooth Smart.

The BodyMedia CORE 2 will launch in August of 2013, with additional faceplates, straps, and cuffs coming at a later date. Pricing information is not yet available.

Article Link: CES 2013: Wearable Health and Fitness Tracker Roundup
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:31 PM   #2
centauratlas
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Added features such as heart rate with text/phone/email/etc alarm and the like would be useful too. So if an older person were to fall, and have their heart rate drop below a predetermined rate (e.g. 50 bpm) it could send someone a text/email/tweet/phone alarm to get them checked on.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:35 PM   #3
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So if an older person were to fall, and have their heart rate drop below a predetermined rate (e.g. 50 bpm) it could send someone a text/email/tweet/phone alarm to get them checked on.
I've fallen and I can't get up!
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:47 PM   #4
danbridgland
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Shame none have audio controls

Anyone involved in any avtive sport listening to music doesn't want to stop what they are doing to change track or adjust volume.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:58 PM   #5
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Thanks MacRumors Editors

I was looking for crystallized coverage of these devices, how about a chart next?
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 04:29 PM   #6
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I like the smiley in the upper right:

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Old Jan 7, 2013, 04:41 PM   #7
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Really want this for my parents, want to see some reviews.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 05:26 PM   #8
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I am kind of pissed - kind of - about the Fitbit Flex. I don't fully understand if the module can be taken out and put in your pocket like the Fitbit One. After having the first version of the Jawbone and the Nike Fuelband (for a few days) I kind of like wristbands.

...and I just got my wife one for Christmas too. I guess on the bright side the Fitbit One has a display.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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I am kind of pissed - kind of - about the Fitbit Flex. I don't fully understand if the module can be taken out and put in your pocket like the Fitbit One. After having the first version of the Jawbone and the Nike Fuelband (for a few days) I kind of like wristbands.

...and I just got my wife one for Christmas too. I guess on the bright side the Fitbit One has a display.
Yes, it can be taken out. From the website:

"Flex tracker is flexible. You can take this tiny tracker out and put it into any of Flex's colorful bands to fit your mood."



The bands are just rubber, but there isn't a clip so it'd be risky having it floating around in a pocket. The One has a display, and it's also got an altimeter that the Flex doesn't have, so it's more accurate in terms of tracking calories burned.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 09:15 PM   #10
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I've fallen and I can't get up!
That's a comment in poor taste. I hope that no one in your family or circle of friends ever find themselves in a situation where one of this devices could save their life.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 04:11 AM   #11
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Some of these devices are no doubt potential Life-Savers for elderly people, but are they going to remember to charge the batteries?
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 06:08 AM   #12
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Gimicky mobile fitness products have a long history of over-hyping and under-delivering, both on features and functionality. If all of these actually make it to the mass global market, I think I'll wait to check out the reviews for a few months before I choose one.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 06:31 AM   #13
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Excited about the Fitbit Flex. Maybe I can finally dump my Fuelband. Or maybe Nike will up the ante w/ a better 2.0 version that reveal better data than just steps, calories, and its own nonsense Fuel Points. I had a Fitbit in the past and loved it but lost two of them which I why I stick w/ the Fuelband. But it's getting a bit long in the tooth. The Fitbit's data is a lot more useful.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 07:44 AM   #14
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Shame none have audio controls

Anyone involved in any avtive sport listening to music doesn't want to stop what they are doing to change track or adjust volume.
This is precisely why I'm holding off on getting any of these- or getting them for family members- until my Pebble gets here and I've had a chance to see how good of a job it can do at these same tasks. If it can do a decent job of it (activity tracking, sleep monitoring/smart alarm, etc.) as well as everything else there's no reason to spend the $150 or so on some of these when the money would be MUCH better spent on a Pebble.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 09:21 AM   #15
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Excited about the Fitbit Flex. Maybe I can finally dump my Fuelband. Or maybe Nike will up the ante w/ a better 2.0 version that reveal better data than just steps, calories, and its own nonsense Fuel Points. I had a Fitbit in the past and loved it but lost two of them which I why I stick w/ the Fuelband. But it's getting a bit long in the tooth. The Fitbit's data is a lot more useful.
The "Fuel Points" surprising to me was one of the best part. Sure, they are non-sense and you can't see the direct relationship of your movement to the addition of points but that do have some real advantages. When I had a fitbit it showed steps, steps, and steps. The problem is it didn't really give you any extra credit for fast movements, running and the like. Clearly there is a difference between 3000 steps taken while walking and 3000 steps taken while running. The fitbit sorta could show on the website where it thought I was running but bottom line is the metric goal you aimed for was steps, walking running was all the same.

The "Fuel Points" from Nike do clearly give you "extra" credit for more agressive movements of your body. Walk 3000 steps and run the same 3000 steps and you will get significantly more "fuel" for the run. I don't know what the formula for "fuel" is and I know it is highly inaccurate if your exercise doesn't involve moving your legs but the fuel for me is a much better metric what I am doing with my body in a day. I can set a goal like 4500 fuel points and watch as everything my body is doing translates into getting closer to my goal during the day (and on the EXCELLENT built in screen to boot) and know it isn't some robotic fixed metric like steps but something that is attempting (even if inaccurate) to judge what I am really doing in the pursuit of my goal.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 11:37 AM   #16
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The "Fuel Points" surprising to me was one of the best part. Sure, they are non-sense and you can't see the direct relationship of your movement to the addition of points but that do have some real advantages.
Last summer I would have agreed with you 100%. But either Nike changed the point formula and didn't tell anyone or my two FuelBands (original one, and one replaced by Nike) were seriously messed by b/c I started earning approx 30% fewer points for the exact same running distance starting sometime last Sep. My pace on each run is pretty consistent -- never more than a min or two difference between my fastest run and slowest.

It was a fun metric to use to challenge oneself but if the #s are not going to be consistent for the same activity then its also a useless one. I don't know if the point issue is the result of a firmware change or if I have a bad accelerometer or something, but I've haven't been able to get 4000 points in a day for a very long time, and not due to me sitting on my arse. It use to be fairly easy when my first FuelBand was new. Now its tough to get 3000.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 11:49 AM   #17
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I'm waiting for the Nike+ Fuelband 2.0
Hopefully I don't have to wait too long or I'll be going with the Flex when it's released.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 12:39 PM   #18
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One of the main activities I use these devices for is during basketball games I officiate. Even though it may not seem like it, I had no problem with putting the Jawbone (version 1) or Fuelband in my pocket during games. Of course, the Fitbit One fits fine. I also very rarely clip the Fitbit One on to my waistband. It is in my pocket right now like it is most days.

Having said all of that, the Jawbone and Fuelband are a tie to me for best physical device. The Fuelband is last in accuracy and the Fitbit One is the best for accuracy. The Fitbit One provides the most information - it is more than steps, steps and steps. The Fuelband has the best mobile phone app. The Fitbit Flex takes two steps forward and two steps back in my opinion. If they had a screen that gave all the information as the Fitbit One (altimeter too) and they improved the app it would easily be the best of the bunch. If Nike improved accuracy and tracked stairs (I can't remember if it has the alarm feature), it would easily be the best. The Jawbone really needs to work on syncing without plugging in. I have a Otterbox Commuter (not the biggest one) on my iPhone 5. I cannot plug the Jawbone into my phone with the case I have. I don't know why these companies don't pay attention to make the perfect device.

I think it is interesting that Withings is getting into this game. I have had the Withings scale for about two years now. It is great. I have been tempted to buy the Fitbit scale, but I don't know if I will stick with it if any of the other companies, like Nike, step up their activity tracker game.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 11:44 AM   #19
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That's a comment in poor taste. I hope that no one in your family or circle of friends ever find themselves in a situation where one of this devices could save their life.
Apologies. No offense meant. I was hearkening back to a bunch of ads that received their fair share of ridicule back in the day because they were poorly executed, not because the message was worthy of ridicule. These was another one about the same time with Patrick, who took out life insurance. I appreciate the actual benefits of such a thing.
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 10:32 PM   #20
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I'm curious to see what Nike has to offer in a new version of the fuelband. I made myself wait the first go around.

I'm also curios to see where all these fitness bands go, it'll be interesting to see how accurate these things can get at tracking our activity levels. Maybe doctors can start prescribing them to overweight patients to help them realize how inactivate they are
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 02:32 AM   #21
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I'm curious to see what Nike has to offer in a new version of the fuelband. I made myself wait the first go around.

I'm also curios to see where all these fitness bands go, it'll be interesting to see how accurate these things can get at tracking our activity levels. Maybe doctors can start prescribing them to overweight patients to help them realize how inactivate they are
Any idea when Nike might release a new version?
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Old Jan 13, 2013, 07:31 AM   #22
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Any idea when Nike might release a new version?
No idea, all just speculation that they will release an update sometime this year.
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