This one isn’t just an app or a social media platform. Fitbit tracks your steps and movement – much like a pedometer (but way cooler). It requires the purchase and of a Fitbit and wearing it in your day-to-day life.
I chose and recommend the Fitbit Flex – this is the wrist band version. There are other companies offering similar products such as Jawbone Up, Samsung Gear Fit and Nike+ Sportband – it is a booming market. I chose Fitbit as I found a larger number of my friends (and followers on Twitter) use Fitbit.
I wear my Fitbit Flex wristband every day and it counts my steps. I then sync it with my phone or computer to the Fitbit website to track the number of steps I have taken – and compete with friends (and one Fitbit-wearing cat Java).
There are buttons to “cheer” and “taunt” your friends as you compete. Several people I follow on Twitter tweet out their daily or weekly Fitbit summary (automatically setup through the app).
You can also track your sleep – and view a report on how sound you slept (but I usually forget to activate that function at night). The bands vibration feature can also be used to silently and gently wake you up from sleep, or a power nap.
It is amazing to see all the data that my movement can generate – the active days, less active days. I have taken my Fitbit around Canada, to Australia and through Europe (and now sport a Fitbit tan on my left wrist). My steps have been tracked since June 24, 2013 – over five million steps.
So why count steps?… Well, why not? Seeing those numbers, there is no denying how active you have been in a day. I average 12,000 steps per day, which sounds like a lot, but compared to some users it doesn’t seem as impressive. A friend working in retail would easily double my number of steps on a working day.
What is next?
I can see huge potential for interesting integrations and use of this data, between apps like Fitbit and Swarm. I would love to see reports on many steps I took between each Swarm check-in. This information could then be used in ways to suggest improvements in a users activity and step count. For example, suggesting walking home after that check-in at your favourite Sunday afternoon café instead of taking the bus.
Apple has recently launched its “Health” app as a standard on iOS 8. It brings together data from apps like Fitbit (although it isn’t supported yet) to provide you health reports, tracking and summaries. I am looking forward to the new wave of apps that will launch as a result.
Fitness apps and health tracking is becoming the next big thing in tech and social media. I am excited to be onr of the early-adopters, I can’t wait to see what is next.
I have one more fitness app to share with you in my next posting.