Fitbit Flex Wearable Project, Part I
By Ashima Agrawal
On Monday, June 30th, I went with the other Aragon Research interns to Target to pick up some neat wearable technology devices. We purchased a GoPro, a Pebble smartwatch, and a Fitbit Flex.
I get to play with the Fitbit Flex for a month to really see how it works and how it helps people track their steps, what they’re eating, how many calories they burn per day, etc. I’ve had it for two days now and I already love it! I’m using it to motivate me to exercise more.
When you first open up the box, the Fitbit Flex is already inside the large band. However, it does come with a smaller wristband. It also comes with a USB charging cord and the sync dongle. To set up the device, you plug the USB sync dongle into the laptop and install the Fitbit connect software to your laptop—this software works with any of the Fitbit devices.
Once that is done, you’re taken to your Fitbit online dashboard. The dashboard has some preset goals already entered into your account. For example, your daily steps goal is 10,000 steps per day to start with. I thought this was an absurd amount, but after my first full day of wearing the Fitbit Flex on Tuesday, I had logged over 15,000 steps. It also sets a calorie-burning goal of 2,000. It also wants me to eat 1,595 calories, as I should burn more calories than I take in. The presets for calories are based on your weight and height, so mine may vary from others.
The Fitbit App and Dashboard
The Fitbit app is a supplement to the online dashboard. I love the app because when I’m out and about, I can just go onto the app and see how many steps I’ve walked—it automatically syncs.
The Fitbit Flex also lights up whenever you’ve reached a certain marker in your daily steps. When you tap your Fitbit Flex, lights will show up. One dot means you have walked 20% of your daily steps. When you reach five dots, or 100%, your Fitbit will vibrate to let you know.
Fitbit Flex in Action
Tuesday, July 1st, we went on another intern hike in the hills of Morgan Hill. The Fitbit tracked our entire hike and I could report how many miles we hiked and how many steps we walked. It was roughly two miles and 4,000 steps—it took us about an hour. All of that information I gathered from the Fitbit mobile app.
This piece of wearable technology would be extremely helpful for someone trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight, and live a healthy lifestyle. Stay tuned for more updates on how the Fitbit wearable project is proceeding.