What do you get when you mix the old-style pedometer with the Wii and our modern obsession with health? The answer: the fitbit, a tiny wearable motion-detector providing you with a window into just how healthy (or not) are your days and nights. The $99 wireless gadget begins shipping today a year after its unveiling.
Borrowing some of the technology of the Wii, which tracks players’ body movement, the fitbit senses when you walk, run, bike – even sleep. The fitbit can either clip on your clothing or on a wristband. Data gathered by the device is then wirelessly transmitted to a base station. You can then either check the fitbit’s LED screen (which displays a flower that grows as you exercise more) or through fitbit’s “dashboard.”
How accurate is the fitbit? It’s makers claim 99 percent accuracy for movement such as walking and running or 90 percent for activities such as biking or weight-lifting, where you tend to be more stationary. To compensate, the dashboard let you enter your activity.
If you are a restless sleeper or don’t awake refreshed, the Fitbit can tell how many times you turn over, as well as how long it took you to fall asleep.
Mac users can download the OS X software for the Fitbit’s dashboard.