“We were first.” Fergus Kee, Fitbug’s Executive Chairman, stopped short of actually saying fitness gadget-maker Fitbit is a wholesale clone of his company — but he got pretty close.
“All we can say is that it was remarkably similar to what we had,” says Kee, in a lilting Yorkshire-Irish accent, referring to the kind of suddenly popular activity-recording gadgets both firms (and now a few others) produce.
Both use accelerometers to track steps, and both feed the data to your mobile device via Bluetooth. But Kee says even the device’s names — and even elements of the typeface used for both logos — is very similar.
Regardless of any similarity, Fitbug’s Orb is just $50, which is $10 less than Fitbit’s least expensive activity tracker, the Fitbit Zip — except that the Orb doesn’t have a screen, where the Zip does. Also, the Fitbug’s coaching functions are only available with a monthly subscription, though the Orb comes with a year’s worth.
Fitbug is also rolling out a Bluetooth-equipped scale and blood-pressure monitor. The scale will sell for $80; no word on pricing for the blood-pressure monitor.