Fitbit Doesn't Work For Me

For the last two months or so, I've been wearing a Fitbit Ultra. I love the design, it's easy to carry, and many times I've completely forgotten that I have a tiny device tracking my calorie burn. And that's exactly the problem.

The device that I've been using arguably has the best evidence for the question of whether I've been eating enough (as my mother continuously asks - I love you mom!) and yet I can't seem to even take the time to sync the data on the device. The Fitbit website is ready to provide me with graphs of all of the stair climbing that I've done (apparently I hit 50 floors in one day, thank you Porter Sq. Station), but I don't find it interesting at all. I can't seem to find what the action items are for using the Fitbit.

I have data, now what?

Now that I know that on my most active day last December I walked 5.93 miles, I'm not really sure what to do. Should I be trying to increase my mileage? Should I be instead focusing on climbing more stairs and avoiding the escalators?

Unfortunately, I think I would have to do a lot more than simply using the Fitbit to know the answers to these questions. I know that I'm able to log the food that I've eaten, and some of my other activity on the Fitbit website, but that breaks the promise of passive recording. I don't want to have to enter data, no matter how well designed the interface is. If I have to enter data, why am I not just entering in activity too?


Interestingly enough, I think one of the other contributing factors for me is the long battery life. Because I don't have to charge the device very often (which would force me to sync), I don't think about it, and don't monitor the data very closely. Maybe if the battery life were shorter, I would have my Fitbit on my mind more often. This is incredibly counter intuitive, initially we all think that longer battery life must be better for the end user.

As we develop the Peeko infant monitor at Rest Devices, I've been thinking a lot about our battery life. Because what we're building is attached to a onesie, size is a huge constraint. We've been battling with the time needed to really optimize power consumption with the fact that we already have a workable battery life. Now I'm starting to wonder if there is an uncanny valley for batteries where the device lasts just long enough to not need charging while its on your mind but not long enough to rarely need to be charge.

I don't want any of this to seem like a flame on the Fitbit. On the contrary, I think that of all the wellness tools out there, the Fitbit is the best designed and executed of them all (I actually think the clip shape of the Ultra is genius).

That being said, I don't think that anyone has "cracked the nut" of wellness devices just quite yet.