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3/1/2014
09:06 AM
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Moov Vs. Fitbit: Fitness Faceoff

Wearable fitness devices take on personal trainers to track your workouts and improve them. Here's how Moov compares to early leader Fitbit.

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Meet Moov, a wearable fitness gadget that its founders say will revolutionize the way people work out. It not only tracks your activity, as many similar devices do, but also acts as a personal trainer to improve your movements.

Moov gives you real-time audio feedback to adjust your cadence, form, posture, precision, and rep counts for activities such as yoga, cycling, running, boxing, body weight movements, golf, and even swimming. Yes, it's waterproof. If you pound the pavement too hard when you run, for example, Moov may suggest you adjust your posture or running stride to minimize the landing impact. It could also tell you to "lean forward and land on the ball of your foot," or "try shortening your stride now," the company said.

The wristband, which was built by former Apple employee and HALO game engineer Nikola Hu with cofounders Meng Li and Tony Yuan, will ship in limited quantity this summer. The company set up a crowdfunding campaign to raise $40,000 for its initial shipment of 650 units at $59 each. After the first shipment, devices will cost $120.

Moov joins an already crowded market of wearable tech gadgets and gizmos including Fitbit, one of the most popular devices. Here's how their features and hardware compare.

Basic features and tracking

Both devices look sleek and minimal. Moov takes its design cues from a wristwatch with a round face, while the Fitbit Flex resembles a wristband. Moov is a versatile device: You wear it on the part of your body that you want to measure in your workout. For example, wear it on your ankle or shoe for running, or on your wrist while kickboxing or swimming. The device relays feedback in two ways: visually, through your mobile device, and through audio cues.

You can pick from five activities within Moov's mobile app: running, cycling, swimming, boxing, and body weight. In addition to tracking the frequency and duration of your workouts, the device also tracks how much time you're sedentary, the number of steps you take, and how many calories you burn. If you're inactive for too long, Moov may suggest you stretch or repeat sets of jumping squats, the company said.

The Fitbit Flex, which is always worn around the wrist, tracks the steps you take, the calories you burn, the distance you travel, and how many minutes you're active. While it doesn't critique your activity form, it does monitor the quality and length of time you sleep, and includes a silent alarm that wakes you by vibrating. Like Moov, this gadget reminds you to move if you're sedentary too long. Fitbit Flex lights squares up on its surface to indicate how close you are to achieving your fitness goals for the day. It also tracks your progress in its mobile app.

Both gadgets let you share your accomplishments with friends and compare your activity with others.

Hardware

Moov and Fitbit Flex share similar hardware and specs, with a few slight differences. Moov uses 9-axis motion sensors -- accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer -- to track your motion and evaluate your form. Its applications, the company said, provide data, voice analysis, and visual feedback based on "complex algorithms that understand both quantitative data and the quality of your movement."

Moov's battery lasts up to a week for low-to-medium activity tracking and 8 hours for high-frequency movement tracking, the company said. The device is waterproof up to 1 meter and comes in two colors: white and black.

Fitbit Flex uses a MEMS 3-axis accelerometer to measure your motion patterns, which determine calories burned, distance, steps, and sleep quality. Flex also contains a vibration motor for sleep alarms. Its battery lasts approximately five days and is water-resistant up to 10 meters. Flex comes in five colors.

Both devices connect to your mobile phone through Bluetooth. Moov syncs automatically with your mobile devices via Bluetooth when it is within close range (50 to 100 feet, unobstructed.) It pairs with the Moov app available for the iPhone 4S and above; the company expects Android compatibility in the fall. The Fitbit Flex automatically syncs your data to PCs, Macs, and a variety of iOS and Android phones within 20 feet of the dongle, which plugs into your PC's USB port.

We'd like to hear from you: Which fitness devices do you use today? Would you consider purchasing Moov over others?

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/3/2014 | 8:29:36 PM
Re: Overanalysis
I do wonder how many people use these gadgets regularly after several months have passed. Does the novelty wear off? Anyone with a similar device care to weigh in?
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
3/3/2014 | 5:23:34 PM
Re: Current FitBit user switching to Moov
Are you switching to Moov primarily because of the color? I don't use any of these devices although I'm starting to get tempted. The sleep monitor is the part that interests me, actually, rather than the movement tracker. 
anon0631711623
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anon0631711623,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/3/2014 | 12:15:26 PM
Re: Current FitBit user switching to Moov
I am not sure if you are entirely correct on that. I can go onto Amazon and find at least four other colors of bands that fit the Fitbot Flex...
FormerMTman
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FormerMTman,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/3/2014 | 10:07:17 AM
Current FitBit user switching to Moov
I bought a FitBit Force at Christmas, and although I like it overall, it only comes in two colors - black and grey/blue (the picture in the article is the FitBit flex).  I e-mailed FitBit a month ago and there were no plans to make the force in any other colors, they recommended the fob.  I also asked FitBit about adding the functionality of heart rate monitoring and was told that wouldn't happen.  I ordered two of the Moov units to be shipped in July becuase it appears that feature for feature, the Moov is a better deal although I like the sleek design of the FitBit, the fitness coach of the Moov is too awesome to pass up.
Fbob
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Fbob,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/2/2014 | 4:02:12 PM
It's 50% off right now...
I'll link you to their site where you can get it for 50% off. I ordered two for myself.
http://moov.cc/getmoov/4374291AFC
Gary_EL
IW Pick
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
3/2/2014 | 2:16:08 PM
Overanalysis
This is the same advice I give everybody, and as a former fatty who is now in great shape, I believe I'm an authority on this topic. Forget all this type of gear. If you want to get into shape, do 20 to 25 minutes of moderately difficulty cardio 3 or 4 times a week. Jogging, swimming, exercise bike, whatever. Work just hard enough to break into a light sweat. Don't try for too much too soon. No, cleaning your house or playing with the dog DOES NOT COUNT. Going on a hike every month and a half, when you're not too busy from work, will do you no good, either. Make it a habit. No matter who your are, you'll either find an hour 1 1/4 a week to exercise, or many hours a week in the cardiologist's office.

In a couple of months, it'll become a habit and you'll be on autopilot.

These types of high-tech gadgets, while impressive technically, will only distract you from the simple task you need to do to succeed.
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
3/1/2014 | 6:03:37 PM
Young tech will need modifications accordingly
Nice but this gadget doesn't seem to take into consideration angle of inclination when cycling uphill, which I do on a daily basis.  Just distance.  MOOV et al will certainly need to recalibrate its tech to be useful to those of us whose exercise endeavors don't travel a predictable route.
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