Fitness Trackers: Holiday Gift Guide - InformationWeek

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IoT
Healthcare // Mobile & Wireless
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11/24/2014
08:36 AM
Alison Diana
Alison Diana
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Fitness Trackers: Holiday Gift Guide

Wearable fitness devices top many holiday lists this year. Here's how to choose the right one.
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LifeBeam Helmet
Designed for cyclists, the LifeBeam Helmet measures heart rate, calories, and performance without a chest strap. Users can wear the device, which looks like a racing helmet, in all weather, according to the developer.
Price: $229.00
Colors: Black/white
Features: With its Lazer Genesis design, the LifeBeam Helmet allows cyclists to measure their heart rate and calorie consumption without wearing a chest strap. The biosensing helmet pairs with most fitness apps or devices and meets US and European certifications. In addition to analyzing riders' performance by transmitting data via Bluetooth and ANT 4.0, it protects users' heads.
Pros: Provides head protection and basic performance information in one device; interoperable with most apps and devices; adds features and capabilities; users rave about its comfort
Cons: Does not track noncycling metrics such as sleep and calorie consumption
More information: LifeBeam Helmet

(Source: LifeBeam)

LifeBeam Helmet
Designed for cyclists, the LifeBeam Helmet measures heart rate, calories, and performance without a chest strap. Users can wear the device, which looks like a racing helmet, in all weather, according to the developer.

Price: $229.00

Colors: Black/white

Features: With its Lazer Genesis design, the LifeBeam Helmet allows cyclists to measure their heart rate and calorie consumption without wearing a chest strap. The biosensing helmet pairs with most fitness apps or devices and meets US and European certifications. In addition to analyzing riders' performance by transmitting data via Bluetooth and ANT 4.0, it protects users' heads.

Pros: Provides head protection and basic performance information in one device; interoperable with most apps and devices; adds features and capabilities; users rave about its comfort

Cons: Does not track noncycling metrics such as sleep and calorie consumption

More information: LifeBeam Helmet

(Source: LifeBeam)

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vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
11/24/2014 | 8:25:19 PM
Re: Wristband Problems Fixed?
@Davidinil - I'm guessing that's why they started making the pendant ones you can wear around your neck on a necklace.  I'm not sure if she's the only one to do it but Tori Burch designed a few that look like actual jewelry, but are fitbits in disguise.  
DAVIDINIL
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DAVIDINIL,
User Rank: Strategist
11/24/2014 | 5:36:27 PM
Re: Wristband Problems Fixed?
Good to know.  Thx for chiming in
Shane M. O'Neill
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50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2014 | 4:47:15 PM
Re: Wristband Problems Fixed?
I'd heard those complaints about activity wristbands too -- they develop cracks in them, they snap off when you're exercising, they give you wrist rash, etc. But I've had a Fitbit Flex for a couple months, and I've had zero problems. The band is very comfortable and never comes unsnapped. I forget I'm wearing it most of the time.
Laurianne
100%
0%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2014 | 3:19:58 PM
Re: Hate to rain on the parade, but...
At least it won't end up a clothes drying/storage device as so many treadmills do ? :)
DAVIDINIL
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50%
DAVIDINIL,
User Rank: Strategist
11/24/2014 | 2:45:05 PM
Wristband Problems Fixed?
The biggest complaint by far from early adopters of these gadgets, was the wristbands.  They were terrible.  The band would easily come unsnapped.  Users would come home from a workout to find that they no longer were wearing their fitness tracker and now could not find it.  Most users loved the devices but many ended up losing them due to the band problem. 

From looking at the pictures, it does not appear that this has been fixed in many of the models.
Alison_Diana
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50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2014 | 12:55:32 PM
Re: Hate to rain on the parade, but...
I think that's a good recommendation, @Whoopty. I saw at least one study that found most users put these devices in drawers after six months, so why spend several hundred dollars if that's the case? But if you do find it useful, then you might find one with more sophisticated features and better analytics software even better!
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2014 | 12:53:02 PM
Re: Not just wristbands
I liked those, too, Dave. Adding different formats could encourage new users to don fitness trackers, especially if they enjoy a sport like biking, where the tracker is part of a real helmet. 
Shane M. O'Neill
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50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2014 | 12:14:35 PM
Re: Hate to rain on the parade, but...
Also, fitness trackers can indirectly motivate you to jog. Let's face it, reaching 10,000 steps and 5 miles of movement a day is not easy to do by just walking. It takes too long and you can only walk around so much. But if you go jog for 30 minutes, you'll quickly hit all your goals for the day (or close to it) and be done with it.
Shane M. O'Neill
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50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2014 | 12:04:01 PM
Re: Hate to rain on the parade, but...
Both Doug and Alison make good points about fitness trackers. On one hand, they're a great motivator to get you moving more. Obviously walking is not at the level of running or bike or stairmaster for cardio exercise, but it's still exercise. It's movement and it burns calories. But to Doug's point, there's a tendency for people to hit their step and calorie goals by just walking, and then assume it's Ok not to do any of the rigorous, high heart rate, endorphone-filled workouts. Sorry, you still have to do that hard stuff folks if you want to keep the weight down and truly be fit. But fitness trackers are an excellent gateway device to go from sitting to walking, and then maybe walking to running.
David F. Carr
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50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
11/24/2014 | 12:02:12 PM
Re: Hate to rain on the parade, but...
Part of the point is also to give credit for taking the stairs rather than the elevator and looking for other ways of integrating activity into your daily life, even on a day when you didn't make it to the gym. (for me, that would be every day)
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