New Toy: The FitBit

A couple weeks ago I was in the San Francisco airport waiting for a flight to San Diego.  Then I stumbled across a machine of pure evil -- designed to suck more money from my pockets than the tightest slot machine in all of Nevada.  It was a Best Buy vending machine.

Have you seen these things? They are large vending machines that sell everything from $20 headphones to $300 cameras.  You simply pop in your credit card and watch as the cool looking machine grabs your new shiny thing and then presents it to you.  You want to spend more money just so this thing will keep bringing you electronics. Sure, it doesn't get as much traffic as the candy machine around the corner, but that machine isn't charging you $375 for a snickers bar, either.  

Of course the bright-shiny drew me in.  I scanned the shelves and then I saw the Fit Bit. I've thought about getting one of these for awhile.  I believe I first learned about it as Jason Calacanis extolled its praises during an episode of This Week in Tech.

The Fitbit is a fancy pedometer that ties in to a significant web presence.  It's very small and clips to my waist band as I walk through my day.  When I stop to recharge it, it uploads my data to the web.  It also comes with a wrist band so you can wear it at night.  Turn on sleep mode and it will track how long and how well you sleep.

It's incredibly dorky, quite a bit over-priced, and still pretty awesome.

I've learned a few things since I got it:
  • I rarely walk 10,000 steps a day like I should
  • I walk even less than I thought in a trade show booth.
  • I have very high-quality sleep on those rare occasions when I actually do sleep.

As I pretend to work on getting into better shape, the Fitbit gives my one of the most important things to drive towards success. It gives me data.  It gives me number.  It helps me be aware of what I am actually doing (or not doing) so that I can take action as appropriate. And once again, Data sames the day.

In the future I hope to do better at hitting 10,000 steps a day. And hopefully many of those will be steps away from the electronics vending machine.  Vending machines for electronics goods will only succeed in pushing my retirement age back to 132. Damn shiny, awesome things.


Sharkbytes (TM) said...

looks like a very cool toy- sorry about the assault on your wallet though

Molly said...

It sounds like a great tool but I'm not sure I really want to know how lazy I really am, then again it may scare me into doing more.

Shawna said...

If you come to San Diego for Comic Con, I'll pick you up and find some great places for you to work in your 10,000 steps. Of course, then I will probably also take you out to a fantabulous Mexican meal - so I'm not sure you'd come out ahead. Bring your GF. :)

Cromely said...

@Sharkbytes: It's pretty neat. I'm just really hoping I don't lose it.

@Molly: I'm hooked on Metrics (wait -- there's my million dollar infomercial). It is inspiring me to walk a little more. One night at 11:30 in a hotel room, I was at about 9300 steps, so I paced the room until I got over 10,000

@Shawna: I'm missing Comicon. I really do need to go there one of these days. It always sounds like an awesome weekend. You know, I figure I would come out ahead because one of two things will happen. Either I'll get the 10K steps and you take me out to fantabulous Mexican food, or I'll take only 2K steps and you'll still take me out for fantabulous Mexican food. I'll look forward to it.