In his two and a half years at Fitbit, Jonah Becker has helped the company outrun (pun!) industry giant Apple. As VP of Design, he oversees UX and industrial design teams for Fitbit's line of health-tracking wearables. Before that, Becker spent 15 years running design studio One & Co., which HTC bought in 2013. We asked him how he works.
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You've probably heard the saying that if you're getting the product for free, then you probably are the product. The most recent earnings report from Fitbit might be the ultimate proof. While its fitness wearables cost a pretty penny, they're almost useless without the backend services that collate and give meaning to your data. Now, on the back of a US$113M loss on almost US$400M of revenue, the company is looking for ways to monetise all those steps and activities.
Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
After months of leaks and hints, Fibit has finally revealed its newest wrist wearable: The $US300 ($379) Fitbit Ionic. Fitbit claims up to four days of battery life, a refined OS that pairs nicely with devices running iOS, Android, and Windows, and a brand new sensor for tracking your heart rate. This smartwatch, which visually calls to mind the lovechild of an Apple Watch and a Fitbit Surge, is a natural progression for the huge wearable company. Just last year, it snapped up notable smartwatch makers Pebble and Vector for a reported $US38 ($48) million. And between the almost-perfect Surge and the incredibly unattractive Blaze, Fitbit has been interested in the smartwatch sector of the wearable market for a while. This is the culmination of that interest. It's profoundly ugly -- like every Fitbit that's come before, but it could be technologically cool enough that you might not care.
Fitness trackers aren't what they used to be. The fad gadget you strap to your wrist has seen a precipitous fall in the last year. Pebble closed its doors after releasing a solid fitness tracker, and Fitbit has struggled (though we liked its new Fitbit Alta HR). There's also the fact that fitness trackers, while great for athletes, seem to not actually help most of us lose weight.
One of the perils of smart devices is that many rely on their respective company's online servers to function, and sometimes those companies shut down. Which leaves you with an expensive paperweight. Luckily Pebble has had the foresight to update their smartwatches after being acquired by Fitbit last year.
Fitbits alone won't make you healthy, but the more you see the data, the better understanding you can have of what you need to do. Over at Initial State, they made a guide that creates a big dashboard of all your Fitbit data so you can easily see it visualised.
The Fitbit is a great activity tracker. It can keep track of your steps, sleep, and activity level, but its best use isn't tracking your activity at all: It's as a silent alarm clock, one that gently buzzes you awake and won't wake anyone else in your house or in bed next to you when it's time to get up.
With the original Microsoft Band never seeing release in Australia, the Band 2 is going to be our first glimpse of Microsoft's wearable technology. While it can access email, messages and call alerts, the Band is far more fitness tracker than smartwatch, unlike Apple or Samsung's wearable offerings. So is there any advantage to getting the Microsoft Band 2 over one of the forerunners of the industry like the Fitbit or one of Garmin's fitness trackers?
Working in an office can be bad for your health. You are chained to your chair and desk most of the day and if you don't plan properly you end up getting takeaway food for lunch. Perhaps its time your company thought about introducing a corporate wellness program, which is something activity tracker technology vendor, Fitbit, highly recommends.
iOS: We've covered some of the apps that send data to iOS 8's Healthkit. Fitbit doesn't directly talk to Healthkit. Sync Solver fixes that problem.