Feeds
Fitbit Flex activity monitor

Fitbit Flex wristband: What to wear out when wearing yourself out

Google Glass, iWatch, activity monitor.... you're halfway to RoboCop

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Review Judging by how quickly Apple is dashing around the world registering the iWatch trademark, by this time next year I could well have a micro Mac strapped to my wrist. And so might many others, if the craze for wearable devices continues on its current trajectory.

You might wonder what all the fuss is about and perhaps a bit of scepticism is no bad thing – healthy even? Admittedly, curiosity got the better of me and I jumped ambled at the opportunity to test the Flex, Fitbit's latest tracker, to find out if my day-to-day activities render me slobby, sporty or somewhere in between.

Fitbit Flex activity monitor

Fitbit Flex activity monitor: is 3 out of 5 so bad when it's only lunchtime?

Unlike previous Fitbit models, this one you actually strap to your wrist rather than clip to a belt or clothing. The device itself is so small and lightweight that it slots into the the rubber wristband, which works out nicely in a couple of ways.

First of all, Fitbit provides two straps of different sizes so you should manage a comfortable fit. Secondly, plopping out the gadget is easy enough for recharging in the provided cradle-cum-cable. Regarding the latter, the Flex tracker is a Bluetooth 4.0 device and will last for five days before needing a top-up.

A wireless dongle is supplied too, so getting this device hooked up to your computer to see some tracking results shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. Naturally, there’s an account set-up required before the fun starts and this process also detects your Fitbit so you can start clocking up your activity from the off. The Fitbit sync app for desktop is a bit fussy though, as you’ll need the dongle regardless of whether you have a Bluetooth-enabled computer.

Fitbit Flex activity monitor components

Fitbit bits: Flex wireless dongle, tracker, charging lead and strap

Although Fitbit has iOS and Android apps, which I’ll come to later, the main set-up features are accessed from a web browser and appear as a dashboard of different fitness aspects. Before any of this can make sense you need to enter in your height, weight, gender and birth date. How much of this is relevant or just data-slurping nosiness is open to question.

And if you start nosing about yourself, you’ll find various social media participation options that you might not want to be exposed to, as you covertly work off a few extra pounds. The Privacy section has over 20 different categories of information to share with all and sundry, friends or no one at all. Do you really need to share your sleep patterns? Are you in the mood to share your er, mood? Are you inclined to broadcast your underachievements? And so it goes on.

Fitbit Flex activity monitor

Do you feel like sharing?

OK, so the sporty folk out there are going to love this, especially if they’re involved in some kind of competitive or team game. Comparing notes can be a motivating factor and even if you’re not so sporty, knowing there are others out there sweating and suffering as you are can be a comfort of sorts.

Needless to say, the Sharing section can be set to Tweet your weekly and daily activity. Alternatively this exciting news can clutter up your pages on Facebook or Wordpress. You can even link your Fitbit account with Microsoft Health vault whatever that is – oh, it seems it’s another way of telling everyone that you move around a bit sometimes. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll see even the NHS is getting involved here.

Fitbit Flex activity monitor

Dashboard and food logging – click for a larger image

Lest we forget that fitness isn’t necessarily about staying lithe and lovely but it can be about a return to health from illness. This brings me on to the most tedious aspect of the Dashboard and, for many, probably the most significant: calorie counting.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Next page: Grubbing about

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.