Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Best of Digital Health #2013CES: FitBug

Of all of the sensors on display during the 2013 International CES show.  Fitbug certainly stood out as one to watch. 

During CES, Fitbug launched the Fitug Orb. Fitbug Orb is a discreet button-sized Bluetooth Smart Fitbug device that tracks and syncs both activity and sleep with Fitbug's most comprehensive online health and wellness program - and that can be worn in seven different ways - making it even easier for users to stay on track of their health and wellness.

Fitbug introduced Bluetooth last year to its devices to allow Fitbug users to send their data in real-time to the Fitbug mobile app, available on Bluetooth Smart Ready devices. These include the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch (5th generation), iPad (3rd and 4th generation), and iPad Mini, and will include Samsung SIII Android connectivity.    

Fitbug Orb with phobeThe Orb benefits from this smartphone-friendly technology and allows users to sync their stats on-the-go in three ways: Push, Beacon and Stream. 

(1) Push: send data from the Orb to theFitbug app in an instant. 

(2) Beacon: set up Beaconing mode using the side button to send data at certain intervals throughout the day to the Fitbug app.

(3) Stream: set Orb to streaming mode to view data and take advantage of the 'Walking Zone' feature on the Fitbugapp, a mode that ensures the right pace is kept for the best health benefits. 
The Orb is also the first Fitbug device to introduce a sleep tracker to help people monitor the quality and quantity of their sleep.
By interpreting the amount of body movement throughout the night, the tracker reveals how much deep sleep was achieved and points out any periods of wakefulness. Fitbug included the sleep tracker as a response to their users' inquiries and the latest research, which has linked a lack of sleep and tiredness to cravings for sugary foods because when tired, the body seeks sugar. Too little sleep can also hamper the 'body repair' benefits of good quality sleep. In this way, the sleep tracking feature of the Orb, which can be comfortably worn all night using the wrist sleep pouch, aids the user's journey to health.

When combined with the highly accurate 3-axis accelerometer employed by the Orb, these features offer users the ability to record with precision every step taken, calorie burned, distance covered, walking pace, and sleep efficiency with Fitbug's mobile app.

With the additional ability to send stats in real time, Fitbug members are given all the tools they need to create an accurate picture of their "quantified self" and be motivated to gradually build realistic changes into their lives.

Historically, the data sent to the website from Fitbug's devices was used to set weekly personalized activity and eating targets, which adapt dynamically according to nutrition and activity data logged. Members can now send and view their data in real-time using the combination of the Fitbug Orb and app, resulting in immediate feedback and improved support. Users are also provided with weekly targets, games and challenges, recipes, simple food logging, and motivational support - all housed on the updated Fitbug site. 

Fitbug Orb is priced at $49.99 and will be available from www.fitbug.com late spring. The Orb's base price includes three attachments - a Fitbug branded lanyard, key fob, and sleep pouch. 

Fitbug Orb is the latest addition to the Fitbug family of Bluetooth 4.0-enabled devices, which includes the Fitbug Air, Fitbug Wow scale, and the Fitbug Luv blood pressure monitor.

See the Orb in action and hear my interview with Fitbug CEO, Paul Landau.

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