Shine activity tracker

A Shiny New Activity Tracker: Technology as Talisman?

The activity tracker Shine by MisFit Wearables

Read enough articles and reviews about tracking gadgets and talk to folks who sport them and you notice a funny thing. Among the discussions of cost, accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, connectivity, and usability there is talk of ‘feelings.’

“As soon as I strap it on, I instantly feel more athletic.”
“I feel self-conscious as I realize I’m wearing an obsidian tiara to bed.”
– Daniel Cooper,  “Fitter, happier: an eight-week exercise in using technology to help lose weight,” Engadget, June 21, 2012.

“The patients found the smart garment comfortable, and the platform easy to use. They also reported to feel themselves “safely supervised” and asked to continue the monitoring for a longer period.”
–  Marco De Rienzo, et al, “Textile technology for the vital signs monitoring in telemedicine and extreme environments,” IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, 14(3), 2010

Someone once told me that wearing a popular wrist-based tracking device made them feel cool. A different person told me the same device made them feel self-conscious and fat. In the world of tracking gadgets, one person’s status symbol can be another person’s stigma.

Now a new activity tracker may change that. The Shine by Misfit Wearables is remarkable for its androgynous, ambiguous, and very ambitious profile. Machined from a solid block of aluminum and featuring a circle of lights that show progress toward a goal, the waterproof device is about the size of two quarters. It can be clipped to a shoe, bra, or belt, or attached as a bracelet or brooch.

WearWays to wear the Shine activity tracker it prominently and feel like Iron Man as you train for an Ironman. Or attach it out of sight, and go about your tracking business invisibly. Or…. just wear it?

During a video chat with Sonny Vu, co-founder and CEO of Misfit Wearables, he asked me whether I would wear the Shine when not tracking. I actually hesitated before answering … maybe. He caught my pause, smiled, and asked me if I would wear other activity trackers around when not in use.  Heck no.

It’s no surprise Vu’s previous tour de force device, the iBGStar, a blood glucose meter plug-in for the iPhone, won a red dot design award for outstanding product design in the life science and medicine category. He may need to make room on his shelf for more design awards as he and his team make wearable tech, wearable.

Wearable Tech Pinterest board: take a look at the profiles of wearable tech devices!

Related posts

What others are saying