A Shiny New Activity Tracker: Technology as Talisman?
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.
Wear 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!
- Self-tracking meets ready-to-wear: Make room in your closet for smart clothes
- Physical activities that give you the best burn for your buck
- Track, share and compare: The hot trend of self-tracking
- Is your activity tracking gadget accurate? Do you care?
- Self-tracking: Checking under the hood
What others are saying
- Misfit Wearables launches Shine, an elegant but rugged activity tracker, Brian Dolan, MobiHealth News
- Misfit’s Shine Outshines the Fuelband, Syuzi Pakhchyan, Fashioning Tech
- Watch Out Fitbit, This Badass New Activity Tracker Is Out to Eat Your Lunch, Peter Ha, Gizmodo
- Shine Fitness Tracker Is Small, Sexy and Syncs With Grace, Shawn Ingram, Gotta Be Mobile
- The Latest Wearable Fitness Tracker is the Size of a Quarter, Susan Young, MIT Technology Review
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