Fitbit

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Fitbit Charge
Fitbit.png
Category Limb-mounted
Developer Fitbit
Announced October 2014
Released Developers:
Consumers: November 2014 [1]
Price 129.95 USD (July 2017) [2]
Operating system iOS, Windows Phone, Windows 10, Android
Sensors

3-axis accelerometer, Altimeter, heart-rate tracking

Weight 23 g
Controls

smartphone [3]

Data available
Risk factor
Standalone
https://www.fitbit.com

Fitbit Charge is one in a series of smart fitness trackers from the American company Fitbit. Like its predecessors, it is characterised by simple design. The wristband is equipped with sensor that is able to scan daily activity of its owner, including his workout and sleep activities. Fitbit Charge is compatible with several operating systems.[3]

Main Characteristics

Fitbit Charge is a smart wristband for all-day use. It is composed of an elastic strip innocuous to human skin, a metal fastening similar to conventional watches, a small rectangular OLED display, and sensors for scanning activity of the wearer. Of course, it also displays the current time. The wristband has a variety of essential functions from the pedometer, which measures achieved time and distance, to monitoring the user's sleep, and provides a silent alarm. One last useful function is the monitoring of incoming call notification.[3] The Charge model is the basic version of this series. In addition to basic functions, Model Charge HR is equipped with a heart rate sensor and GPS, and displays real-time states of activities in an application on the owner’s smartphone.[4] [5]

The wristband is durable due to its material. The manufacturer states it is waterproof to 1 ATM, but only to sweat and rain. Therefore, it is not suitable for swimming or showering. Charge is equipped with three sensors: the accelerometer records the frequency and speed of physical activity; the altimeter works together with the accelerometer to measure the number of floors achieved per day. The vibrating motor displays notifications. In the case of incoming calls, the motor will vibrate slightly to signal the holder about the event. However, it is not possible to receive calls directly through the device.[6] [7]

The developer highlights a long life battery and compatibility with a wide range of devices, from smartphones to PCs. After pairing with applications in mobile phones or another desktop, the application is able to display customised settings of the wristband that features important information about the owner’s activity, such as number of steps completed, duration of motion and workout, distance, and number of burned calories. The wristband stores this information in the application and monitored for a long period of time.[3]

In order to take advantage of the full use of all of its functions, Fitbit Charge must be installed on users’ smartphones or other devices. Fitbit has developed a unified application that is compatible with a variety of operating systems and platforms, including Windows iPhone, iOS, and Android. The developers provide a list of devices that are suitable for Fitbit on their website. The synchronisation wristband with the phone passes through Bluetooth 4.0 and runs over a distance of up to 6 metres (20 feet). Transfer of information to the computer runs via Windows (Vista and later), Mac OS X (and later), iPad 3 Gen (and later), and leading Android and Windows devices.[3][5]

Other Fitbit models produced in 2015 include:[8]

  • Fitbit Zip
  • Fitbit One
  • Fitbit Flex
  • Fitbit Charge HR
  • Fitbit Surge

Purpose

Fitbit is a smart device that is able to monitor its owner's daily life and fitness activities. Through the monitoring of stored information, it assists the wearer in achieving better results within a fitness-focussed and healthy lifestyle.

Company & People

Fitbit was founded in 2007 in San Francisco, CA.[3]

  • James Park - CEO, President & Co-Founder
  • Eric N. Friedman - Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder
  • Edward M. Scal - Chief Revenue Officer
  • Bill Zerella - Chief Financial Officer
  • Steven Soderberg - VP, Information Technology

Important Dates

  • May 1 2007: Fitbit was founded in San Francisco. [9]
  • October 2011: Fitbit iPhone App was available.[10]
  • September 2012: Fitbit Zip was announced.[10]
  • January 2013: Fitbit Flex was announced.[10]
  • July 2014: Fitbit Windows Phone platform was available.[10]
  • October 2014: Fitbit Charge, Charge HR and Surge was announced.[10]

Ethical Issues

No serious ethical issues have been revealed in regards to the Fitbit device. One problem could be the protection of user privacy. This question, however, relates to almost all the wearables that operate on the basis of providing personal information to an external processor, most equipment manufacturers, or other organisations.[11] Most manufacturers, however, assure their customers that their data are secure against misuse.

Health Risks

Fitbit Force Skin Irritation

Skin irritation appeared on users’ wrists for one of the models, Fitbit Force, which was recalled last year. Charge and Charge HR models are experiencing similar difficulties. The Fitbit company responds to complaints as a failure to abide by the hygiene recommendations. Skin burning could be caused by sweat, water held under the band,[12] or an allergic reaction to materials composing the device (band and nickel in stainless steel).[13]

Some US insurers, together with the employers, included smart bracelets like Fitbit into their wellness programs. The aim of these programs is to force clients to invest more time and money in their health. The motivation for clients is reduction in the rate of health insurance they must pay. Many North American companies now invest in improving the health of their employees through the purchase of smart bracelets. These programs offer more benefits than just the reduction of obligatory insurance. In addition to health benefits, employees can exchange their achieved goals with a day off, for example.[11]

Enhancement/Therapy/Treatment

Fitbit products are not recognised as medical aids. Owners use this device to improve their health through the monitoring of their daily physical activity. It is therefore a wellness device that can help users lead a healthy lifestyle. Due to the functions of mobile applications (from the activity monitor to the entry menu), users watch their daily routine, and in accordance with the recommendations they can prevent various health complications.

Public & Media Impact and Presentation

There is a hype around the introduction of each model of Fitbit. Most mentions of this technology are in the form of user and expert reviews. Although Fitbit has experienced good reviews from its fans and users, it also has some negative publicity. In May 2015, Fitbit was accused by its main competitor, Jawbone, of taking over employees and stealing know-how information.[14]

Public Policy

No legislation has been established regarding the protection of personal data provided by the user. Data are stored on the web interface, which can lead to information theft or other illegal dealings with the personal data of individuals.

Related Technologies, Projects, or Scientific Research

There are no related technologies, projects, or scientific research.

References

  1. FITBIT STAFF. Fitbit Charge, Charge HR & Surge: Welcome to a Whole New World of Fitness [online]. October 27, 2014. Available online at: https://blog.fitbit.com/fitbit-charge-charge-hr-surge-welcome-to-a-whole-new-world-of-fitness/ (Retrieved December 15, 2015
  2. Fitbit Store [online]. July 11, 2017. Available online at: https://www.fitbit.com/us/shop/charge2 (Retrieved 11th July, 2017)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Energize your day. October 20, 2015. Fitbit [online]. Available online at: http://www.fitbit.com/charge
  4. MRÁZ. Jakub. Recenze Fitbit Charge HR: srdeční záležitost pro každého. February 19,2015. [online]. Available online at: http://mobilenet.cz/clanky/recenze-fitbit-charge-hr-srdecni-zalezitost-pro-kazdeho-19083 (Retrieved October 20,2015)
  5. 5.0 5.1 STABLES. James. ​Fitbit Charge HR review. December 15, 2015. [online]. Available online at: http://www.wareable.com/fitbit/fitbit-charge-hr-review (Retrieved December 20, 2015)
  6. DC RAINMAKER. A few quick thoughts on Fitbit’s new activity trackers, GPS watch (with optical heart rate!) October 27, 2014. [online]. Available online at: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2014/10/thoughts-activity-trackers.html (Retrieved November 10, 2015)
  7. JARY. Simon. Fitbit Charge review: stats visible on wrist display. December 17, 2014 [online]. Available online at: http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/review/activity-trackers/fitbit-charge-review-3584377/ (Retrieved November 10, 2015)
  8. FITBIT. [online]. Available online at: http://www.fitbit.com (Retrieved December 06 2015)
  9. Company Details. [online]. Available online at: https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/fitbit#/entity (Retrieved December 4 2015)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 FITBIT STAFF. Product News & Updates. [online]. Available online at: https://blog.fitbit.com/category/fitbit-news/product-announcements/ (Retrieved December 4 2015)
  11. 11.0 11.1 SATARIANO. Adam. Wear This Device So the Boss Knows You’re Losing Weight. August 21, 2014. [online]. Available online at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-08-21/wear-this-device-so-the-boss-knows-you-re-losing-weight (Retrieved November 9 2015)
  12. STABLES. James. Fitbit Charge skin irritation complaints still plague company. February 13, 2015. [online]. Available online at: http://www.wareable.com/fitbit/fitbit-charge-skin-irritation-complaints-593 (Retrieved November 10 2015)
  13. Fitbit Help. Is my Charge, Charge HR, or Surge safe to wear? February 19, 2015. [online]. Available online at: http://help.fitbit.com/articles/en_US/Help_article/Is-my-Charge-Charge-HR-or-Surge-safe-to-wear (Retrieved November 10 2015)
  14. de la MERCED. Michael J. Jawbone Accuses Fitbit of Stealing Information by Hiring Workers Away. May 27, 2015. [online]. Available online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/28/business/dealbook/jawbone-sues-fitbit-over-data-plundering-by-ex-employees.html?_r=1 (Retrieved December 07 2015)