About a year ago I took to using a Fitbit Flex in the hopes that being able to see the raw numbers behind my daily activities would spur me on to exercise more and to lead a healthier life. Fast forward to now and my Flex is sitting in the dusty confines of a drawer as it sadly sobs in its loneliness.
That’s always been the problem with wearable tech for most people, it’s only as good as the advice it gives you. My Fitbit collected tons of data on my daily steps and sleeping habits but it gave me no feedback on how to use all that data to improve my habits.
Unfortunately most companies seem intent on providing more sources of data such as heart rate monitors and UV sensors along with gyroscopes and a million other types of sensors rather than focusing on the simple fact that people need some way of interpreting the mountains of data they are presented with.
I want to know if I should be going to bed earlier or if I should try and go for a walk in the evenings and what effect that will have on my health. It should also prompt me to do these activities without me needing to constantly check an app or website to see what I should be doing. It should tell me exactly what I should be doing to lead a healthier life.
That’s where the Jawbone UP24 tracker stepped in. Jawbone’s app and tracker are probably the closest I’ve seen to a well integrated ecosystem that manages to take all the data it collects and present it to you in a easy to understand manner as well as prompting you to take action on that data. You’re constantly giving goals to work towards and prompted to challenge yourself compared to previous days. You’re also giving an indication of how your activity compares to the rest of the UP community so that you know whether you are slacking or not compared to other users.
Add in a 14 day battery life and a simple but elegant design and the UP24 is by far the perfect fitness tracker for my purposes and one that I can see myself using for the foreseeable future. Sorry Fitbit Flex, but you’re going to have to stay in that dusty drawer a lot longer than I thought.