The second part of this series on wearables (here is the first regarding style), focuses on information tracking and accuracy – the type of information collected by each device and the accuracy of the data.
Based on the same products: Jawbone UP band, Nike+ FuelBand SE, FitBit and FitBit Flex, and Basis, this is what I found regarding information tracking and accuracy.
Jawbone UP Band – The Jawbone UP tracks daily activity (movement and steps) and sleep patterns – it tracks when you’re sleeping and how deeply, and also logs nighttime interruptions. Users can also manually log workouts, food intake, and moods, and set an alarm to ensure movement throughout the day.
The insights dashboard online and via the mobile app are sleek and easy to use. The information is clear and the graphics and colors make it pleasant to view.
Overall, the information collected seemed accurate (in terms of activity and sleep), but there is a certain amount of error when it comes to wrist movement (see note at the end). Food intake, to calculate calories in and out, will only be as accurate as the user who is entering the information, but there seems to be a great selection of items preprogrammed, making it a little easier to ensure accuracy when inputting.
Nike+ Fuelband SE – The information tracked by the band is really focused on activity versus and overall view. The band tracks NikeFuel (which is Nike’s measurement of movement), hours active (every hour that the user is active for more than five minutes), and the users can track specific activities by creating “sessions,” which are available on the app. These sessions track specific sports-related activities and will provide specific-data related to the session.
The information is sent via Bluetooth to a mobile app and the data is easily updated and accessible.
The data and insights dashboard via the online interface and app are both very easy to use and have colorful graphs and visualizations to show fuel consumption.
Although there isn’t too much “coaching” or predictive analytics for enhancing performance, there is motivation in the trophies that provide an element of gamification. By completing activities and goals, virtual trophies can be obtained. There is also a way to link friends and tag them in activities, making it competitive and collaborative.
Overall, the data seemed accurate, but because Nike uses their own measurement of activity, the results are directly comparable when using other devices.
FitBit and FitBit Flex – Both products work in the same way and use Bluetooth technology to sync the data collected with a mobile app. The data display on the mobile app includes steps, miles, calories burned, and active minutes, which is all the data collected via the device. Manual data that can be stored and showed includes pounds lost (you can set a goal), sleep patterns, food plan, caloric intake and water intake. There is also an opportunity to add friends, goals, and set alarms.
The mobile app and online interface are both easy-to-use (see the pattern here?) and the information is very straightforward and in laymen’s terms.
Basis – The Basis collects the most amount and detailed information.
As a weekend warrior and health-focused person, this is what I wanted to know about myself, and there really isn’t any other device that is currently tracking this information (especially without a chest band for heart rate monitoring).
The Basis tracks:
- Activity in steps
- Heart rate (resting and active)
- Body temperature
- Caloric burn
All these stats are available via the mobile app and online dashboard. The differentiator here is that these stats are easy to see and there is a way to track patterns. The downside is that the device must be plugged in to sync the data (although there seems to be a Bluetooth option, but it didn’t seem to work for me).
This watch gives you a 360-degree view of your day based on your body diagnostics. This information might not seem groundbreaking in the moment, but what if you suffer from a cardiac condition and need to gauge your resting heart rate? This can provide a constant reading and you can personally become more aware of your body.
Also, this is data you can bring to your doctor if you are experiencing any medical issues. Consider the issue of night sweats. By tracking your skin temperature and perspiration, you might be able to draw conclusions on what is causing the night sweats or find a correlation between your body’s behavior and a catalyst.
Although this product has some development flaws, it has a lot of potential (maybe in the second generation!). From the data and insights collected, this product can really help individuals get a handle on their personal body data and could be a step toward personal preventative healthcare.
NOTE: Overall, for every product there is one consist that I am working around. Since all of these products are worn on the wrist, there is a percent error in data collection regarding when/what it isn’t tracking stats and when/what it is tracking. For instance, when I ride on a stationary bike, none of the products except the Basis registers this as a workout because I am not moving my arm. On the flipside, all products registered paint strokes (I was doing home repairs) as steps. Although it is “activity” it shouldn’t carry the same value as walking.
Stay tuned for more on the wearables war…
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