Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tech Time::: Fitbit One -- Part 2

The Fitbit One is one of the newest gadgets in my stash, and one that I have been exploring for about two months now.  Last week I gave a brief overview, and an unboxing of this item. Today I am going to go a little bit into the setup of the Fitbit one, and what it does, syncing and how to the Dashboard works. 

To start, here is a video from Fitbit's YouTube channel:

So that's an overview.  

To break it down more, when you hit the little button to wake the device, typically the screen you see is the current time. When you hit the button again, you'll see a screen that "flashes" your silent alarm data, if you have a silent alarm set.  Here is how mine is set...Since I am writing this on a Friday well in advance (ah the wonders of modern technology!), you'll note that the next day my alarm is set to go off is Monday at 5:45am, as I have mine set for Monday through Friday. 

These and all subsequent photos by me, of my device.

Next push brings up your steps taken. For it being 1:55pm, clearly I need to pry my butt up off my chair more often than I have...Next push will bring up your flights of stairs climbed. Since I live in a single-story home, I don't go up any steps unless I am going to the basement which I generally avoid unless I am doing laundry.  But my office is on the 2nd level of the building I work in, so I go up a flight to get into work every day. 

The next screen when you push the button again is the distance traveled.  So I've gone a total of .55 miles.  I'm ramblin', yo.  After that is your calories burned. They count those burned in your sleep, and usually I wake up having burned about 700-800, so I don't know if that is average, or if I am above average in the "not doing a lot of sleeping just a lot of flopping around" department.  At this hour I was at 1149 for the day.  The final screen is the "flower" screen. As you progress through the day, the flower grows. My flower is pretty pathetic, typically, I think the only night I ever had a long stemmed flower was after Caliente for the Cure in mid-June! 

Occasionally (if you've turned it on in the settings on the dashboard anyway), you will get little cheers or "chatter" from the device, such as "what's up ame" or "let's move ame" and the like.  Here are a few:

In order to "set it up", you will plug the little sync dongle in, and once you do, you head to the Fitbit website's "start" page to download the software that is appropriate for your specific Fitbit device (mac or pc). Once you have that on your computer and installed, the Fitbit sync application will kind of run in the background and as long as the dongle is connected, it will sync your data from your device to your Dashboard on the Fitbit site when you are in range.  Another way to sync is to turn on the Bluetooth on your smartphone and turn the auto-sync function on within the Fitbit App. Since I don't leave my Bluetooth or apps I am not using running in the background, I will randomly just turn on Bluetooth, start the app, let it sync, and then turn Bluetooth off again when I am finished using the app.  Once the sync is complete (which just takes a few seconds), the information is fresh in your dashboard.

Through Fitbit Connect on the desktop (though I don't usually need to start this, it does it automagically):::

Or through the app, with bluetooth on:::

To view the dashboard, you go to the Fitbit website and log in. It will fill your page with the pieces of information that correlate to your device screens and readings. The app simply abbreviates the information in a more manageable way for a smartphone screen.  Also from the dashboard/app, you can click the little gear wheel to view a drop down which shows you the battery status of your device and will take you to settings which will allow you to set up silent alarms, and turn off/on the little "chatter" messages.  You also can turn off any of the various screens I discussed earlier, for instance if you don't want to see how many flights of stairs or the distance you traveled.  The only one you cannot turn off is the steps. 

Here are some shots of my dashboard from today when I wrote this article:::

So to get into settings, or see your the amount of juice remaining in your battery, click the little gear in the top right, and the dropdown will show with your last sync, your battery power, your silent alarms, and then the settings, help and log out options.

From here you can change your device settings, and turn off or on anything you don't want to see, excluding step count.  By default it's all on.  The Greeting is where you would put in your name, or if you are like my friend Jen, you'd put in Momma or whatever.  Good shot of what the full flower would look like. That is likely the only time I'll see it that long.

You'll see that it indicates that I am right-handed...that is actually not true. I am actually ambidextrous, but I favor my left for writing and my right for other things.  I wear my sleep band on my left hand, as I think my right is actually my dominant hand since I do almost everything with that, besides write and eat with utensils. It has decided because it noticed that I wore it on my left hand that I am a righty.  I kinda want to start switching back and forth to see how it deals with that.

Also in this screen you'll notice something about sleep tracking which I have noted as Sensitive. I'll explain that next week. 

Here is the log tab, where you can see the information on say your, food, your actual activity (walking, whatever), weight record and sleep. Since I log my food in My Fitness Pal, it gets it from there. Clearly today I had a bit of overindulgence in the calorie and fat departments.  You know I am totally lying when I say "a bit" right? I blew it out. Epic plan fail at dinner. 

If you choose to "friend" people, you can see some of their information, whatever they share (you can choose your level of privacy in the settings), and "compete" for badges.  This is not a factor for me, I generally don't pay a lot of attention to that or compete against anyone. 

Over time you'll have enough readings to see a broader picture of your activity, sleep patterns, food and weight, and can use that data to (hopefully) motivate yourself to push harder. 

Next week, I'll touch on the sleep monitoring, which is a big reason I bought this particular device. 

If you have a Fitbit, do you like it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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