The pedometer has long existed.  Back in the day, it was a merely a little, round plastic box with a physical counter for a display.   The whole setup was mechanical and merely provided your total accumulated daily steps, that’s assuming you reset it every 24 hours.  The evolution of technology has lead to far more advanced devices that track the very same measurement and much more.  These includes Garmin’s Forerunner devices, Jawbone’s Up and Fitbit’s Ultra Fitbit.  They all offer a slightly different feature set, but at the end of the day they aim to provide their users with insight to their daily activity and more importantly activity for the day.

Nike, who has long promoted a healthy lifestyle, albiet through the sale of their arguably overpriced products, has long existed on the fringes of this fitness trend with the launch of the Nike+ devices a number of years ago.  However, it hardly is a suitable everyday accompaniment to, well, an everyday person who doesn’t jog and instead walks, lift weights, hits the proverbial stairs and performs other activities that qualify as exercise.  As a result, the company today announced the Fuelband.

Aesthetically the device is drop dead attractive, yet ultra simple – at least from where we sit.  They’ve included insert links for those with oversized wrists, but the real joy of the Fuelband is the array of LED lights to indicate how far along you are in your goals and performance.  20 color LED lights keep you up to date on your daily goal progress, while 100 white LEDs will depict time, NikeFuel earned (some proprietary equation Nike has derived using their billions of dollars), calories burned and steps taken (this info is literally spelled out using the LEDs).  A single button sits just to the right of the LEDs and allows you cycle through the aforementioned info.  That said, you can link it to your smartphone via Bluetooth and view the data in actual numbers, and while we’re not sure if you can upload said data directly to Nike’s dedicated site, you can plug in the Nike Fuelband to your computer via USB to accomplish this feat.

So how does it work? The Nike Fuelband is able to collect data thanks to 3 axis accelerometers, which measures your daily motion.  There is also an ambient light sensor to measure environmental light, which we assume discounts any movement that might happen during sleep, but then again what happens if you exercise in the dark?  And for greater durability, just in case you were wondering, the Fuelband is water resistant, meaning it can stand up to some rain, a boat load of sweat but not a dip in the pool.  Battery life should be good for up to 4 days, but something tells us you’ll want to charge it nightly so you don’t get caught with a dead battery and a workout that goes unrecorded.

According to Nike’s website, the Fuelband is already available for $149 and is shipping now.

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."