Pictured above is the limited edition Ice model
Hello again! It’s Kevin Sutorius, back with another edition “And Now For Something Completely Different…” Last time I shared a preview for the Pebble SmartWatch and while I’m still waiting for mine to arrive, I thought I’d share a review of a product I have been using: the Nike FuelBand. Before we get into my review, let’s first dive into a little history.
Nike started selling its FuelBand exclusively in its own NikeTown stores in July 2012. There were only two colors the FuelBand came in, black or a limited edition color, “Ice.” Once October 2012 rolled around, Apple stores started selling the black model, since “Ice” was no longer in production. Apart from the NikeTown stores, the Apple store was, and still is, the only major retail store selling them.
Pictured Above is the Black Model
What does it do?
The $150 FuelBand is a glorified pedometer, with a fancy LED display. It tracks how many steps you take, and uses that data to calculate how many calories you’ve burned, too. The slickest feature is a digital watch face that just looks cool. Since Apple’s CEO Tim Cook sits on the board of directors for Nike, one would suspect the reason why the Fuelband works ONLY for Apple products.
Pictured Above is the White Ice Model
Specifically, if your iPhone or iPod touch is running iOS 5.0 or later, you can download the FuelBand app, free on Apple App Store, and the band will sync to the app using Bluetooth. In the app, you create a goal of how much “Fuel” you want to earn, which is a silly way of measuring your success when Nike could’ve easily used steps or calories burned instead. Once you’ve reached your Fuel goal, the FuelBand will tell you with one of many different nifty LED light shows, and a little animated dude in the app, celebrating with you. The one thing that was missing for me was cycling support, in terms of distance traveled, average speed, etc. Apple’s iPhones and iPod touches have been including the Nike+ app for a couple of years, which worked well as a pedometer. So why get this?
Pictured Above is the Black Ice Model
What do I think of it?
Full disclosure: I’ve been using the FuelBand since August 2012 and have enjoyed the experience. At first, it was exciting to complete my goal each day, but then that excitement wore off after a couple months. Around December 2012, I had lost interest in keeping track of reaching my goals, but developed a habit out of wearing it. I keep wearing it everyday, but the only interest I have left in it is to compare Fuel/calories burned/steps taken with my fellow co-workers. For $150, it’s a little steep for a digital “trainer” but I found that the device is more enjoyable in a social setting, when comparing your scores with friends, rather than on a personal level.
*Pictures of Nike FuelBand courtesy of Nike.com*