By Andrew Hooge, CEO
The Nike+ Fuel Band is changing the way people go about their daily training and how they manage their fitness goals. There are many Nike+ tools that currently exist. They include sensors to place in your shoe that count steps and distance traveled, GPS tracking, a Nike Sport Watch with similar capabilities (we will talk about that next month), and apps for most mobile devices. That said, the Fuel Band is something entirely different. It aims to help people maintain a highly active lifestyle….not just a 45 minute workout three to four times per week.
This tiny device uses a 3-axis accelerometer to measure your movement, from hiking, to running, to tennis, to basketball, etc. Any and all movement is recorded by this device and converted into Nike’s own unit of measurement or “health currency” known as Nike Fuel. Fitsistant is currently prototyping the use of Nike’s Fuelband to interpret the data to facilitate progressing workouts and making recommendations on lifestyle adjustments. Our Performance Coaches, combined with our algorithms, interpret the data and provide high level feedback and workout adjustments to our members.
On the outside, the band looks like a thicker version of a charity bracelet with a small button on the opposite side. Pressing the button, you are shown the time and also a gauge which indicates how far you are from your Nike Fuel goal (which you and your Performance Coach set). Pressing the button again, you are shown the exact amount of fuel burned, followed by how many calories you’ve burned, and finally how many steps you’ve taken.Each day, the Fuel, calorie, and step counter are reset to zero at midnight. That said, all previous data is stored. If you want to sync the Fuel Band with your computer, take the device off, and you’ll notice that the connecting part of the band is actually a USB adapter. This is how you sync all your data to the computer and also charge the Fuel Band.
How accurate is the device?
The actual calories burned or steps taken aren’t exact, but it does give a great approximation and a baseline to test against. The main audience is anyone who wants to set daily activity goals to help them feel better and be fitter in the long run.
Can it measure intensity and movement?
Not technically, however our developers and exercise scientists interpret varying pieces of data and translate the information to provide an intensity “factor” that we can use to show the delta in your intensity over time. For example, if the same amount of movement was involved on both days, yet one day composed more intense movements you would score more points both with the Fuel Band and with Fitsistant.
So what is the value of the Fuel Band?
The real value of the product is that it gives us the ability to not only help you achieve your workout goals but also a daily lifestyle goal. Movement is key in being more productive, having more energy and improving mood. Moving more also burns more calories and helps you control your weight. We wanted a device that helped our members set daily activity goals as well as workout goals. One day your coach might set a goal of 3000 fuel points and the next 2000. It all depends on what you and your Performance Coach decide each week based upon how busy your schedule is. The Beta testers who’ve been engaging with it have called it “addicting” and has helped them achieve less stress and reach their fitness goals more quickly.
Who should use it?
We believe anyone who appreciates having a convenient source of motivation on them at all times will benefit from this. For example if you’re only 200 Fuel points away from your goal, you may find yourself quickly motivated to do a quick sprint or jump rope to hit your goal. All your accomplishments are stored on the device and then uploaded to your dashboard. You can also view at what times throughout the day are most active and your Performance Coach will provide suggestions on lifestyle changes based upon the information.
Why the Nike Fuel Band?
Fitsistant spent a significant amount of time researching devices that we wanted to pair with and Nike made the most sense. They’ve been around for almost 50 years, their digital sport division is providing better technology every year and devices that have been around for over five years continue to work with their current software (the last thing we wanted is to pair with a device that is obsolete in a year). We also wanted a platform we could build off of and according to Nike they have a series of new devices and software that they will be releasing over the next few years that will enhance your sport experience. Fitsistant is currently prototyping our service with the Fuelband and will have more information about integration in early 2013. We will also be prototyping the use of Nike Sport Watch which we will discuss next month.
How do I learn more?
If you have questions or want to get a head start on improving your health and fitness for the New Year, don’t hesitate to connect with Allie Crouch at 919-408-7062 or email@example.com. You can also enter to win a Nike Fuel Band by signing up for a free trial on Fitsistant…simply enter the word “FUELBAND” for the coupon code on our sign up page by December 30, 2012.