Reviews & Impressions

Fitbit Ultra – a pedometer for the community

Fitbit Ultra - the versatile digital pedometer.

Fitbit Ultra – the versatile digital pedometer.

For a lot of us who lead busy lives, trying to keep track of your daily activity can be difficult to do. We understand the complications that may arise but without a reminder to exercise it can be easily forgotten.

That’s where pedometers come in. Having a device that can approximate the number of steps you make during the course of a day can be a boon in determining how little (or much) you do and help set goals to go further. For a lot of people just seeing cold, hard numbers is enough to get them moving.

The Fitbit (in this case, the Ultra model) is a extension of this in that it takes those numbers and backs them up with technology that assists in getting your information online and in a form that lets you understand quickly where you need improvement.

The device package consists of the pedometer itself, a USB charge station that doubles as a wireless antenna, a belt clip and an arm strap. A note in the box prompts you to go to the Fitbit website to download the latest software which drives the charge station.

On installing the software you are prompted to sign up to the website and to also sync the pedometer to your newly created account.

Having the charge station double as an antenna is brilliant; once set up you only have to walk past your computer to have your statistics uploaded to your account.

The device itself attempts to measure not only steps, by stairs climbed and your general activity levels during the course of the day. It will even provide a basic measure of your sleep if you are prepared to wear it at night. All of this is measured and uploaded to your account, making it a painless method of keeping track of activity in your daily life. And if you need to see your progress during the day, a small screen will let you see your progress at a push of a button.

A cute touch is when you pick up the device from a table or where it has been idle, it will briefly blink a cheerful message to encourage you. It’s completely unnecessary but pays off just in the smiles it gets from people.

Wearing the pedometer is both comfortable and discreet thanks much to its size. For those who prefer not to have it attached to your belt for the world to see, it is small enough to sit in a pocket or clipped inside a jacket or shirt. Sometimes you can forget it is even there which is worth keeping in mind as the Fitbit is not fond of washing machines.

Having a wealth of history at your fingertips via both the website and mobile applications is all part of the clever technology in use here. Other Fitbit users can be added as “friends” which opens up the possibility of competition. Seeing you ranked amongst a group can be a great incentive to improve and the site encourages both friendly and competitive prompts in the vein of Facebook “pokes”. Further goals can be set from the website and the site will even email you messages to notify of reaching those and other pre-set goals. Every little bit helps.

Right now my wife and I are using them in a friendly competition to get healthier; that it we have incentive every day to ensure we are carrying our Fitbits wherever we go (or risk being caught out) is certainly a good start.

It’s simple, it works and it can make the exercise process fun.

Please note that the Fitbit Ultra has been superseded by the Fitbit One. The functionality is much the same and I’m sure it will provide just as excellent an experience as the Ultra.

Categories: Reviews & Impressions, Technology

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