Posted By Simon Montford on Sept 17, 2014
I started a personal blog a while ago but decided to remove the "My Fitness" section discountinue uploading my Health and Workout data. This is because I became rather disillusioned by all the hype around ‘The Quantified Self‘. My journey began back in 2011 when I was one of the first of my friends to purchase a Nike FuelBand. Unfortunately it expired shortly after purchase. I was expecting a fight from Nike to get a free replacement but the customer service team immediately offered to send out a replacement.
It was as though they were expecting me to contact them with news of my recently deceased purchase. Perhaps it was a common fault which is why Nike were so accommodating. Anyway the replacement FuelBand gave up the ghost only a few months later. The subsequent two also stopped working! I got to the point where I just could not be bothered any more.
I was also one of the first in my cohort of early adopters who rushed out and purchase the first generation FitBit. This device was so small and slippery that it kept escaping. Like a wet bar of soap it would leap out of the small elastic pouch that was charged with the responsibility of keeping it safe (it has a narrow slit). On two occasions I returned home to find the pouch empty. Like Nike, the makers of the FitBit were happy to provide a free replacement but after losing three of these slippery little suckers, I gave up on it.
I can’t fault either company for attempting to push the boundaries because wearable fitness technology is the future. It’s just that until these devices become more reliable, robust, and user-friendly ordinary consumers like myself will not use them. Also, I just wasn't sold on the benefits that such devices are supposed to offer. I accumulated several million Nike Fuels (think of them as AirMiles but with zero redemption value) that served little purpose other than to annoy my social network. The app encourages you to share how many "Nike Fuels" you have accrued after every work out via Facebook and Twitter.
So apart from unintentionally spamming to my Facebook friends what else can all this data be used for? Initially, I enjoyed the gamification aspect of seeing how I compared with my friends as the app provided a league table where you compete with Facebook friends… until, like me, they quit.
As everyone knows by now, Apple recently announced that they have created their own take on the ultimate wearable in the form of a watch. Unexpected? No. Genius? Well, we'll have to wait and see. The technosphere is lukewarm (English speak for unimpressed). Anyway it's about time!
I think the Apple Watch will only be a hit if a wide selection of apps, built on the Health Kit platform, are available by the time it hits the high street. As usual that means leaving all the heavy lifting to the community of Apple fanboys and girls out there. I just hope enough of them have continued to drink from the Apple KoolAid fountain as many are defecting to the Android Camp.
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