How Can Such a Small Device Track Your Movement?

By Megan Tung
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I have actually come throughout civilization that have raved around Fitbits, so I made a decision I wanted to find what made them so one-of-a-kind. I was curious around how they operated and also what set a Fitbit acomponent from other tools including the Up and also the iPhone. Is a Fitlittle really worth the money? How is it able to count my steps? After doing my study I was able to answer these questions. Honestly, I am able to say that I believe a Fitbit is not worth the money because tbelow are cheaper alternatives that are able to finish nearly the same work. However before, I did find it exciting to learn just how the Fitlittle works to track movement.

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What is it?

The Fitlittle offers a 3-axis accelerometer that can track the number of procedures taken, in enhancement to a couple of other functions such as distance traveled, calories burned, and number of floors climbed. An accelerometer is an electromechanical tool that actions acceleration forces. When used in the Fitlittle bit, the accelerometer senses movement or vibrations. The even more sensitive an accelerometer is, the even more activity it have the right to feeling.

How Does It Work?

To be able to count the number of procedures there is a carefully tuned algorithm that detects unique movement trends. The movement trends need to be large enough to meet the specific thresorganize of the algorithm, definition that some measures might go uncounted if walking on exceptionally soft carpet or procedures might be included if driving on a bumpy road and also the algorithm"s threshold is met. When one buys a Fitlittle they insert their indevelopment (weight, height, sex, etc) onto the app/website, which permits for the regimen to generate information such as calories melted based off of the actions traveled, form and also duration of exercise, and also the user"s individual indevelopment.The sleep tracking facet is very easy, it merely tracks how much you relocate throughout the night. This has a flaw bereason if you toss and rotate a lot while asleep, the mechanism might think you are awake or if you are lying still while reading, then the device can believe you are asleep.

Some of the Different Fitlittle bit Models


All of the models have wiremuch less syncing, are water resistant, and also insurance claim to have actually a long battery life. The easiest mode Fitlittle uses is the "Zip", which has the capability to track steps, distance traveled, calories burned, and also as soon as you are energetic. The Zip has actually a tap screen that mirrors your everyday stats and also the time. This is the the majority of basic, definition it the cheapest of the three models I will certainly be mentioning.The middle model is the Fitbit Alta, which deserve to track daily activities (variety of actions, distance walked, calories burned), track sleep, has actually a silent alarm, has actually a tap display, has actually SmartTrack, and also reminds you when to move. This design is slightly more advanced bereason it deserve to acknowledge and document once you are working out. In addition, tbelow is the ability to track your sleep and has actually a silent alarm that vibprices to wake. Finally, the tap display have the right to carry out more than the Zip; it can screen smartphone notifications.The a lot of advanced model Fitbit presently offers is the Fitbit Surge, which comes at a steep price compared to the various other models. The Surge has actually all the very same features as the Alta but have the right to additionally count how many type of floors climbed, track multi-sport, track heartrate, regulate music, and also has GENERAL PRACTITIONERS tracking. In enhancement, the Fitlittle bit Surge looks extremely comparable to the Apple Watch.
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Fitlittle bit Zip
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Fitbit Alta
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Fitlittle bit Surge

The Future

Unless the Fitlittle becomes cheaper and develops new functions that are better than its rivals, the Fitlittle will inevitably become obsolete. The iPhone has actually the capacity to perform many type of of the same activities without the require for another gadget, in addition to being a lot cheaper. Yes, the actual iPhone is not cheaper, yet odds are you either currently own a smartphone or you are buying a smartphone for various other factors than simply its ability to track movement. The iPhone alone have the right to track steps, stairs climbed, and distance traveled through the app, Health, which comes on the iPhone. If a user was looking for more, there are free apps and also much cheaper apps that carry out the very same attributes as the Fitlittle bit models above.
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Jawbone Up Move
An app for tracking sleep is Sleep Cycle, which tracks sleep in almost the exact exact same method as the Fitlittle. Sleep Cycle is free to download, however has in-app purchases for more thorough data. I had actually a device that was incredibly similar to the Fitlittle, referred to as the Jawbone Up Move. My Jawbone measured my actions, daily activity, calories burned, and also sleep. The Jawbone is cheaper than the Fitbit Zip but can do the exact very same tasks. However, I discovered it inconvenient to need to remember to move the clip eexceptionally time I adjusted outfits, remember to put it earlier on after I showered, and also for some of my outfits (such as dresses) it was hard to uncover a place for the tracker. After about a month of using the tracker I provided up and referred ago to using my iPhone and Sleep Cycle bereason all I essential to do was lug roughly my phone, which I was currently doing regardless of whether I wanted to track my measures.
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iPhone Health App
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Sleep Cycle App (totally free version)
Currently, the Fitlittle bit has the exact same form of organized errors that can occur via the iPhone tracking, yet the attributes are already emerged right into the iPhone so one does not have to purchase another gadget. Although the Fitlittle bit does a relatively precise job tracking movement (procedures, stairs climbed, etc), it is not a perfect tool due to it being feasible to misjudge whether or not the perboy wearing the device took a action.

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Megan Tung is a summer intern at slrfc.org Electronics.

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Megan is a rising senior at Menlo High School. Her interests include photography, music, and engineering.