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Review: Nike Fuelband's dotty lights will get you off the sofa
FIFTY years ago, a bracelet which tracked where you went and what you did would have been considered Orwellian.
Twenty years ago, a bracelet which knew where you were was a punishment handed down by the court.
These days they are called activity trackers and are a fun, interesting part of a healthy lifestyle.
I gave Nike’s Fuelband a try to see if it would encourage me to get off my backside, put down the lemon drizzle and burn some calories.
First things first, this little beauty is incredibly addictive.
It really does the trick at motivating you as you see your steps, calories and fuel (no idea how that is calculated) mounting up...or failing to mount up.
Once I received it, my first thought was to get my bike out and peddle to and from work every day.
But the Fuelband doesn’t recognise cycling. Perhaps it thought I was running really fast because it reckoned I did about 200 calories before I got in to work of a morning. I'll take that.
Sitting here now, I’m at 287 and a dotty bar is going orange to indicate that I’m on target for my activities today.
It’s actually quite amazing to see how the calories get burnt throughout the day, albeit slowly, sat in the office.
It’s just a shame the Fuelband can’t see me shovelling our office mum Carole’s cakes into my gob.
There’s a chance the statistics which say I’m hitting my targets could be offset a little by my constant eating, who knows?
I rinsed my targets during an afternoon of cricket too, despite batting for a grand total of seven minutes.
So far in front was I, that I treated myself to a cheeky pint.
When you’re wearing the Fuelband - and this feeling only increased during the week I wore it – it is impossible to not be fascinated.
It genuinely did encourage me to get up and out and burn some extra calories.
There were several times when I looked at the paltry number of calories burnt or steps taken and I decided to wander to the shops or get my arse off the sofa.
It is quite a kick to see the wristband light up and have a little lo-fi party when you reach your goal too.
As a bit of a technophobe, it was a relief to find the Fuelband so easy to set up. You just pop it into the computer and a few minutes later there’s a fancy dashboard and talk of targets and results and the like.
It is easy to keep up, with updates to your iphone and the computer.
The simplicity of the fuelband is both its triumph and its failing. It costs £129 but still can’t do functions of similar-priced or cheaper rivals.
The Garmin watches don’t have the battery life and are chunky but you can see maps of where you’ve run and how fast, and they do cycling and the super-expensive ones can even go swimming.
The rival FitBit Flex boasts that you can track what you eat as well as a load of other functions, and it is cheaper, and it works on Android.
While Nike’s product doesn’t offer that, it is fun, the battery lasts a long time, it looks great and it really does get you thinking about whether you’re active enough.
Go to nike.com
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