In Search of the Magic Bracelet

It’s no secret that I’m a fan (though not rabid) of the quantified self movement. I’ve tried various services and gadgets over the years, but I always find that the more automated something is, the more likely it is to stick. tracking my music listening is a good example. Goodreads is an exception. Up until recently, one needed to enter books into list manually. Now Goodreads has started providing minimal integration with Kindle.

Over the past year, I feel like I’ve tried almost every fitness device available. To be clear, this does not include GPS running watches. No, here we are discussing ubiquitous fitness trackers. Think Fitbit or Jawbone Up, that sort of thing. They need to be light and small if I am supposed to wear them all day including when I sleep.

With the Apple Watch coming out in April, it feels like all the other devices are competing for second place. (I have many Apple devices and years worth of apps, so I am invested in this particular ecosystem). They make fantastic hardware. App developers will probably flock to the new platform too.

In the interim, I am currently testing the new Fitbit Charge HR. So far, I like it. It meets the basic criteria of being lightweight and comfortable. The heart rate monitor is good enough. The sleep tracking is okay. Steps, distance, and flights of stairs are solid, of course. The apps are slick and usable. The competitions challenges are a fun addition. IFTTT integration is cool. The battery life could be a little better, but it’s not terrible.

I think I’ll be going with the Charge HR for the time being. It is going to be a fun year for gadgets.