I'm an early adopter of wearable technology and fitness gadgets. I still have my original Fitbit Classic. Unlike some others, I haven't lost my Fitbit and I haven't accidentally thrown it into the wash with the rest of my laundry. I've also tested the BodyMedia FIT armband, the Nike+ FuelBand, and other self-tracking fitness gadgets/pedometers. I was even a Zeo sleep headband user (but they closed their company).
Most recently, I have been wearing the Shine by Misfit Wearables to track my daily physical activity. This is one of the newest self-tracking gadgets to hit the market. The Shine is a small, round, smooth metallic device that has 12 LEDs that light up to tell you about your physical activity progress and to indicate its sync status. The Shine syncs with my iPhone and it also tells time in 5 min increments since it has 12 dots that light up.
You can wear the Shine using a magnetic clip/clasp or on a wrist strap. I've been wearing the Shine on my wrist, but at times I've clipped it on my clothing when I've been in more formal/business settings.
Here's how the Shine basically works:
1. You set a numeric daily activity goal. The default setting is 1,000 or approximately 1.5 hrs of walking, 35 min of running, or 25 min of swimming. Sync with your iPhone by placing the Shine on the screen of your iPhone (I also found that it will sync if you hold the shine close to your phone and tap the circle on the screen).
2. Wear the Shine all day. Tap it twice to see how you are progressing towards your daily goal. You will see the LEDs light up to show you how you're doing. Once you meet your goal, those LEDs will do a little dance for you and you'll feel all jazzed up! That's enough to get you motivated to move every day.
3. Sync with your iPhone to see a graphical representation of your activity levels throughout the day.
4. Want to go for a swim? Set your "activity tag" for swimming and tap your Shine 3 times. That will let the Shine know that you're about to go swimming and the device will track your progress through that activity. You can also set your activity tag to cycling if you're a biker.
5. At night, you can change your activity tag to sleeping and then triple tap your Shine before you go to bed. Shine will know when you wake up.
I've been wearing my Shine throughout the day and night. In fact, I never take it off because I don't need to (unless I'm going through airport security). That's definitely one major difference compared to my Fitbit. I don't wear my Fitbit in the shower or when I'm in the pool. I also don't wear my Fitbit during sleep since I charge it at night.
The Shine is unique because of these key features that distinguish it from other self-tracking gadgets:
1. Waterproof for swimming. I have been swimming with it almost every day and it works really well to track my swimming progress. You can either clip it to your swimwear or wear the Shine on your wrist. If you're wearing it on your wrist, you don't need to be worried about getting it wet when you wash your hands.
2. Uses a common coin battery that lasts 4-6 months, so I don't need to recharge it. I can wear it all day and all night (it tracks your sleep too).
3. It syncs using a proprietary wireless technology. It's not WiFi or NFC. Can you guess how it works? It's ultra-low power.
4. All-metal construction with aircraft-grade aluminum. No buttons to push or that may break off.
5. The design is so elegant that you can wear it to business and formal functions. In face, the Shine is the most "wearable" self-tracking fitness gadget that I have ever seen.
The Shine has replaced my old Fitbit and has become my new daily fitness tracker. I really like the fact that I can wear it when I swim and that I really never need to take it off.
Learn more about the Shine here: http://misfitwearables.com/