The market of wearable gadgets for recreational and more hardcore health nuts is starting to explode. While Nike’s FuelBand and Jawbone’s UP are two of the more popular options currently on the market, they’re not perfect. For starters, the first-gen Jawbone UP was so buggy and so bad that Jawbone had to yank it from shelves and issue tons of refunds. The Nike FuelBand is perhaps more “hardcore” for more seasoned athletes looking to track their progress, but also not cheap at $149. A more affordable option is just begging to be unveiled.
Introducing the Fitbug Orb. The $49.99 wearable is already considerably cheaper than either of the two aforementioned options, but as many of you know, cost isn’t everything. Cutting out features and quality in the name of lower price ultimate provides a lesser experience. From what we’ve seen so far, however, (hands-on review unit coming later) the Fitbug Orb actually looks like a decent 3rd alternative.
For starters, Fitbug’s Orb will have access to all of the health and wellness coaching services provided by Fitbug as well as their diverse and wide assortment of personal challenges, goals and games of sorts all based around your personal progress. More importantly, though, is that the Orb will feature built-in Bluetooth 4.0 – no more physically connecting to your phone or a computer just to get data off of it. Improving on just wireless sync even further, the Orb can sync dat several ways: Push, Beacon (sends data at certain intervals throughout the day) and Stream (real-time tracking). Similar to Jawbone’s UP, the Fitbug Orb will not only track physical activity, but sleep patterns and cycles as well.
At launch, both Android and iOS will be supported by the already available app (for other currently used by other Fitbug products) and support a number of devices (Bluetooth Smart Ready) including the iPhone 4S/5, iPod Touch (5th Gen), iPad 3/4/mini, and Samsung’s Galaxy S III on the Android side.
Included accessories in the box are a bit more plush than your average gadget and will include a Fitbug branded lanyard, key fob and sleep pouch.
When you factor in the small, comfortable design, low cost and seemingly robust feature set with well made mobile app, you’ve got a pretty nice FuelBand/UP competitor on your hands.
Look for Gadgetsteria’s review in the coming months once the Fitbug Orb is released this spring.