An even better Fitbit, the Charge HR


Does it work if you leave it in your pocket (obviously no HR) instead of on the wrist?

I love my One and would buy the newer model, but I’ve already got enough crap on my wrists without adding one more gadget.

They claim it works but not as accurately. I have not tried. I miss the clip of the ultra and the flower of activity.

I wonder if the motorcycles break the wrist trackers.

Once the health insurances will mandate wearing those, and insist on having access, we’ll be in a world of trouble. (And a world of cheating devices; I for one know I’d make myself one.)

I ordered the HR the first day it became available in Canada and I love it. All of a sudden I need to know my heart rate at every point of my day. It keeps me honest and off of the escalators. My favorite feature is the vibrating call notification. I’m the type to keep my cell on silent and now I don’t miss a call…unless I want to of course.

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Oooooh. I tried some silent alarms and they are a nice way to wake up!

there are a lot of things I love about my fitbit HR BUT there are some things that you should know. It’s lousy at counting floors/stairs. I have repeatedly gone up and down stairs and it hasn’t recorded anything, other times it recoeded some when I was on the same floor. There’s a lot of discussion/complain on the fitbit forums but not much in the way of answers from fitbit. I also discovered when I was out at a performance that it records applause as steps. On the plus side it’s got me up and moving around more and it integrates very well with myfitnesspal.

Another trick is a metalhalide lamp on a timer clock. The lamp gets switched on at a preset time, say 5 minutes before the alarm clock starts getting buzzy. As the discharge tube takes its sweet time to heat, the light output is gently increasing to full brightness, like a somewhat fast sunrise.

If you prefer a golden glow over a white one, choose a high pressure sodium.

Both are available in grow shops, including the ballasts and sockets and other armatures.

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The vibrating alarm is very versatile as you can wear it on other body parts besides your wrist. :alarm_clock:

“Best and complete tracker”?

Have you not tried the Polar V800?

Makes the Charge HR look like an old Swatch :smile:

I had a Flex for ages. Always got my 10k steps!

Then I got a new iPhone and switched it out. I rarely get 10k steps anymore even though my lifestyle has not really changed. This observation has led me to the conclusion that I wave my hands around too much.


How long before you have to wear one to get a ‘discount’ on your health insurance?


At first, I thought “holy crap, that would be terrible”. Now I’m thinking I might actually go for that.

Getting an activity tracker motivated me to make small changes like walk more, prefer stairs to the elevator, etc… If I knew my fitbit data would have a real impact on my life (like if my insurance company could see it), it would be even more motivating and I would be better off.

The hard part is verifying that the insurance company is giving discounts to those who opt in and aren’t simply charging more to those who opt out. The former I’m in favor of, the latter is terrible.

There’s a company over here that’s got a promotion offering $100 in groceries if you hit your 10k every day for one month.

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People insisting upon access is only a problem if you concede.

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Nice. If it was Aldi/Trader Joes I could eat for 2 weeks!


The ones in power typically have a range of financial and disciplinary instruments to push you into compliance. (Or, into the middle ground - faked compliance. If you don’t get caught, you can reap benefits of both conceding and not-conceding. If you cannot win, don’t play; if you cannot avoid playing, cheat.)

I’ve heard of some companies offering perks like discounts on insurance if you take part in their Corporate Fitbit program or somesuch. It’s a nice idea while it’s voluntary, just like those car insurance OBD-II dongles.

I know when I did an online challenge (to win a free ipad), you could see the leaderboard updating in real-time and that was motivation enough to up my daily summer steps per day from 12k to 25k+ (and lost to someone who “did” 40k steps per day for the entire month).

As for your cheating device, just rig up something to staccato vibrate around 110 bpm to a random count of between 10 and 20, every 45-60 seconds or so - these have an accelerometer that can tell if you’re walking, but it starts counting after enough “steps” in case you’re running in place or on a treadmill. Now, if you want it to look real enough to fool an HR drone, I’d suggest a randomized pattern that simulates “busy” and “not busy” parts of your day. Stairs counts would be more difficult, but you can fool it with movement + pressure change. Sounds like a job for Arduino?

I’m more curious in sleep tracking than step tracking. Does anyone have a rec on good tech for sleep stuff?

More likely a raspi. Arduino could do it but has a little power and this one task would benefit from more memory for some scripting interpreter to make development easier. (Or Arduino maybe as just a USB-motors interface, and handle the rest on some bigger iron.)

Also, a replay attack (record the data obtained during activity, then mimic those), with randomly modified data to look more real, will be a suitable strategy.

Random thought… could e.g. The Sims be leveraged as a behavioral simulation engine for generating the data for the motion controller (e.g. when to run and how many steps)?