Skip to main content

Nike Plus FuelBand review

I've been using the Nike Plus FuelBand for almost a week now and I think I'm ready to give a breakdown of my experience with it (if not a full-on review).

Just to give a basic overview to those who may not know what this device is or does, it's basically a wristband that measures your activity throughout the day and gives you a constant read out of how much NikeFuel you've earned. NikeFuel is a made up calculation that also translates into Calories Burned, Steps Taken, or Distance Covered. It's not an exact science; it's pretty much just a measurement of how much energy you've expended.

You're able to set goals for each day, deciding in advance how much NikeFuel you think you'll earn each day and setting your goal for that amount. Your NikeFuel levels are stored and tracked in your Nike Plus account where you can compare your statistics with other FuelBand users.

So, on to more specifics. 

First of all, it's clear that Nike followed the Apple design model with this thing, putting form on the same level as function and deciding not only what it would do but what it wouldn't do. Design-wise, it's a simple, stylish wristband that starts to feel natural only a few days in. Functionality-wise, there's only one button on the band itself and you can only use it to view your current data (rather than being able to update or make any changes through the device itself).

This can at first seem like a limitation, but it actually simplifies the device and lets you quickly gain an understanding of how it works rather than spending a lot of time discerning what its various controls do (on the flip side I have a heart-rate monitoring watch... I have yet to fully understand that thing). For the FuelBand, the settings can only be changed through a downloadable software that pops up when it's hooked up to your computer to charge or in the mobile app when it's synced up.

The most interesting design decision that I've picked up on so far is that once a day starts you can't change what your goal is for that day. At first I thought this was a little annoying; why shouldn't I be able to raise or lower my goal during the day?

However, after using it for a week I am totally on board with this design decision. If you're creating a device that's designed to change habits and make people more active, why would you allow them to cheat? Several times already I've found that an accidentally high goal has caused me to decide to be more active in order  to ensure that I don't fall short of my goal for the day. I've found myself skipping taking a bus (like coming home from this play on Tuesday) or deciding to fit in a brief run over a busy lunch (yesterday).

So in terms of changing habits and getting people to become cognizant of their activity levels, this thing nails it. 

In terms of negatives, it still doesn't measure running exactly (which I pointed out before). But it's actually changing my thinking to picture my activity in terms of a full day of exercise rather than just counting my running, which is very cool.

The biggest issue, though, is a current glitch with the firmware on the device that causes it to fall out of sync with your profile and thus keep any of your data from uploading to the Nike Plus site. This is a pretty huge issue (it happened to me earlier this week and I lost all my activity for both Sunday and Monday). When I was on the phone with customer service they said that this is a common bug right now and that they're working to fix it.

If they can get that fixed quickly this shouldn't be an issue, but if not they'll have some major backlash on their hands. One of the key selling points of this device is that it gets you invested in how much energy you expend in a day. If the device starts losing that data once you're invested in it that can be pretty frustrating.

For now, I have to say, well done Nike. I'm pretty obsessed with this thing.

Comments

  1. I fell your pain. Just lost out on my 13 day streak and about 12,000 Nike Fuel over the course of two days. Sucks. If it wasn't such an awesome band I'd be twice as annoyed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah - I had this issue again when I was on a 27 day streak. It really sucked. I was surprised that they hadn't fixed it yet since this issue was known in April (I had the issue again in late May). It seems like they've worked everything out now though.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Carrera de los Muertos 2013

I loved last year's Carrera de los Muertos so I had to sign up again this year.

I got a ride down to Pilsen with Fuzzy and Erica (because they're super-cool and because Pilsen is not the easiest place to get to from Lincoln Square without a car).

We got there with plenty of time to spare, which was lucky because we actually needed all that time to park the car and get a parking slip and all that. We ended up getting to the starting line just about five minutes before the race started. Luckily, the gear check for this race is impeccable and once I had my bag checked I think there was still about three minutes before start time. So I stood around looking at all the scenery: with the sweet costumes and bright purple race shirts, along with the (artistic) graffiti on a lot of the walls along the course, I think Carrera de los Muertos has to be the most colorful race in Chicago.

A Daily Guide to Chicago Comedy Shows in March

No preamble this month, let's just talk about comedy.

March 1: Meechie Hall Live Album Recording at Laugh Factory

Chicagoan Meechie Hall - who performs, hosts and headlines all over town (and has for over a decade) - is recording his first comedy album at Laugh Factory. Produced and hosted by weekly comedy showcase Stand Up Stand Up, this live recording event will feature opening acts Michael Robinson, Ed Towns and Jake McKenzie. And just to prove that he really is one of Chicago's hardest comedians working, Hall will be back at Laugh Factory later the same night for BYOB Podcast Live with some seriously excellent stand-up comic guests.

March 2: Sebastian Maniscalco: Stay Hungry Tour at Chicago Theatre

Last year Arlington Heights native Sebastian Maniscalco made the Forbes list of the world's highest-paid comedians for the first time, and accepted the accomplishment with humility and honest concern for the future: "I know things are good, but I'd hate to make the F…

A Daily Guide to Chicago Comedy Shows in April 2018

April 1: Character Assassination presents The Roast of Disney Princesses at Laugh Factory

The latest entry in the Character Assassination roast show series pits a collection of Disney princesses -played by Chicago comics - against each other. Starring Allison Dunne, Alex Kumin, Sarah Shockey, Gena Gephart, Audrey Jonas, Eunji Kim, Samantha Berkman, Stephanie Weber and Mandee McKelvey.

April 2: Comedy Overload Open Mic at Gallery Cabaret

A weekly open mic open to all forms of comedy that takes place at a sweet venue in Bucktown.









April 3: Shake 'Em Up Comedy Showcase at Shakers on Clark

This free two-hour comedy showcase is hosted by Darrick J and Nate Galloway. Comics get between four and 10 minutes each and the hosts let comedians know a bit needs work by hitting a bell and "shaking 'em up."


April 4: Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O'Toole's

Really you should be catching this weekly showcase at Timothy O'Toole's every week. This week's two hour …