Fitbit

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Fitbit Inc.
Public
Traded as NYSEFIT
Industry Consumer electronics
Founded San Francisco, California, United States (October 2007 (2007-10))[1]
Founders James Park
Eric Friedman
Headquarters San Francisco, California, United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
James Park (CEO)
Eric Friedman (CTO)
Products Fitbit Tracker
Website www.fitbit.com

Fitbit is an American company known for its products of the same name, which are activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices that measure data such as the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics. The first of these was the Fitbit Tracker. Some evidence has found that the use of these type of devices results in less weight loss rather than more.[2]

The company was founded by and is managed by James Park and Eric Friedman, and is headquartered in San Francisco, California. On May 7, 2015, Fitbit announced it had filed for IPO with a NYSE listing.[3] The IPO was filed for $358 million.[4] The company's stock began trading with the symbol "FIT"[5] on June 18, 2015.[6] After Fitbit's stocks fell more than 50% in 2016, the company's CEO, James Park, announced in October that the company was undergoing a major transformation from what he called a "consumer electronics company" to a "digital healthcare company."[7]

On December 7, 2016, Fitbit officially announced that they acquired assets from Pebble, including key personnel, as the company decided to stop producing wearable technology. The acquisition excludes Pebble's hardware products.[8][9]

Products[edit]

The Fitbit Flex, with the functioning unit out of the replaceable wristband.

Alongside its trackers, Fitbit offers a mobile app and website that can be used with or without the Fitbit Tracker, although owning one is recommended. Users have the ability to log their food, activities, and weight, to track over time and can set daily and weekly goals for themselves for steps, calories burned and consumed, and distance walked. The devices also come with a USB dongle, to sync data to the account via Fitbit Connect.

Accuracy[edit]

A 2014 study tested eight fit band devices including the Fitbit Zip and the Fitbit One. Using a sample of 30 men and 30 women, researchers had participants wear bands during 69-minute workouts that included a series of 13 different activities. Results showed the bands were at best 'reasonably accurate,' with the Fitbit Zip and Fitbit One scoring 10.1% and 10.4% error ratings, respectively.[10]

A 2015 validation study completed tested the accuracy and reliability of Fitbit devices, including the Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex devices. Using a sample of 23 adults, researchers had the participants wear multiple devices on their wrists and hips performing different walking/running speeds on a treadmill. Results showed that, overall, Fitbit devices worn on the hip accurately measured steps taken within 1 step of 100% accuracy. Devices worn on the wrist, however, were off by an average of 11 steps per minute. When measuring the number of calories burned Fitbit devices worn on the hip underestimated by an average of 6% while devices worn on the wrist overestimated calories burned by 21%. Authors concluded that both the Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex devices reliably measured step counts and energy expenditure, with hip-based Fitbit devices being more accurate than wrist-based devices.[11]

Health effects[edit]

In those who are overweight or obese, some evidence indicates that the use of these type of devices results in less weight loss rather than more after two years of use.[2] It is unclear if these devices affect the amount of physical activity children engage in.[12]

Reception[edit]

Awards[edit]

Fitbit has won numerous awards, including runner-up at TechCrunch50 in 2008[13] and CES 2009 Innovation honoree and best in the Health & Wellness category.[14] Most recently, Fitbit ranked 37 out of the 50 most innovative companies of 2016.[15]

Privacy concerns[edit]

Dedicated Fitbit retail stand stocked with different Fitbit Flex trackers

Starting in June 2011, Fitbit was criticized for its website's default activity-sharing settings, which made users' manually-entered physical activities available for public viewing.[16] All users had the option to make their physical activity information private, but some users were unaware that the information was public by default. One specific issue, which technology blogs made fun of, was that some users were including details about their sex lives in their daily exercise logs, and this information was, by default, publicly available.[17] Fitbit responded to criticism by making all such data private by default and requesting that search engines remove indexed user profile pages from their databases.[16]

The company's devices have also been used in criminal investigations; in one instance, GPS data was used to invalidate evidence in a rape trial.[18][19][20][21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fitbit Company Profile". CrunchBase. TechCrunch. Retrieved September 17, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Jakicic, JM; Davis, KK; Rogers, RJ; King, WC; Marcus, MD; Helsel, D; Rickman, AD; Wahed, AS; Belle, SH (20 September 2016). "Effect of Wearable Technology Combined With a Lifestyle Intervention on Long-term Weight Loss: The IDEA Randomized Clinical Trial.". JAMA. 316 (11): 1161–1171. PMID 27654602. 
  3. ^ Hadi, Mohammed (May 7, 2015). "Fitbit Files for IPO, to Seek NYSE Listing". Bloomberg News. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ Chris Ciaccia (June 2, 2015). "Fitbit Updates IPO Pricing". TheStreet. 
  5. ^ Jhonsa, Eric (May 7, 2015). "Fitbit files for IPO, reports strong growth/profits". Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ Ananya Bhattacharya (June 18, 2015). "Fitbit stock surges nearly 50%". Retrieved December 20, 2015. 
  7. ^ Stevenson, Abigail (6 October 2016). "Fitbit CEO reveals he's transforming the mission and purpose of the company". Retrieved 6 October 2016 – via CNBC. 
  8. ^ "Fitbit, Inc. Acquires Assets from Pebble". fitbit.com. Fitbit. 2016-12-07. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  9. ^ "Pebble's Next Step". getpebble.com. 2016-12-07. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  10. ^ "Does your fitness band really work? Scientists analyse tracking tech". Retrieved 2015-09-10. 
  11. ^ Diaz, Keith M.; Krupka, David J.; Chang, Melinda J.; Peacock, James; Ma, Yao; Goldsmith, Jeff; Schwartz, Joseph E.; Davidson, Karina W. "Fitbit®: An accurate and reliable device for wireless physical activity tracking". International Journal of Cardiology. 185: 138–140. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.03.038. PMC 4406840Freely accessible. PMID 25795203. 
  12. ^ Ridgers, ND; McNarry, MA; Mackintosh, KA (23 November 2016). "Feasibility and Effectiveness of Using Wearable Activity Trackers in Youth: A Systematic Review.". JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 4 (4): e129. PMID 27881359. 
  13. ^ "Yammer Takes Top Prize At TechCrunch50". TechCrunch. AOL. 
  14. ^ "CES Innovation Awards". International CES. 
  15. ^ Fast Company. “The Most Innovative Companies of 2016.” February 19, 2016. March 30, 2016.
  16. ^ a b "Fitbit Blog". Fitbit Blog. 
  17. ^ Jack Loftus. "Dear Fitbit Users, Kudos On the 30 Minutes of "Vigorous Sexual Activity" Last Night". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. 
  18. ^ "Police: Woman's fitness watch disproved rape report". ABC27. 19 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Fitbit data just undermined a woman's rape claim". Fusion. 29 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "When Fitbit Is the Expert Witness". The Atlantic. 19 Nov 2014. 
  21. ^ David Glance (24 Nov 2014). "How your Fitbit data can and will be used against you in a court of law". The Conversation. 

External links[edit]