Fitbit

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Fitbit Inc.
Public
Traded as NYSEFIT
Industry Consumer electronics
Founded San Francisco, California, United States (May 1, 2007 (2007-05-01))[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
Subsidiaries Pebble
Website www.fitbit.com

Fitbit (NYSEFIT) is an American company headquartered in San Francisco, California, 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 involved in fitness. The first of these was the Fitbit Tracker. Some evidence has found that the use of similar devices results in less weight loss rather than more.[2]

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.

Health effects[edit]

In those who are overweight or obese, some evidence indicates that the use of wearable technology combined with standard behavioral weight loss intervention results in less weight loss after two years of use when compared to usual weight loss interventions.[2] There was no evidence that the devices altered the amount that people exercised or their diet compared to control.[2] It is unclear whether these devices affect the amount of physical activity children engage in.[3]

Accuracy[edit]

A small 2014 study of eight fit band devices during a 69-minute workouts that included 13 different activities found the bands were at best "reasonably accurate", with the Fitbit Zip and Fitbit One scoring 10.1% and 10.4% error ratings, respectively.[4]

A small 2015 study had participants wear multiple devices on their wrists and hips performing different walking/running speeds on a treadmill. 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.[5] These measurements did not address the question of health effects.

Recall[edit]

Fitbit, working with the Consumer Protection Safety Commission, recalled the Fitbit Force on February 20, 2014 because some users experienced allergic reactions to the materials used in the product.[6] On March 12, 2014 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) made the recall official.[7] At that time it was revealed that There were 9,900 reports of skin irritation and 250 reports of blistering .[7] The product is no longer for sale on Fitbit's website.

History[edit]

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Fitbit was founded on May 1, 2007 by James Park (CEO) and Eric Friedman (CTO). On May 7, 2015, Fitbit announced it had filed for IPO with a NYSE listing.[8] The IPO was filed for $358 million.[9] The company's stock began trading with the symbol "FIT"[10] on June 18, 2015.[11] After Fitbit's stocks fell more than 50% in 2016, 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."[12]

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.[13][14]

In January 2017, Fitbit acquired Romania-based smartwatch startup Vector Watch SRL for an undisclosed price.[15]

Reception[edit]

Dedicated Fitbit retail stand stocked with different Fitbit Flex trackers

Awards[edit]

Fitbit has won numerous awards, including runner-up at TechCrunch50 in 2008[16] and CES 2009 Innovation honoree and best in the Health & Wellness category.[17] Most recently, Fitbit ranked 37 out of the 50 most innovative companies of 2016.[18]

Privacy concerns[edit]

To use and setup the hardware, one has to create an account with Fitbit and agree to data collection, transfer and privacy rules.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21] 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.[20]

The company's devices have also been used in criminal investigations; in one instance, a rape claim against an unnamed intruder was turned around to a criminal charge for false reports based on data from the claimant's Fitbit.[22][23][24][25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fitbit Company Profile". CrunchBase. TechCrunch. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  2. ^ a b c Jakicic, JM; Davis, KK; Rogers, RJ; King, WC; Marcus, MD; Helsel, D; Rickman, AD; Wahed, AS; Belle, SH (September 20, 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. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12858. ISSN 0098-7484. PMID 27654602. Among young adults with a BMI between 25 and less than 40, the addition of a wearable technology device to a standard behavioral intervention resulted in less weight loss over 24 months. Devices that monitor and provide feedback on physical activity may not offer an advantage over standard behavioral weight loss approaches. 
  3. ^ Ridgers, ND; McNarry, MA; Mackintosh, KA (November 23, 2016). "Feasibility and Effectiveness of Using Wearable Activity Trackers in Youth: A Systematic Review.". JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 4 (4): e129. PMID 27881359. 
  4. ^ "Does your fitness band really work? Scientists analyse tracking tech". Retrieved 2015-09-10. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ CEO letter 2/20/14. February 20, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Fitbit Recalls Force Activity-Tracking Wristband Due to Risk of Skin Irritation". U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. March 12, 2014. The firm has received about 9,900 reports of the wristband causing skin irritation and about 250 reports of blistering. 
  8. ^ Hadi, Mohammed (May 7, 2015). "Fitbit Files for IPO, to Seek NYSE Listing". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 2015-05-10. 
  9. ^ Chris Ciaccia (June 2, 2015). "Fitbit Updates IPO Pricing". TheStreet. 
  10. ^ Jhonsa, Eric (May 7, 2015). "Fitbit files for IPO, reports strong growth/profits". Retrieved 2015-05-10. 
  11. ^ Ananya Bhattacharya (June 18, 2015). "Fitbit stock surges nearly 50%". Retrieved 2015-12-20. 
  12. ^ Stevenson, Abigail (October 6, 2016). "Fitbit CEO reveals he's transforming the mission and purpose of the company". Retrieved 2016-10-06 – via CNBC. 
  13. ^ "Fitbit, Inc. Acquires Assets from Pebble". fitbit.com. Fitbit. December 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  14. ^ "Pebble's Next Step". getpebble.com. December 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  15. ^ Butcher, Mike (January 11, 2017). "Fitbit acquires the Vector smart watch startup, as the wearable giant continues its roll-up". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 11, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Yammer Takes Top Prize At TechCrunch50". TechCrunch. AOL. 
  17. ^ "CES Innovation Awards". International CES. 
  18. ^ Fast Company. “The Most Innovative Companies of 2016.” February 19, 2016. March 30, 2016.
  19. ^ "Terms Of Service” Creating an Account, February 9, 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Fitbit Blog". Fitbit Blog. 
  21. ^ Jack Loftus. "Dear Fitbit Users, Kudos On the 30 Minutes of "Vigorous Sexual Activity" Last Night". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. 
  22. ^ "Police: Woman's fitness watch disproved rape report". ABC27. June 19, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Fitbit data just undermined a woman's rape claim". Fusion. June 29, 2015. 
  24. ^ "When Fitbit Is the Expert Witness". The Atlantic. November 19, 2014. 
  25. ^ David Glance (November 24, 2014). "How your Fitbit data can and will be used against you in a court of law". The Conversation. 

External links[edit]