Fitbit: Anatomy of product development

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Fitbit: Anatomy of product development

Published on July 06, 2016 with No Comments

Among the newest gadgets hitting the marketplace is a teeny-tiny device called the Fitbit. Perfect for embracing your inner health obsessed self, Fitbit is a clip-on that monitors a person’s movement, calorie burn and sleep. It uses a tracker like the Nintendo Wii along with an extensive food database to calculate calories and movement. Fitbit even tells you how long it took for you to fall asleep after getting into bed. It’s the sort of thing that some people live for and others – well, let’s just say if you care about being a bit more fit, there’s Fitbit.
In the year since Fitbit was announced as a project, the developers have kept an online diary of its progress, from its $2 million dollars worth of financing through its design, testing and shipping. All of this makes for interesting insight into its development as a product. The Fitbit gurus detail their struggles with everything from the plastic molding to the need for cheaper labor. They explain their testing process to ensure the accuracy of the Fitbit measurements. Can you be sure you’ve burned a hundred calories when Fitbit tells you so? It measures breath gases and this is the industry standard for measuring calories burned. Who knew?
Despite being tiny, the Fitbit has more than a hundred electronic components and two dozen or so plastic and metal pieces. All the details are here. Fitbit plugs into a computer with a USB cord, allowing users to upload their health and fitness information. But with a software install the device it can be wireless, grabbing your info whenever you’re wearing it near your computer. Most intriguing is that while a Fitbit user is exercising, the device is said to display a small flower. As your workout intensifies the flower grows. And doesn’t everyone want their flowers to grow bigger?

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