All Articles
All Articles
TECH

Nike FuelBand

TECH

Nike FuelBand

The latest player in fitness tracking might just change the game

by CH Editors
on 19 January 2012
Nike-Fuelband1.jpg

Data analysis is no longer just a practice for economists or statistics-hungry infographic designers. Thanks to technology at large, anyone can easily track every aspect of their existence to create a personalized numerical evaluation—a quantified self. Psychology has shown that in general, people are motivated by having data—it's just how you collect, view and use that information that makes all the difference. Nike, a significant proponent of this movement since launching the original Nike+ in 2006 as an iPod nano add-on, aims to inspire people to be more active. Because, as CEO Mark Parker neatly sums up, "If you have a body, you're an athlete."

nike-fuelband3.jpg

Introduced today, the Nike FuelBand is a device designed to make self-tracking even more simple and engaging. Nike+ users know that this isn't the first iteration for the sportswear giant—the Sportband has been counting runners' details like stride, time, distance, pace and calories since 2008. And it isn't just the fitness industry interested in the quantified self. Nick Felton's Daytum iPhone app and website make it a breeze to collect information on anything from the number of flights you take to the amount of coffee you drink each day. The Up wristband, designed by Yves Behar for the innovative tech company Jawbone, tracks daily activity through a combination of its built-in accelerometer and an iPhone app. While all three of these examples hit the mark in some aspect, the FuelBand is the most thoughtfully designed with the foundation it lays for potential developments in customized data-tracking as well as its usefulness and usability during the key moments of sport.

nike-fuelband2.jpg

Using their new universal measurement system called Nike Fuel, you can compete against anyone with any body type at any skill level. As you accomplish each goal, the FuelBand's LED lights turns from red to yellow to green. By providing this simple meter, the wearer can check their activity status with a mere glimpse. For more detailed queries the band's display can toggle between time, distance, calories burned and Fuel. By creating a normalized metric, Nike hopes to make collaboration and competition among users of different athletic levels more fun.

nike-fuelband5.jpg

There's a deep psychology to the role data plays in motivation. Nike's Vice President of Digital Sport Stefan Olander tells us they learned a great deal about the power of goal-setting and the power of not complicating things from Nike+ Running over the past five years, and have implemented these insights into the FuelBand. "When you look at setting a goal, we see a very clear trend that people who set themselves a goal and hit it are so much more likely to stick with any experience than the ones that either don't set a goal, or set too high of a goal, miss it and get discouraged." Finding that people don't need "extreme granularity" and are instead mostly concerned with consistency and simplicity, Olander says what Nike is attempting to do is "make it really easy to level something—give yourself a goal, but then allow yourself to adjust that all the time to what you want to do."

nike-fuelband-lance.jpg nike-fuelband7.jpg

FuelBand ambassador Lance Armstrong explains, "the way we spend our time is important" and raises a valuable point in that for competitive athletes, rest is also a very necessary part of training. While not the primary focus of the band, it does allow you to see days you spent recovering, and the lack of Fuel burned is actually a symbol of allowing the body to recuperate. This also touches upon on one of Olander's insightful declarations: "You can't improve what you can't measure."

An accelerometer and tracking algorithm two years in the making, the FuelBand's user interface is undoubtedly the most attractive part. Equipped with a built-in USB, the band also wirelessly syncs with your iPhone over Bluetooth, simply by pressing the mechanism's only button for a few seconds when it's within range of the phone. From there you can share your monitored information with friends on Facebook, FourSquare and Path. You can also make daily notes within the iPhone app. It allows you to choose from several emoticons to reflect on what kind of day it was for you, and jot down personal details about what went on. The band automatically resets at midnight, leaving you ready for the next day's challenges, whether that's merely walking to work or working out at the gym.

nike-fuelband6a.jpg nike-fuelband6b.jpg

More comfortable than wearing a larger touchscreen device and more useful than other bands because it has a display and the ability to sync wirelessly, the FuelBand comes in three sizes and can be adjusted for whether you're wearing it on your right or left wrist.

For a device like this to really change behavior, the design and user experience has to be perfect: it needs to be comfortable to wear all the time, you have to be able to check status of data at a glance and the outputs it provides have to be personally relevant. The FuelBand accomplishes all of this and promises more to come.

The FuelBand will be available for pre-order from 5pm EST on 19 January 2012 in the U.S. and will hit Europe in May 2012.

by Josh Rubin and Karen Day

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things
Loading More...