Fitbit’s New iPhone App Is Available

I love Fitbit. We had a board meeting yesterday and there is so much amazing stuff coming from this company in the next few quarters. James and Eric are product creation machines – they love what they do, love their products, obsess about every bit of them, and have a vision about human instrumentation and where it can go that dwarfs anything I’ve heard from anyone else. Oh – and they’ve built a killer team that shares this vision as well as the ability to execute on it.

The newest Fitbit (the Fitbit Ultra) is out – if you’ve been holding off buying one don’t wait any longer. And today they just released the iPhone app for the Fitbit. I’ve been using it for a few months and it’s a great companion to the Fitbit.

My belief that in a decade humans will be fully instrumented – and be able to have the instrumentation create realtime feedback loops – is one that causes some people to look at me funny. But, whenever someone who has a Fitbit hears this, and then asks me to explain more, I see their head start nodding up and down.

I’m really lucky I get to work with these guys.

  • Anonymous

    My biggest critique of FitBit: not in Australia or UK, get ’em to ship it out Brad – we want it!

  • That’s fantastic!

  • Henry

    What do you mean by “full instrumented?” Also, do we really *need* to measure everything? Other than that, neat product.

    • I’ll give you two examples: (1) there is no need to count calories. We simply have a device that we swallow daily that tracks all the nutrients that enter our system. This device broadcasts the data to the web. (2) if you are a diabetic, there is no need to do anything. You have a glucose meter and insulin pump on a closed feedback loop that regulates your insulin levels automatically. Extrapolate this out for everything regarding measurable (and actionable) health information.

      • Henry

        Sounds like a cool idea and I definitely see a use for people who has health problems that need to be monitored. Nano-biotechnology is going somewhere in that direction. I am still wondering do we, as humans, need to measure all the calories, nutrients, etc. all the time.

        Also, I’m curious to see if you have any ideas on how these problems will be addressed:
        1. Security
        2. The adverse effects of radiation that will be admitting from the device (might be minimal, but when it’s inside your body, the effects might be amplified)

        • 1. I don’t view “security” as an issue – you have to go down a level and be more granular with specific security issues. I’m not sure “generic security” is any different than for any other system.

          2. I think we are going to discover really interesting “organic transmitting” technological approaches, that use the human body as the transmitter when combined with very specific chemicals that are non-toxic. Basically, the answer will be a totally different approach than putting an existing type of transmitter in the body.

          • Henry

            1. Let’s say you have blood clotting problems and you are on warfarin. Now with the new device, you don’t have to get blood from your finger every month to see how much mg of warfarin you need to take. A blackhat hackers comes along and hacks the system and makes it tell you to take a lower dosage than what you actually need. The next thing you know, you have a stroke. Am I missing something here?

            2. That would be really interesting to see. Know any research heading in that direction?

          • 1. Yup – that’s a good example of a classical security issue. This is one of the reasons the FDA blocks automated feedback loops (not the security issue specifically, but the concern that people will die because of malfunction). I guess there will never be a complete solve for this beyond continuous security software layers. BTW – I don’t view this as a unique problem at all – same problem with a blackhat hacking a nuclear power plant and triggering a nuclear meltdown.

            2. No – just fantasizing.

          • Henry

            I agree with you it’s not a unique problem.

            I’m not sure how nuclear power plant security works, but I believe there is huge difference in terms of ease to hack and that is going to be a big problem. Quantum cryptography *might* offer a partial solution in the future.

  • This really is not only a fantastic device, but a great overall system with new features being added to their Web site all the time.  Impressive & motivational.  Great work by the FitBit team!

  • Will check out then! 🙂 

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  • EscorciaMD

    We are interested in incorporating the fitbit into a pilot program for our disease management system for patients with chronic pain. Have they done anything like that in the past?

    • Yup – ill connect you with Fitbit to explore.

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