Nike+ Fuelband Review: The Band that promises to make you fit

I’ve been personally using the Nike+ Fuelband over a week now and I must admit it has not only made me physically active than what I was before but also left me to achieve more than I did the pervious day with all the Fuels and other gamifications, Nike has integrated with the Fuelband.

So the Journey started here at the NYC NikeTown, where the entire 1st floor of the 6 story building is covered with gigantic screens which displays a wrist band that calculates how active you are.Quite a few employees there offer hands on demo making sure all the customers who walkin stop by and check out the newest device Nike has to offer, which swear to make you active instantly.

So, what next? I buy the Nike+ Fuelband and the journey to become active begins, not that I am lazy or so, but, this will monitor my activeness on a daily basis and compare it the days gone by, seems awesome, let see what happens.

The Nike+ Fuelband Packaging

The Nike+ Fuelband comes in a small back packaging with a Nike Logo

The box contain a Small readers manual, a extension to increase or reduce the size of your Nike+ Fuelband depending upon the girth of your hand, a special screw driver to make it easier to attach and remove the extension, An USB Dock to connect your Nike+ Fuelband to the computer and of-course the Fuelband

 

 

How to connect Nike+ Fuelband to your computer (Desktop/Laptop)

There are 2 ways you can connect the Fuelband to the computer either with the provided dock or directly using the USB on the band itself.

This is ideal if you have a Laptop, just remove it from your wrist and connect it directly. 

This maybe used if you have a Desktop and the USB is not that accessible.

There are no hard and fast rule either ways, it connects flawlessly.

You have to Sync the Fuelband before you can start using it, another constraint is, that the Fuelband should be fully changed before using it for the first time, if you don’t do it, it will keep flashing the Cable/Connect to PC logo on the Band when you press the button, I went crazy as to what is happening, at once I though that the band was faulty, then a bit of a research made me realize that until the band is fully charged I cannot use it (this is just for the first time)

While the Nike+ Fuelband is connect to your computer and getting charged up to be used for the first time, go ahead and download the Nike+ App here

Once the Application is downloaded and installed the Fuelband setup begins

Here is how to Setup Nike+ Fuelband with the PC (Mac/Windows)

You computer will automatically detect the connected Fuelband and try and initiate the Connect to Nikeplus.com.

It then redirects to you to the Nike+ website where you need to login with your credetials.

The Web Interface for Nike+ Fuelband

The Nike+ Fuelband Review

You have to strap the Nike+FuelBand on your wrist which keeps you active. Its goal is to track that activity over a 24-hour cycle and motivate you to keep going. For that use alone, the Nike+FuelBand meets and exceeds expectations.

The design is generational leap forward from the Livestrong-style rubber wristband. Fitting, since Nike actually co-developed the now ubiquitous wristband with the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

With rubber wristbands getting so popular over the years not a single person commented on it or asked what it was. This is a definite positive mark for the FuelBand designers as it is intended to be worn all day, every day, and as such looks equally at home in the boardroom as it does in the local bar. This variant is bigger and tougher-looking but has a lot more going on inside than a typical rubber wristband. Should you light the FuelBand up, it will definitely attract your inner geek as well as those around you.

The Nike+ Fuelband has 120 LEDs that glow to your delight and displays Cals, Time, Steps and Fuel in realtime. The primary array of 100 white LEDs displays alphanumeric information while an offset strip of 20 colored LEDs track your activity progress along a beveled edge. A single oval button flanks the display and is the only means to access different features of the FuelBand without plugging it into a computer or syncing it with a smartphone.

The button is slightly raised and further accentuated by its cutout surround. I would much rather Nike had either blended it into the design more or made it stand out in an aesthetically pleasing manner. As it sits now, the button would look closer to a manufacturing defect than a design choice if it were not so symmetrical.  A spring-loaded stainless steel clasp holds the FuelBand securely closed while also sheathing the built-in USB plug. Nike claims the FuelBand is water resistant and is “safe to wear in the shower or when dancing in the rain”, though I haven’t tried either, Since it is monsoon, where I am currently, Mumbai, India, I will definitely get a chance to take it for a spin when it rains.

When you first wear the band you might first wear it but you get used to it in a day or two, Nike makes three sizes and which to order is easy to determine with the aid of their printable sizing guide. Each size includes an 8mm and 16mm link along with a simple changing tool to cover a wide range of wrist sizes. It fits easily into a side port on most laptops but also includes an extension cord and stand for desktop use. The program will ask you to enter some simple information such as height, weight, age, NikeFuel goal (as seen in the above screenshots), and which wrist you want to wear it on. Although the differences are slight, the FuelBand is definitely shaped to fit your wrist a particular way. Selecting which wrist you want flips the main display to read towards you.

Nike Fuelband is Nike’s own metric to measure the arm movement uses “Oxygen Kinetics”, an Algorithm designed by Nike to track. A three axis accelerometer in the FuelBand is used to determine your arm movement as well as to approximate your calories burned and steps taken.

Nike claims that NikeFuel is “The ultimate measure of your athletic life”. You set what your Fuel goal is for the following day which can be changed at any time except for the current day you are in. While this can help give you a goal to push for on a day you plan on being particularly active it also means that you can’t cheat and lower your goal for the current day. I found the pedometer to be impressively accurate, testing it both walking and running over a few hundred steps only to differ by a step or two from my own count. I did a log and drove my Bike about 20 Kms in the city, it tacked my clutches and acceleration movement, which I don’t think burnt any calories but just kept adding Fuel Points, which was inaacurate.

Wearing the FuelBand is extremely comfortable. I would take it off only to sleep though there is no reason why you couldn’t keep it on then. I just prefer not to. When I use my Laptop, it tends to brush along, I fear of the scratches on my Macbook however, the Fuelband is tough enough so, I am not concerned about it breaking.

There is no way I can check my battery status without connect the Fuelband to the computer.

I am not addicted to the Fuelband as yet, simply because it sits there and I am only concerned about it when I am sitting on a cough lazying around and once I press the button, prompted to get up and do something more physical after seeing that the NikeFuel meter had not moved towards my daily goal. So, the reactive step is to get up and do some body movement, walk a little maybe run, some pull up and push ups.

The Nike+Fuel can’t track your GPS coordinates, heart rate but I would take it as a plus because I don’t want to be bothered with so many data about myself all the time, if I wanted that would brought Jawbone Up or Fitbit

Since I am not an avid watch-wearer, this comes as a welcome change, I don’t usually use the watch feature, however, you guys can ditch your watch for this one.

The core of the Nike+FuelBand is the simplified gamification of living an active life. Think of the colored LEDs as if they were a status meter to your next level. That’s where the FuelBand succeeds. It doesn’t beg for your attention in any way, like what Jawbone Up does (vibrates) but allows you to access and track your stats when and how you want,  even unlocking achievements over time for reaching certain goals. Since it does blend into your daily life, the FuelBand might just keep you using it and help in getting you moving. The Social Share feature is also a BIG PLUS, so you can have your friend know what goals you’ve reaches, also, there is an option to compete with your friends using the Fuelband.

Though US$ 149 + Taxes (comes to around $162) may be a steep price, if it again adds up to the fact that you will use it more often and not leave it aside, since it’s expensive and should be a show-piece in your cupboard. It is expected that the price will go down, but not in the near future, since the availability is low and the demand is very high.

You can purchase the Nike+ Fuelband online or at the NikeTown in NYC, where I got mine, there are quite a few eBay and Amazon Deals for Nike+ Fuelband but they are usually on the expensive side, costs $200+ for the same product. 

 Technical Specifications Nike+ Fuelband

Sizes

Small 5.79 in (147 mm) circumference
Medium 6.77 in (172 mm) circumference
Large 7.76 in (197 mm) circumference
Depth 0.6 in (16 mm) at LEDs, 0.75 in (19 mm) at latch Thickness: 0.27 in (6.90 mm) at LEDs, 0.32 in (8.00 mm) at latch
Nike+ FuelBand comes with two easy to insert links so you can fine tune your fit: 0.32 in (8 mm) and 0.63 in (16 mm)What size is right for you?
FIND OUT WITH OUR SIZING GUIDEB

Weight

Small 0.95 oz (27 g)
Medium 1.06 oz (30 g)
Large 1.13 oz (32 g)
8 mm link 0.07 oz (2 g)
16 mm link 0.11 oz (3 g)

Sensors

A built-in 3 axis accelerometer measures your motion all day long.

An ambient light sensor detects environmental light levels. The brighter your environment, the brighter your display.

Display

20 Color LED lights
show your Daily Goal progress from red to green.

Array of 100 white LED lights
shows time, NikeFuel earned, calories burned, and steps taken. You can cycle through all this with the push of a button.

The brightness level automatically adjusts according to your environment.

100 white LEDs
20 Color LEDs
Button

Water Resistance

The Nike+ FuelBand is water resistant. It is safe to wear in the shower or when dancing in the rain. Since it’s not waterproof, it’s not recommended for use while swimming.

Connect and Sync

Connect to your computer with the built-in USB 2.0 or use the included USB cable and stand.

Bluetooth pairing to mobile phones for use with the Nike+ FuelBand app for iOS 5. Check back soon for compatibility with other handsets.

Airplane Mode for disabling radio connections.

Battery

Two Lithium Polymer Batteries. Your Nike+ FuelBand should stay charged for up to four days.

In the Box

Nike+ FuelBand
8mm and 16mm links (8mm link is already inserted into your Nike+ FuelBand)
Sizing tool
USB charging cable
USB stand

Materials

TPE 43%, Polypropylene 34%, Magnesium 14%, Stainless Steel 9%
PVC free
Package is 100% recyclable paper.

Nike+ Fuelband in Action

 

 

 

Overall the web experience is absolutely awesome, we recommend you guys to buy one for yourself and get active, it is a motivation.

5/5 Star for the Nike+ Fuelband

The DNetWorks Team

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