I have to hand it to Nike for its unique take on the growing fad of fitness-tracking devices.
The FuelBand is Nike's stab at this segment, which others including the Jawbone Up and Motorola Mobility's MotoActv have already tread. But with production of the Up halted for a battery issue, and Motorola's product still a little-known niche device, there's a big opening in the market.
Unlike some of the other devices, the primary crux of the FuelBand is its Nike Fuel reading, a metric that Nike put together on its own that matches a person's movement through the wristband's accelerometer against data collected on how rapidly oxygen is consumed. As with other fitness monitors that rely on an accelerometer, the readings vary greatly depending on how much you move your arm. Cycling and certain kinds of weight lifting, for instance, wouldn't register much as simply sitting on your couch and waving your hands.
But chances are, if you're spending $149 on a FuelBand, you're going to want to pay attention to the Nike Fuel readout.
Following a press conference that Nike held yesterday to unveil the device, the company took the media on a little field trip to test out the FuelBand in a variety of activities. The following are my early impressions after a day with the device. … Read more