Running quote of the week

“It’s an honor to hit the wall… If you hit the wall you know you gave it everything.” – Lauren Fleshman

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fitbit value to be determined.

Planned obsolescence
Today's run (street): 3.3 miles

The best time to value your personal technologies is when they stop working. Do you fix, replace or discard? Years ago, I actually paid money to have my VCR repaired. It was worth it because a functioning VCR was important to me. An issue I'm having with my Fitbit has forced me to decide whether I'm in for a penny or a pound. Actually, 6.2 (British) pounds.

Worn and torn
The thing is, my Fitbit's "belt holster", a spring clip with a rubberized housing, is falling apart. The rubber that protects clothing from the sharp metal clip has ripped and detached. This makes the process of attaching the device to pants or a belt so difficult that I've stopped wearing it. I thought I might write to Fitbit and mention their poor clip design. I figured they'd be horrified and would immediately send me new one for free. When I went to the Fitbit site, I saw that my problem can be solved with the purchase of a replacement holster for $9.95 plus tax and shipping.

I probably won't bother to get it. It's not about the $10+ required to buy a new clip that will likely need to be replaced again in six months. I get that things cost money, though I find it offensive that they make money off their own design flaw. I've discovered that, despite the Fitbit's great features and attributes, I don't really find it that useful anymore.

The excitement of occasionally reaching 15,000 daily steps or 25 flights of stairs is mitigated by the frustration that comes from forgetting to transfer the device between sleepwear, running shorts, and pants. What's the sense of tracking only part of your activities? I'll give it another week to decide between purchasing a new clip or relegating the Fitbit to the technology junk drawer. It comes down to whether the value of the Fitbit is closer to pennies or pounds.

2 comments:

  1. ah.. so you have a technology junk drawer too, eh? :)

    I wore a Body bug for the better part of two years, then bought a fitbit wristband, and decided it was too difficult to decipher (dancing dots only, there is no text), so back it went. Then I found an app for my iphone that's pretty interesting, and free. I now have to buy a holster for my phone, so that it can track my steps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about an armband for your phone? That will track arm swing - same as steps, right?

      The Fitbit One is actually a nice design. It has number readouts for steps, mileage, staircases climbed and calories. It also has a "power meter" readout, shows the time and occasionally flashes encouraging words using your own name. A bit cute, but the thing can be useful.

      I have a couple of technology junk drawers. One is usable running stuff that I occasionally leverage (foot pod, stopwatch, Garmin FR60). The other one has cords and connectors for my current Garmin, phones and miscellaneous devices. Every new toy adds a new cord!

      Delete

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