Open access peer-reviewed chapter

The Comparison of Wearable Fitness Devices

By Kanitthika Kaewkannate and Soochan Kim

Submitted: October 20th 2017Reviewed: April 3rd 2018Published: November 5th 2018

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.76967

Downloaded: 302

Abstract

The wearable devices or wearable trackers help to motivate you during daily exercise or workouts. It gives you information about your daily routine or fitness by using wearable technology in combination with your smart phone to track your daily activities and fitness without the manual calculations or records that can be intrusive. Generally, companies display advertising for these kinds of products and depict them as good, user-friendly, and accurate. However, there are no subjective research results to prove the veracity of their words. Four popular wrist band-style wearable devices currently in the market were selected at the devices which are most popular (Withings Pulse, Misfit Shine, Jawbone Up24, and Fitbit Flex). The accuracy of tracking was one of the key components for fitness tracking, with some devices performing better than others. Accuracy in the tracking of daily activities such as walking, running, and sleeping is important. This research showed subjective and objective experiment results, which were used to compare the accuracy of four wearable devices in conjunction with user-friendliness. Satisfaction levels, the accuracy of tracking, and the opinion of each subject while using wearable device to track their daily activity were compared. The results determined that the cost-effectiveness was the Withings Pulse, followed by the Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up24, and Misfit Shine.

Keywords

  • wearable devices
  • Withings
  • Fitbit
  • misfit
  • jawbone
  • best tracker

1. Introduction

There are many online reviews of wearable trackers, typically presenting different perspectives on the rankings. However, objective and factual information cannot match the subjective findings which convey further details about the devices, the participants in the experiments, or the particular reviewers involved. Further, there is no quantitative comparison table to show the results of subjects reviewed. For example, from the site of “Top Ten reviews” [1, 2], the best wearable device reviewed was the Fitbit Flex, followed by the Withings Pulse, Jawbone, and Misfit. From this site, the table score was shown and compared but provided no details about where the information originated. Another example for a wearable tracker review site is “Best fitness tracker 2015.” From Wearable Tech for your connected self [3], the top four trackers were Jawbone, Misfit, Fitbit, and Germinly, respectively. Online reviews rarely present objective and measurable comparison data, and the review content is usually only the opinions of bloggers. While the information is subjective in such cases, it is useful for customers who are considering purchasing a tracker, since the content can guide the customer to find the right product to meet their needs. However, customers would benefit greatly if the information offered included subjective comparison results which could let customers know which trackers would be the best fit for their requirements [4, 5, 6].

This research study provides a comparison among the leading wearable fitness-tracking devices available today, covering the accuracy, user-friendliness, and customer satisfaction. All the selected devices were of the wristband type and ranked within the top ten of the best 2015 products from reviews [1, 2, 3]. Four of these products were selected randomly: the Fitbit Flex (Fitbit Inc., San Francisco, California, USA) [7], the Withings Pulse (Consumer Electronics, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France) [8], the Misfit Shine (Msfit Inc., Apple Inc., Apple, Mitten Rd., Burlingame, California, USA) [9], and the Jawbone Up24 (Consumer Electronics, San Francisco, California, USA) [10, 11, 12, 13]. The results will be shown as subjective and objective research results for the trackers with the best accuracy and user-friendliness by physical information from real users.

This paper reviews the following: (1) the overall specs of four devices were compared, (2) the user satisfaction for all four devices and compares the results of the satisfaction scores, (3) the opinion from user in experiments were explored, (4) the reviews of wearable devices of blogger or reviewer from internet site were compared with linking to the users’ opinion in experiments, and (5) the accuracy and repeatability of activity tracking for each model were also recorded and compared.

2. Material and methods

2.1. Wearable devices used in the experiment

The four wearable devices in the experiments were done randomly for wrist band devices available in Korea, chosen from ten devices in the top ten review rank [1, 2, 3] (see Figure 1). The four devices are Jawbone Up24, Misfit Shine, Fitbit Flex, and Withings Pulse. Table 1 provides the comparable features of the four wearable devices.

Figure 1.

The wearable devices in the experiments: (a) Fitbit flex, (b) Withings pulse, (c) misfit Shine, and (d) jawbone up.

FeaturesSpecificationsJawbone Up24Fitbit FlexWithings PulseMisfit
Company detailCompany nameConsumer ElectronicsFitbit Inc.Consumer ElectronicsMisfit Inc.
CountrySan Francisco, California, USASan Francisco, California, USAIssy les Moulineaux, FranceApple Inc., Apple, Mitten Rd., Burlingame, California, USA
Information Linkhttp://jawbone.comhttp://www.fitbit.comwww.withings.comwww.withings.com
Product releasedReleased(USA)13-Nov-136-May-1327-Jun-1316-Sep-14
Announced(USA)13-Nov-137-Jan-136-Jan-1316-Sep-14
Present availabilityAvailableAvailableAvailableAvailable
TypeSmart watchWatch styleWearable/clip-onWearable/clip-onWearable/ clip-on
GeneralPrice in market$150$100$100$95
Dimension (W×D×H)6.1 × 6.1 inchSmall, 5.5 × 0.6 inch1.7 × 0.87 × 0.33 inch1.08 × 0.13 × 1.08 inch
Large, 6.3 × 8.2 inch
WeightSmall, 19 gSmall, 16.4 g8 g9.4 g
large, 23 glarge, 18.9 g
BatteryTypeLiMnO2 225mAhLithium polymer batteryLithium-ion polymerCR2032 coin cell
Battery life4–6 months4–6 months6 months3 months
Rechargeable batteryYesYesYesNo
Changeable batteryNoNoNoYes
Usable per one time charged (advertised)Up to 10 daysUp to 14 daysUp to 14 daysUp to 180 days
Full charging time3 hours4 hours2 hoursNo
Tracking MetricMotionYesYesYesYes
Step countingYesYesYesYes
DistanceNoYesYesYes
CaloriesYesYesYesNo
SleepYesYesYesYes
Heart rateNoNoYesNo
Fitness analyticsYesYesYesYes
WindNoNoNoNo
3D mappingNoNoNoNo
SpeedNoNoNoNo
SpO2NoNoNoYes
Goal trackingNoYesNoNo
Resistance functionWater resistanceNot too highYesNoYes (up to 30 m)
SynchronizationSync typeWireless (Bluetooth)Wireless (Bluetooth)BluetoothWireless (Bluetooth)
Sensor networkBluetoothBluetoothBluetoothBluetooth
Screen and displayScreen typeDual LEDFive LEDsOLED (black lit)12 LED and blink
TouchscreenCapacitive fingerCapacitive fingerCapacitive fingerCapacitive touch
Screen size (inch)No (LED bar)No (LED bar)1.69No (12 LED Blink)
Sensor typeThree-axis accelerometerYesYesYesYes
Three gyro sensorsNoNoNoNo
MagnetometerNoNoNoNo
Pressure sensorNoNoNoNo
GPSNoNoNoNo
AltimeterNoNoNoNo
Alarm functionYesYesYesYes
Data sharingYesYesYesYes
MaterialWearable body typeRubberRubberRubberAnodized aircraft-grade aluminum
SmartphoneSmartphone operation systemiOS 5.1 or greater, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or laterWindow Xp/Vista/7/8Android 2.3.3 over or iOSPair to iOS only
Mac OS X 10.5 or above
iOS/Android
UI interfaceHistory tracking (days)270 days30 days10 days30 days
Computer data storage (Web app)NoYesYesYes
Social network data SharingData sharingOnly friends who you already have knownYesYesYes

Table 1.

The comparison table of features and function of four wearable devices.

2.2. The user interface application (UI app) of each devices

Most wearable devices differ in their user interface. The UI design for wearable devices should be simple, clear, and quick to navigate for users’ comfort [3]. This is not an easy design feature since wearable wrist devices have to be small. As a result, devices which link to a smartphone though a UI app have become more popular among users. The smartphone apps which work with wearable devices must therefore be easy to download. The app also serves to process the collected data, store the data, and perform network activities [6].

2.3. Experiment methods

2.3.1. Subjects

Seven healthy subjects participated in the experiments, comprised of six healthy men (adults aged 27–50 years, mean age of 31 years old, mean height 171.5 cm, and mean weight 68.18 kg) and one healthy woman (adult aged 30 years, height 160 cm, and weight 42.1 kg).

Each participant wore each of the four devices for 1 week in turn, taking notes throughout of the results of their usage, their satisfaction levels, and their point of view regarding the benefits and shortcomings of each product. Upon completion of the testing cycle, the four devices were all tested in order to confirm the accuracy of the recorded data. The experiment details are outlined in Section 2.3b.

2.3.2. Experimental methods

2.3.2.1. Subjective satisfaction of wearable device users

During the course of this study, each participant wore each of the four wearable devices for 1 week periods, completing the evaluation form to assess their satisfaction levels upon completion of the week. The total test duration was 1 month. The evaluation form had two sections.

Section 1. The Likert scale used to evaluate the devices.

The participants provided scores using the five-point Likert scale for each category on each device, assessing the design, functions, and features after the 1-week test period when the device was worn every day. A score of five indicated a very positive assessment, while one represented the poorest performance. The evaluation form comprised two parts:

Part 1. Satisfaction assessment of properties and features.

This section invited participants to provide a satisfaction rating score for the properties and features of each of the four devices. Factors to consider included the hardware, or general design, the user interface and UI app, the synchronicity, the battery, and the user-friendliness.

Part 2. Satisfaction scores for the device metric function.

This section invited participants to provide a satisfaction rating score for the metric function on each of the devices. This encompasses measures such as step count, distance, calories, sleep, and analysis of nutrition.

Section 2. Participants’ personal opinions about the devices.

This section allowed participants to record their opinions on the positive and negative aspects of each device. The personal comments of the participants can then be presented subsequently.

2.3.2.2. Testing the devices for accuracy and repeatability

The functionality offered by each of the four devices is similar; the differences lie within the user interfaces, applications, and the algorithms used for calculations. The most important criteria from the perspective of the user are accuracy and repeatability, since these aspects will guide the users to reliability achieve their targets. However, the accuracy and repeatability of any of these devices will also depend to a certain extent of personal factors such as the weight, height, gender, and age of the user. The physical data will therefore be required along with the subjective perceptions of the users in order to determine the accuracy and repeatability of the four devices.

To conduct the test, the devices were placed on the participants’ wrists as shown in Figure 2. Following the recording of test data during the experiment, the real data were then measured in terms of distance so as to compare with the recorded data from the devices in order to determine the accuracy.

Figure 2.

The subjects wore all four devices to measure the accuracy and repeatability of results.

The percentage of accuracy and repeatability for the four devices are presented in this paper. The repeatability was calculated using Cronbach’s Alpha, SPSS program (SPSS V.2012, IBM Corporation, USA). Subsequently, we scaled scoring among the four devices from the best to the lowest, as explained inTable 2.

Scale (point)Meaning
4The highest accuracy or repeatability among the four devices
3The second highest accuracy or repeatability among the four devices
2The second lowest accuracy or repeatability among the four devices
1The lowest accuracy or repeatability among the four devices

Table 2.

Scale of accuracy and repeatability when compared among four devices for each experiment.

Experiment 1. Distance traveled and step counting of indoor walking.

Subjects wore the four devices (Figure 2) and then walked straight across the indoor experiment court. Total distance was 48 meters for ten trials per person. The data for step counting and distance represented for each device were collected.

Experiment 2. Distance traveled and step counting of treadmill running (jogging).

Subjects wore the four devices (Figure 2) and then ran or jogged on a treadmill at 8 km/h [13, 14] for 1 minute, repeated for five trials. The real data record from the treadmill was collected to compare with the real distance calculation from the treadmill’s LCD.

Experiment 3. Step counting when walking up and down stairs.

Subjects wore four devices as shown in Figure 2; then walked up four flights of stairs, repeated the experiments for five times; and then walked down the stairs, repeated for five times.

Upon completion of the data gathering stage, scores were assigned to each device for accuracy and repeatability using a scale rating of one to four, where four indicates the best performance among the four tested products, as shown in Table 3.

Scale (point)Meaning
5Very useful and very satisfied
4Moderately useful and moderately satisfied
3Slightly useful and slightly satisfied
2Less useful and less satisfied
1Not useful and not satisfied

Table 3.

The scale of evaluation and corresponding meanings.

3. Results and discussion

3.1. User satisfaction

After each of the four 1-week test periods, the participants completed the evaluation form providing their Likert scores concerning the device attributes and qualities until UI application. The satisfaction scale applied is described in detail in Table 3.

Figure 3a shows the mean score for the five conditions of features, including device design, battery use, smartphone synchronization, UI applications, and ease of use. On the other hand, Figure 3b shows the mean and standard deviation score of the satisfaction when using the four main functions of each device, including step counting, sleep tracking, distance tracking, and caloric analysis. The case of heart rate analysis does not exist in the evaluation score because only the Withings Pulse possessed this function.

Figure 3.

(a) Bar graph comparison of mean and standard deviation of the satisfaction score by subjects when using the devices. (b) Bar graph comparison of mean and standard deviation of the satisfaction score by subjects when using the devices.

From the subjective results, the Withings Pulse device had the highest satisfaction score, followed by the Misfit Shine, Jawbone Up24, and Fitbit Flex.

The results in Table 4 show the opinions, which imply that subjects gave similar answers to two persons about the features and functions of each device.

Opinion about featuresJawbone Up24Fitbit flexWithings pulseMisfit Shine
DesignLight and good for any sportDevice design is good and sleek; it is good for any sportsDesign is not attractive, but the fabric band can help to hold it as wrist bandDesign is very attractive, beautiful, and fashionable
DisplayEasy to tap the screen to activeEasy to tap on screen to activeDisplay is big and shows the activity tracking without any smart phone syncDisplay is as clock; it can also be used as a watch, but in the sunshine it is hard to see the LED display
Water resistantIt is water resistant, but according to the manual, it is less water proofIt can be used to take shower without worryingAccording to manual, it is not water resistantIt is designed for sports as swimming; water resistant is too high
UI app1. Tips of app and how to use always shown on home screen1. UI app is colorful and has fun display, easy to use1. Display is easy to use and colorful1. Display is beautiful and easy to understand
2. Enjoyable fitness tracker2. Nutrient analysis is very detailed2. Dashboard log is easy to check all activity2. It has goal tracker to lead you to know your daily activity
3. Dashboard shows the overall daily activity3. Dashboard shows the overall daily activity3. The heart rate function is good to check your health status3. App can be shared to your friends; it shows how your friends seek the goal
Metric functionSleep tracking is its main function because the sleep tracking report is very detailed, but it is difficult to useFood and nutrient calculation is its main function; it is very easy to useThe Pulse O2 measurement is its main function; it can help you detect your heart statusThe goal tracking is its main function; you can check how your status to seek the goal
BatteryIt can be charged only on the USB cableIt has the battery indicator to check the battery status, but it has high battery consumptionIt has battery indicator to check battery status; battery can be used in too many daysIt is comfortable; no need to charge the battery
SynchronizationSlow synchronizationSlow synchronization but always lost connectionFast synchronization, data can send via Bluetooth and WiFiFast synchronization but easy to lose connection
Others (disadvantage/cons)1. The devices required smartphone to display1. It required smartphone1. Design is not modern1. It required smartphone
2. No display on itself2. Slow synchronization2. If the battery of witlings is low, the device cannot connect. The data transfer which is shown on the smartphone is inaccurate2. It has slow synchronization, not always updated real time
3. Sleep tracking results are difficult to use and nonautomatic3. The device is confusing sometimes; it needs to be reset3. The sleep tracking is not automatic3. Sometimes it gave inaccurate display
4. Cannot share the data through social network4. Tracking problem when walking up- or downstairs4. Not water proof4. Tracking problem when walking up- or downstairs (inaccurate)
5. Most expensive among four devices5. High battery consumption5. Automatic loss of syncing5. The display does not always respond to finger tapping
6. It is not fully waterproof6. Data is not updated sometimes6. Screen is difficult to see in sunlight6. No nutrient analysis
7. Slow Synchronization7. Calories count is not easy to use and only European foods are in the database7. No Nutrient analysis7. Always disconnected from mobile phone

Table 4.

Comparison table of user feedback (summarized from seven subjects for each device).

From Table 4, it is apparent that all four devices were both satisfactory and unsatisfactory to the subjects. As mentioned in Topic 3.2, the summary of the opinions came from the similar meaning answers from two or more subjects. The most clearly apparent problem across all devices was the automatic loss of synchronization, which presents a problem in updating data, and leads to incorrect reports. However, all of the participants were able to use all of the devices easily with minimal instruction, or less, so the user-friendliness was good in all cases. The summary of the different claims from the reviewers on various commercial websites reviewing the devices is shown in Tables 58. Considering the five top-ranked sites from a Google search, it is clear that the leading reviews are well known due to the large numbers of people visiting those top-ranked sites to investigate wearable devices. The comments and descriptions of the reviewers can inform customers who might wish to purchase one of the devices for themselves. The drawback is that although the reviews can appear helpful, it is difficult to know whether the views have been influenced by the companies themselves or if they are in fact genuine independent perspectives. It is possible for an opinion to come only from one reviewer who used a product.

Reviewer nameSite nameReviewed dateReference siteAdvantages (pros)Disadvantage (cons)
WeeblyJawbone Up24 review8-Nov-14[11]1. Wireless syncing1. Social sharing: can only add friends you already know
2. Can be used in the shower2. No website interface, only phone app
3. Deep sleep and light sleep data3. Hair can stuck in cap button
4. “Smart Wake” alarms for naps4. Overcount arm movement as steps
5. Usability design5. No screen
6. Holds battery charge for up to 7 days
Raphael MumfordSmart activity tracker, Jawbone Up24 reviewNot mentioned[12]1. Well-designed band fits your wrist comfortably1. No measurement of stairs climbed
2. Long lifetime battery (up to a week for per full-energy charging)2. Just for iOS devices
3. Wireless syncing via Bluetooth without any hassle
4. Quick charging
5. Smart alarm
6. Expandable storage capability
7. Price is cheap
Matt SwiderJawbone Up24 review24-Mar-14[13]1. Wireless syncing added1. No display for on-demand stats
2. Stylish and lightweight2. Doesn’t have a web app
3. Very soft rubber for comfort3. Works with just ten Android phones
4. iOS and Android compatible4. 2.5 mm stereo jack for charging
Michael SawhJawbone Up24 review26-Mar-14[13]1. Bluetooth smart support for real-time syncing1. No built-in screen
2. Slim, stylish design2. Shorter battery than Jawbone UP
3. Great silent alarm feature3. App is sluggish at times
4. Not waterproof
Matthew MillerJawbone UP246-Dec-14[14]1. Well-designed band that fits comfortably long battery life1. No altimeter to measure stairs climbed
2. Flawless syncing via Bluetooth2. Limited just to iOS for now
3. Integrated Microsoft Office software3. Hangs up on jackets and long sleeve shirts
4. Charges up quickly
5. Great sounding front facing stereo speakers
6. Expandable storage capability

Table 5.

Summary of pros and cons from reviewer opinions for the jawbone UP24.

Reviewer nameSite nameReviewed dateReference siteAdvantages (pros)Disadvantages (cons)
WeeblyWithings Pulse smart activity tracker reviewNot mentioned[15]1. Captures heart rate information1. Not shower-safe
2. Captures flights of stairs climbed and elevation climbed2. Easy to misplace (leave in pockets, etc.)
3. Check running stats (duration and distance traveled) in real time
4. Automatic wireless syncing
5. Captures sleep (duration, quality, light versus deep sleep, interruptions)
6. Screen with constant feedback
7. Discreet and multiple ways to wear
8. Battery charge lasts up to 14 days
9. App also pulls in data wirelessly
10. Internet site available for Withings devices
Raphael MumfordWithings Pulse wireless activity tracker reviewNot mentioned[16]1. Easy to clip on something thanks to a silicone and metal clip1. Not automatically detect the time and switch to sleep mode
2. Large OLED screen touch screen and easy history browsing2. Lack of silent alarm
3. Free iOS and Android apps3. The screen is not easy to read under the sunlight
4. Accurate heart rate monitoring4. Syncing to PC is impossible
5. Low power consumption. The battery has a long lifetime of 2 weeks
6. Charging easily via a standard micro-USB to USB power cable on a computer or on a smartphone
7. Free account onWithings.comto store your health and fitness data
8. Worn as a wristband to track your activity and sleep
9. Log your foods and weight, and get the perfect balance between activity and nutrition
DC RainmakerWithings Pulse In-Depth Review21-Nov-13[17]1. Can record resting heart rate quickly and easily1. The unit is a bit chubbier than some others
2. Display is clear and easy to understand2. Does not track heart rate all 24 hours, only on demand
3. Good battery life3. Does not automatically go from sleeping mode to nonsleeping, must switch over manually
4. Good ability to connect to third-party platforms/sites
Mikey CampbellReview: Withings Pulse with built-in heart rate monitor4-Nov-13[18]1. Variety of sensors1. Lack of meaningful data presentation
2. Impressive data accuracy2. Display lag, touchscreen issues
3. Flexible carry options3. Wear ability limited to belt clip
Julie StrielmeierWithings Pulse Activity tracker review23-Aug-13[19]1. Size of the pulse1. Syncing problem
2. Can see all the important info right on the device itself instead of like some devices2. Sleep data is not always accurate, and the detailed data could use some beefing up to show more info
3. Wireless syncing is a real plus too3. It does not work with a stand along computer
4. The built-in heart rate sensor is super easy to use

Table 6.

Summarized data of pros and cons from reviewer opinions for the Withings pulse.

Reviewer nameSite nameReviewed dateReference siteAdvantages (pros)Disadvantages (not so cons)
WeeblyFitbit Flex review10-Aug-14[20]1. Comfy wristband form factor1. Does not track flights of stairs (like the FitBit One)
2. shower-safe water resistance2. Always visible if worn with short sleeves
3. Very adjustable wristband3. No screen on device to show you detailed information on goal progress
4. Progress lights tell you how close you are to reaching your daily goal4. Very hard to attach to the wrist and can pop off (while canoeing, for me)
5. Wireless syncing5. Have to tap band repeatedly to enter/exit sleep mode or to stop the silent alarm
6. Great integration with existing fitness apps like MyFitnessPal6. Chopping veggies can trigger sleep mode
7. Strong social features including adding friends with a FitBit device or other FitBit users, a competition
Raphael MumfordFitbit Flex wireless activity ReviewNot mentioned[21]1. Slim and stylish design for the perfect fit1. Lack of stair tracking
2. Track everything relating to your activities and sleeps, except for stairs quantity2. A tiny LCD display is not included
3. Waking up silently thanks to gentle vibration
4. Five built-in LED indicator lights for better monitoring of your progress
5. Water resistance is included
6. The Fitbit App for iPhone and Android devices to track your real-time stats, set goals, log food and other workout information, and then represent your sleep trends
7. Connecting and competing with other athletes for a better motivation
8. A long lifetime battery of 5–7 days per charge
9. Two options in size and two options in color you can choose from
Articles by SuzieFitbit Flex reviewMar 15[22]1. It is easy to wear all the time1. Only charge the tracker with the USB cable
2. Water resistant2. It takes a lot of work in the beginning to establish your food menu
3. Upload status automatically through the Bluetooth or dongle3. Sometimes have trouble tapping the tracker into sleep mode
4. Notification alert to let me know when my battery is running low.
5. Learning curve to get the most from it; the Dashboard is a colorful and has fun display of my activity
Bethany GordonFitbit FlexOnly year mentioned (2015)[23]1. Excellent interface1. This device does not have a screen
2. Excellent app2. Only view your data from your computer or your phone.

Table 7.

Summarized data of pros and cons from reviewer opinions for the Fitbit flex.

Reviewer nameSite nameReviewed dateReference siteAdvantages (pros)Disadvantage (cons)
WeeblyMisfit shine activity tracker review8-Nov-14[24]1. Waterproof1. Sleep data is basic
2. Wireless data transfer (when placed near the device)2. Shine attachment can come unsecured (can pop out of sports band)
3. Can track swimming and cycling3. Time-telling feature suggests this could replace a watch, yet it lacks all other watch features including alerts
4. Elegant aluminum design4. Limited info on “screen”: does not have a full digit-based display
5. On-device feedback to let you know how close you are to reaching a goal5. Shine’s tapping-based interface can be frustrating to use
6. No recharging. Just replace the watch battery when it runs out (~4–6 months)
7. Partnership with Pebble watch allows you to use the Pebble as a Misfit Shine
8. Social features including a leaderboard, profile, and newsfeed
Bethany GordonMisfit ShineOnly year mentioned (2015)[25]1. The interchangeable design1. Tapping the screen is the only way to see your progress
2. Comfortable band making the Misfit Shine extremely easy to use2. The Shine does not always respond to tapping
3. Convenient to wear3. It has to sit on your arm a certain way to display time and daily progress
4. Water resistant
Kristen BuckMisfit ShineOnly year mentioned (2015)[26]1. Misfit Shine is about the size of a quarter and undeniably attractive.1. The Misfit Shine only works for iOS
2. Water resistant2. Does not have an altimeter to count how many flights of stairs you climb
3. Great activity monitor for swimmers and surfers3. Not compatible with Android devices
4. Can wear it in different ways to track different activities more accurately
Jill DuffyMisfit Shine10-Dec-13[27]1. Best looking activity tracker1. Limited data analysis
2. Includes clip and wristband mounts2. No integration with other services
3. Functions as a watch3. No Web app
4. Fully waterproof for swimmers4. No syncing between iOS and Android apps
5. Dashboard lacks weight-tracking and calorie counting
Mikey CampbellReview: Shine activity monitor12-Nov-13[28]1. Great design1. Clunky tagging method
2. Easy to understand graphical readout2. Light in features
3. Long battery life3. LEDs unusable in bright sunlight

Table 8.

Summary of pros and cons from reviewer opinions for the misfit Shine.

This section is explored because of the pros and cons of using reviewer claims, whether or not they may be similar or different than the customer’s and seven subjects’ opinions in this study. Tables 58 shows the summarized data of advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons) for each of the four devices from reviewers on the websites.

Jawbone UP24 subjects’ opinions and the reviewers imply that it has a good design and fits comfortably. The UI app is colorful and easy to understand. The sleep tracker is very smart and also has good alarm functions. However, disadvantages of the device (cons) include the design lacking a screen; it is not fully water proof, and the battery charger is complex.

Withings Pulse has good primary features, such as the heart rate function. The display itself is big and can show the results tracking. The data log uses Bluetooth syncing or wireless for automatic updating. The Withings design does not, however, provide an attractive case, with direct sunlight making it hard to read the display. Furthermore, there is no automatic sleep tracking function.

Fitbit Flex has a slender and attractive design, is wholly waterproof, and is equipped with good social features. However, the Fitbit Flex has weak points in that it has no screen; the food log and calories tracking are not easy to use, and the tapping screen is sometimes confusing.

Misfit Shine looks both fashionable and elegant. It is ideal for watersport enthusiasts since it is fully waterproof. It offers a goal tracking feature which motivates users to achieve their targets. The battery is exchanged rather than recharged. However, the device works only with iOS, and while there are plans to introduce Android compatibility, this has not yet taken place. A smartphone is necessary to check the tracking status, and there are sometimes problems which arise when poor syncing from device to smartphone results in inaccuracies.

3.2. Accuracy and repeatability of the four devices

From Table 9, it can be seen that the Withings Pulse achieved the best results for the accuracy and repeatability of measurements for indoor walking, at 99.9% for accuracy and 86% for repeatability. Figure 4 shows the results for all of the four devices. The lowest scores for accuracy and repeatability were measured for Misfit.

Experiments and resultsDevicesAccuracy (%)Repeatability
Indoor walking straightJawbone97.70.55
Withings99.90.86
Misfit92.40.69
Fitbit99.60.72
Walking up/downstairsJawbone970.89
Withings97.20.83
Misfit97.80.79
Fitbit96.40.81
Walking on treadmillJawbone970.89
Withings97.20.83
Misfit97.80.79
Fitbit96.40.81

Table 9.

Comparison of accuracy and repeatability for the devices.

Figure 4.

The summary of the accuracy and repeatability scores among the four devices.

The total scores for each device are shown in Table 9 and Figure 4. The Withings Pulse has the highest score for both repeatability and accuracy. The lowest accuracy and repeatability were recorded by Misfit. With regard to opinions from seven subjects and also the table of reviewers, we concluded that both the Fitbit and the Misfit have difficulties in detecting when the wearer is ascending or descending steps. Along with the subject’s experiments in Table 5 and Figure 4, the scores from experiments of walking up and down stairs are both lowest in cases of accuracy and repeatability. This resulted in the overall scores for the Misfit and the Fitbit being the lowest among the four wearable devices in terms of repeatability and accuracy.

The total scores for each device are shown in Figure 4. The Withings Pulse has the highest score for both repeatability and accuracy. The lowest accuracy and repeatability were recorded by Misfit.

4. Discussion and conclusion

We attempted to evaluate the best wearable device from the four devices selected. This study focused on both objective and subjective methods to get the physical comparison results. The results are independent of manufacturers’ claims. The main two sections of experiment testing verified the quality of the devices, both objectively and subjectively.

Section 1. Eight categories were classified in the form for evaluation of satisfaction levels: synchronization, hardware design, UI app, sleep tracking, step count, nutrition analysis, calories, battery, and user-friendliness. The most satisfying device based on the participants’ rankings was the Withings, followed the Misfit, Jawbone, and Fitbit.

Further to the information gathered in Section 1, a summary was compiled from the viewpoints of the seven participants and online reviewers. The summary revealed that each device had its own strengths and weaknesses. The evaluation form and satisfaction scores thus allowed the subjective records of genuine users to be presented for each of the four devices. The opinions of the participants and those of the online reviewers were shown to be similar, leading to the following conclusions:

Jawbone UP24 is well designed and fits comfortably for the subjects. The UI app is colorful and easy to understand. The sleep tracker is very smart and also has good alarm functions. However, disadvantages (cons) include the design not having a screen, it is not water proof, and the battery charger is very complex.

Withings Pulse has good features such as the heart rate function, which can detect pulse rate. It is just one of the functions that the Withings has. The display on the Withings device is large enough to show the results tracking. The data log can be updated automatically via Bluetooth syncing or wireless. The design, however, is not particularly attractive, since it is hard to read the display under exposure to sunlight and the sleep tracking feature does not work automatically.

Fitbit Flex has a slender and attractive design, is wholly waterproof, and offers a number of social features. However, the Fitbit Flex has weak points. It has no screen, the food log and calories tracking are not easy to use, the food log is hard to learn for beginners, and the tap screen is sometimes confusing.

Misfit Shine has an attractive, elegant, and fashionable design. It is fully water proof and especially good for water sports. The goal tracking function leads the user to achieve the goal, and the battery does not need to recharge, only exchange. In contrast, the Misfit Shine can only be used with iOS. Although compatibility with Android is a planned future feature, it has not yet been implemented. A smartphone is necessary to display the tracking status since the device does not have its own display. When loss of syncing with the smartphone occurs, this can result in data inaccuracies.

Section 2. The experiments compared the accuracy and repeatability of the devices awarded among four wearable devices. The score four points for the best accuracy and repeatability. The score three, two, and one point for the second, third, and fourth device, respectively. The most accurate and repeatable device was the Withings, second Jawbone, third Fitbit, and fourth Misfit.

In contrast, Misfit had the highest score for design and hardware. Thus, physical design is also appreciated by users in addition to other devices.

Therefore, the Withings device provided the greatest satisfaction and was the most user-friendly from the perspective of the users. It was also the highest ranked for accuracy and repeatability in step count and distance tracking. Tracking accuracy is vital in fitness tracking, but in personal tracking, there are differences which stem from age, gender, weight, and height. The tracking of daily activities including sleeping, waking, or running will also be important, and the results of the tests indicate that the greatest accuracy is achieved by the Withings device in all these categories for accuracy and repeatability.

As the results showed, the cause that made the Misfit Shine and Fitbit Flex have the lowest score of accuracy and repeatability was stair tracking. These two devices could not track activity when the subjects walked on stairs or climbed. For this reason, users were disappointed in these devices.

In this study, it was unclear by inspection of the deep or shallow sleep of the subjects whether the wearable devices could measure accurately. Thus, true value comparison was not shown in this research. However, future studies may advance this knowledge.

The results in this study relative to step counting and others are subjective enough to assist in the buying process for potential wearable device purchasers. One more fact from the seven subjects’ opinions is that four of the seven subjects would not buy this kind of wearable device. It interferes with their arm while in use and is uncomfortable with syncing the data log for daily tracking. One more important reason is that data gave uncorrected reports because of automatic loss of syncing.

Nowadays, wearable technology has the greatest potential impact in the fields of health and fitness. However, it can also be influential for gaming and other forms of entertainment. Wearable technology can create a vividly realistic and immersive environment in real time. This concept is not new. Modern prototypes are moving away from bulky technology, such as large goggles and backpacks, toward smaller, lightweight, and more mobile systems.

On the author’s viewpoint, the most comparable of the wearable device is that it cannot display itself but needs the smartphone to involve the metric data and reports. However, the storage of mobile phone to store and display the results is bigger, but it is inconvenient to use both at the same time. And yet, presently many fitness-tracking applications are available through the online store for free without any special or specific device. It is very convenience to whom that focuses in their healthy or fitness tracker. Even though the report of it is not guarantee 100% of accuracy, it is the easiest way to track their activity without any payment. Thus, the companies who produced the fitness tracker or wearable devices to the market in this highly competitive market will continuously develop new eye-catching products and reduce errors using the voices and opinions of users from this study to reach a wider market in the future. The relationship between technology and esthetics must go together, such as unobtrusive design, very sleek and modern and light weight, waterproof function, and many choices to recharge batteries. Basic activities such as walking or climbing stairs require accuracy and repeatability, while it is also necessary to accurately measure physical parameters such as pulse, heart rate, body temperature, and breathing rates. These features should be added in cases where they are not yet available. At present, the market for wearable devices is growing rapidly, and this will drive the further development of the technology to deliver the features and attributes demanded by users. This study has therefore addressed the fact that consumers need access to accurate and reliable information with regard to the latest gadgets available on the market and the performance of those devices.

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) grant funded by the Korea government(MSIP) (No. 2017M3A9C6029312).

© 2018 The Author(s). Licensee IntechOpen. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kanitthika Kaewkannate and Soochan Kim (November 5th 2018). The Comparison of Wearable Fitness Devices, Wearable Technologies, Jesús Hamilton Ortiz, IntechOpen, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.76967. Available from:

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