Michell Prunty is Semico's Senior Consumer Analyst.  See her bio here

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The End of the Fitbit Experience

To wrap up this Fitbit experiment, I'd like to address some of the comments from my previous articles over at EBN Online.  So for this article, I'd like to direct everyone over to the EBN website where I hope you'll participate in the comment discussion that happened throughout the month.


Midway Through the Fitbit Experiment

I'm sitting here angrily munching on gingersnaps because the Fitbit dashboard makes me enter every single cookie separately. Or I could enter them by weight. How about I just round up to 10? Will that make you happy, Fitbit? Now I'm going to eat 10 gingersnap cookies to spite something. Probably myself.

The other day I felt dejected. OK, I was only mildly dejected, but still, there was a small nagging voice in the back of my head saying, "You only climbed 47 floors yesterday. You missed your 50 goal by just three floors. I'm ashamed of your pitiful effort."

To get revenge, I made myself jog up and down the stairs until my Fitbit flashed 50. Then, panting and sweaty, I walked over to my computer, opened Outlook, and refreshed until my 50 floor badge popped up.


Week 2 taught me that the Fitbit and I don't have a healthy relationship. Unhealthy relationships are what friends are for, so I befriended some people in my age group. Now, when I log in to the dashboard, I see our rankings on the side.

Fitbit Week One Summary

My previous article on the Fitbit introduced the product and the setup.  Day 2 was pretty active for me. I worked on demolishing my garage, went on a hike that was probably a few miles long, and tackled some insane blackberry weeds. So what did Fitbit have to say about all this activity?

Absolutely nothing, because I forgot to put on my Fitbit until after dinner. I also forgot to wear it at night for the sleep monitoring aspect.

Great. It's only Day 2 and I'm already a failure. Day 2's accomplishments included: climbing "the world's tallest sand castle" and scheduling a reminder in my phone to wear the Fitbit.

Day 3 
Today I managed to remember to keep the Fitbit on, and because I can't be trusted, I've decided to just leave it on the wristband 24/7. I have no fashion sense anyway, so it's a good tradeoff. Today, I got this in my email:

I feel special already. Later in the day I ended up getting another email, congratulating me on climbing 10 floors in one day. I might have been happier with this accomplishment if it hadn't been included with a taunt to climb 25 floors tomorrow.

What am I, a machine?

Day 4 
Yes. I am a machine.

After getting this message I did a victory lap up and down my staircase, not so much because I was proud, but because I needed to up my numbers. The dashboard is starting to control my life, and it's only been a few days.

Starting a Fitbit Experiment

As part of my trip to the Freescale Technology Forum, I was introduced to the Fitbit Ultra, a wireless activity and sleep tracker. One of the themes of FTF this year was "connected intelligence." We are a community that is becoming obsessed with tracking data, especially personal data.

So, I'll bite. Let's do this thing. Over the next month, I'll go through the process and document it here for your entertainment (or mockery -- I'm pretty sure I walk maybe ten steps within a day).

The first thing I noticed upon opening the box, other than the wonderful smell of hotel soap, was directions to go to fitbit.com/start to set up the device. It doesn't seem to work unless you set up a profile. Fair enough. Everything these days wants us to log in to something or another.

Freescale Technology Forum: More Useful & Relevant Than CES

These days the semiconductor industry seems to have a conference every week, but two that stand out in the consumer arena are the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas and the Freescale Technology Forum (FTF) in San Antonio.

I go to CES almost every year, and it was very frustrating this last time around. This year I decided to partake in the panels that went on throughout the week, and was sorely disappointed in how lacking in foresight many of the speakers were. I've written about my disappointment with CES here on EBN. (See: Battle of the Digital Ecosystems and The Agony of Digital Rights Management.)


We wanted to thank another one of our IMPACT sponsors - OCP-IP.

"OCP-IP is dedicated to proliferating a common standard for intellectual property (IP) core interfaces, or sockets, that facilitate "plug and play" System-on-Chip (SoC) design."  Check out their website by clicking on their logo.

The IP Ecosystem is Evolutionary, not Revolutionary

Vishal Kapoor was one of the speakers at the Semico IMPACT conference last week.  The key take away is that we need a change in perspective in the IP industry, one that is system driven.  We used to view IP as a “This is what I do” type of product.  But we need that to change to a “What can I do for you?” type of product.

We are in a evolutionary industry.  Around 2000 – 2005, we entered the age of consumerization.  Integration became important because Time to Volume and Time to Market are the two factors that most determine success in the consumer arena.

And what made the age of consumerization possible are standards.  Like the USB standard.  It created a megastore type of environment for IP.  A designer can walk down the aisle and find convenient and dependable parts that can be configured and integrated.

Complexity, though, hit a point when people could no longer do it themselves.  They had to start looking for others who had products that could work with their own.  That point was around 100 blocks.

The evolution of the IP system means that we can no longer just buy single blocks and then wait to see if they all work together.

There are a few questions you should ask to determine quality:

1)      Does it work in the system?

2)      Does it conform to parameters?

3)      Is it configurable?

4)      Does it work in both low and high end products?

Are Gaming Consoles Still Relevant?

The digital home has been coming for decades. Ma Bell knew; 30 plus years ago, its vision of the future was "data and pictures at your fingertips." Star Trek knew; iPads were a standard accessory over 20 years ago in the show. And now reality is finally catching up.

This means big changes are needed in the console arena if they're going to be able to survive this new frontier. Our televisions are now smart and possibly 3D. Our Blu-ray players are smart and affordable. Our smartphones and tablets stream movies wirelessly to our TVs, and smartphones have become our gaming platform of choice. During previous console releases, selling points have included:

  1. Better graphics
  2. Inexpensive Blu-ray player
  3. Streaming HD content
  4. Innovative games, etc.

But these selling techniques won't work anymore for the following reasons:

Robots get a little scarier

If you've been following the robot arena, it all started with an innocent looking robot to learn how to flip pancakes.

And then scientists taught the robots to limbo.

Samsung and the Future

MobileNations did a great video touting Samsung's Smart Window.

As Joanne said, CES was all about the touch screen display - and yes, its very minority reportish.  Putting this one on my wish list.