Researchers are aiming to save you money by telling you something you should already know. That fitness tracker you got for Christmas. You know, the one you said was going to kickstart a healthy 2015. Yeah, that one. Turns out your smartphone keeps track of your daily steps just as well.
A team from the University of Pennsylvania tested the accuracy of wrist trackers such as the Fitbit and Nike FuelBand compared to smartphone counterparts.
Smartphones showed they were pretty close to the mark, only measuring a 7% variance, Seeing as none of us are winning the NYC marathon this year, let’s just call that a win. The variance occurred over the data and what researchers measured firsthand.
Some wrist fitness trackers did show promise over a phone. FitBit’s One and Zip were extremely accurate, while Nike’s FuelBand was questionable at best. Hey, at least you get those fuel points. It’s like getting a participation ribbon.
Researchers only measured six wearables, so don’t discount the market for good. besides, are you seriously going for a jog with that Kindle-sized object you call an iPhone 6 Plus. Or a Samsung Galaxy? I didn’t think so.
New wearables like the Jawbone up3 contain more features like heart rate monitoring, and the Apple Watch promises to be fitness oriented. These features will make the fitness vertical compelling for something other than an expensive pedometer.
For now? If you’re only concern is the number of steps you take around the house, stick to your phone. It’s accurate, and you never have to turn off Hulu. It’s not exactly a win for waistlines. But, if you are trying to hit 10,000 steps as a game, you were never shooting for the Crossfit games anyways.
Those looking for features in their fitness trackers, 2015 should offer products that focus on advanced features over distance traveled.