Fragmented fitness ecosystems make me sad

August 16, 2016 0 Comments fitness, twitter, fitbit

I have been a Fitbit user for many years now. I use a Fitbit One which has seen far better days (aesthetically that is, it still works fine) by just chucking it in my pocket with my keys and change. I try and hit the recommended target of 10k steps a day and have a challenge going on with a friend whereby if either of us drops below the target, we owe the other a lunch. As a motivational tool, it works very well!

Fitbit is excellent and lots of other people I know use them too, but it's still kinda hard to compete with people using trackers from other manufacturers. Fitbit doesn't integrate with Google Fit, Jawbone doesn't integrate with Fitbit, the Microsoft Band doesn't really integrate with anything, Google Fit doesn't offer challenges... you get the picture. Users are forced into a single ecosystem. Good for companies (if they're big enough), bad for users.

Fitbit

I'm not the first person to be frustrated by this and services have sprung up attempting to unify the different platforms. One of the better ones I've come across is Stridekick, although it only has an iOS app at the moment, no Android offering. Disgraceful! Of course, this approach presents a new problem. People you want to compete with have to be convinced to sign up to a new service and the whole discovery process doesn't really work very well.

What's the answer? For me, I'd love to see Google Fit become the defacto platform for fitness data, with support for every product under the sun and innovative gamifying features. Or would I? What about when Google get bored of supporting it? It can never be ruled out!

For now I'll just stick with my Fitbit and hope that the company continues to make hardware that works well for me. Oh and make their Android app a bit better. And sync more reliably. Hmm... 😁

Paul O'Brien
Norfolk, UK