I didn’t plan on it. But I’ve totally fallen in love with my FitBit. You know what that is, right? The weird little plastic bracelets that electronically compute how many steps you take, how well you sleep, and a bunch of other interesting data about YOU?
I’ve experimented with “wearable tech” in the past. For instance, I’ve used a pedometer a few times and quickly let them go. Pedometers track your steps and often clip to your pants. So it feels like a little old school beeper or something (but smaller), and the information they give you is relatively limited. When I’ve used them in the past, I’ve quickly gotten a sense of my daily rhythms and then moved on.
I even used a Nike Fuel Band for a week or two. That gave a little more information than a pedometer (and the added excitement of flashing lights on it when you reached your goal for the day), but it was atrocious at tracking physical activity (a 45 minute Soul Cycle class, from which I leave in a pile of sweat, would barely register as burning any calories), so it just didn’t seem worth it to add such a sporty and relatively unfashionable object to one’s wrist.
The FitBit is different enough to have made itself quickly invaluable in my life. I find it so useful, in fact, that I never take it off (or only suuuuper briefly for very important occasions, like our annual family photo. I understand the changing whims of technology enough to understand that I don’t want to forever look at these photos as those from the year the FitBit was in). I even wore it to the Proenza Schouler show in New York City (I walked to that show from my hotel, after all, and didn’t want to lose track of those valuable steps!!).
Plus, it’s pretty functional looking. It’s not gorgeous, by any stretch, but it’s not awful looking either. Stack it among a bunch of other bracelets, and maybe no one will notice? Perhaps that’s too much to hope, but like I said, I love mine so much that I just don’t care (which is saying quite a lot, because it likely goes without saying that I care about how things look, especially when worn on my own body).
Besides, help is on the way. Tory Burch has designed a bracelet that will encase the FitBit (and thereby at least partially disguise it). I pre-ordered one when I bought my FitBit, half assuming that I’d be over the FitBit when the bracelet came out in October. But no such thing has happened. I’m interested to see how I feel about the bracelet, when it lands shortly. Will it make the FitBit even better?
These questions may be moot soon, thanks to the promised arrival of the iWatch in early 2015. It sounds as though the iWatch will make the FitBit unnecessary, as Apple’s answer to the “wearable tech” phenomenon will apparently do it all- including allow you to check your email, while tracking all kinds of health information (and, naturally, the time). And Apple has worked hard to make sure it’s fashionable, by designing multiple versions of its watch (which vary from the sporty to the fashion-forward). In fact, in the middle of New York Fashion Week, countless editors and fashion types decamped from New York City to head to Apple’s headquarters outside San Francisco to hear the announcement about the iWatch (and the iPhone 6). Whether they were consulted throughout the design process was unclear. But something else was abundantly clear: Apple had the fashion crowd in its pocket, and somehow they left the all-important runway shows to prove it.
Gradually, tech and fashion are moving closer together. And, in the meantime, I’m not afraid to do my best to make the FitBit fashionable by wearing it regardless of its fashion sense. Sometimes there are more important things, anyway. Like health. But all the better if health and fashion can go hand in (or on) hand.