Fitbit goes IoT

Smart wristband maker Fitbit is catching up on lost ground by introducing sync with the much-hyped Internet of Things (IoT). Fitbit users can now create “channels” on IoT gateway website IFTTT for useful tasks, such as logging their sleep to a spreadsheet in Google Drive, or setting up a reminder that you’re a laggard on your daily step goal, and need to get out and move.

But that’s about it in terms of really useful extensions via the IoT. Of the first 11 “recipes” on IFTTT (which stands for If This, Then That – a good way of explaining the Internet of Things), only a couple offer any extended functionality that is not already offered by the Fitbit app for smartphones and web users – or most Fitbit devices themselves, come to that.

For example, tapping the Flex will cause it to show progress towards your chosen daily goal, in terms of how many of the five LEDs light up: rudimentary but easy to use, with the knowledge that deeper insight is only a smartphone screen away.

As for some of the other rules, such as “daily activity summary”, “daily step goal achieved” and “new weight logged”, these are all readily available on the smartphone app and web, and we’re not sure why anyone would need them. But at least Fitbit is now catching up with Jawbone’s UP when it comes to syncing with the IoT.

Fitbit is also responding to pent-up demand from users, judging from the number of hits that this blog’s post on the IFTTT channel created by Australian teen entrepreneur James Stone receives on a daily basis: our second-most popular blog post of all time.

/WTW

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