One Week With The Nike+ FuelBand

03.25.12 6 years ago 21 Comments

1. Fuel points do not come cheap. You have to earn them, which was easy when I first picked up the FuelBand. The Nike personnel who helped me set it up put my original daily goal at 3,000 fuel points. When I asked if that was tough to reach, she told me it would be a breeze. She was right and I was blowing 3,000 out of the water initially. We were walking miles in Austin and staying up until all hours of the night so gaining points wasn’t terribly hard at all.

After I got back from SX, things changed.

2. I’m usually a self-driven, competitive person. Now, my life has been altered to competing against the Band. I cannot lose at anything I set my mind to, not without giving it my absolute 100% best. My daily exercise would normally consist of 20 minutes on the treadmill and whatever backyard games the boy cub wants to play after school.

Those activities weren’t doing enough for me to meet my daily goal, especially when Monday and Tuesday of last week were spent online catching up on emails, content and the like. Monday’s goal was barely made and I fell short on Tuesday, even though I ran in place for about ten minutes at 11pm at night, trying to reach it. Suddenly, the shit was challenging and I felt like Cliff Huxtable at the physical. Started off strong and cocky, ended up scrapping to survive.

3. Dropping down to do push-ups in the middle of the day? Yeah, I’ve done that. Treadmill walks replaced with two-mile treks on the pavement? The switch was made. Casual games of HORSE with the six-year-old turned into contentious one-on-two match-ups that included my teenage neighbor. It wasn’t that I wanted to win the games; I needed points!

With that said, the Band isn’t a a physical trainer, but it has been a motivator for me. I like the challenge and the ability to post my daily results creates a sense of accountability that urges that me to go the extra mile. According to the info I’ve read, 2,000 fuel points are average, 3,000 would be active day and 5,000 indicates a high-energy day so I dropped my goal back to a very moderate 2,500. Not much easier but at least a little more attainable on a routine day.

4. Cool packaging always wins with me. Nothing too fancy here, but it’s distinctive, compact and clean. Looking at it, you know you’re holding a piece of wizardy even before the box is opened and that you’re about to be plugged into the future.

5. The FuelBand is adjustable to a variety of sizes, courtesy of two detachable pieces and a nifty little wrench. I’d say the average man could buy a medium and be fine because you can add approximately an inch or so just by inserting and arranging the extra pieces. I started off wearing mine with the small attachment and allowing it to fall up and down my wrist slightly. But after a few games of basketball, having the Band slide up and down my arm was a distraction so I opted to go with the stock fit that kept it comfortably pinned into position on my wrist. The device is noticeable initially, but not heavy or restricting. After a few minutes, it’s an afterthought no more than wearing slightly heavier Livestrong band. For a more accurate breakdown and tech specs, check out the product page.

6. The FuelBand will start conversations. Several friends (and strangers) have already stopped me to discuss it and the reactions vary. Some viewed it as a fashion accessory or just a cool gadget. When it lights up, it looks like K.I.T.’s grill from Knight Rider with 20 LED lights which indicate how close you are to achieving your daily Fuel goal and 100 white LEDs to display other info. When I wore it to physical therapy last week, staff members were asking me specific questions about calories, the correlation between points and activities, etc.

7. It syncs with an iPhone, iPad iPod Touch and also your PC. Initially, I would connect the Band with my PC – either directly or using a USB cord provided – at the end of each day using the desktop software. Now, updating my stats consists of holding a button to use the device’s built-in Bluetooth and syncing with my phone, which then transfers the info to my account. Necessary? Nope. Enhanced experience? Yes. YOLO.

I was already on the verge of leaving my Android for an iPhone about a month ago and the FuelBand was the tipping point (FYI: Android’s coming in a few months). Currently, Nike+ has it set to work with Facebook so you can find friends and challenge each other with daily goals. It’ll be a total wrap once they add Twitter and other social networking apps.

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