Fitness trackers are all the rage at the moment and there are plenty of options from which to choose. The vast majority of trackers strap to your wrist, but would there be any benefit to strapping a one to your ankle instead? That's the question Flyfit asked – and the answer, it says, is yes.
The makers of the Flyfit ankle band are in the process of raising production funds on Kickstarter. It was conceived by Jimmy Leu, who determined that wrists were not the optimal place on the body to track movement when exercising. Leu found that, not only would placing a tracker on the ankle enable users to monitor activities that wristbands cannot, it would also allow the device to distinguish between different types of leg movement. For instance, the device can distinguish between and track jogging steps, cycling rotations and swimming leg strokes. A sleep mode is also included to help users better understand their sleeping patterns.
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The device itself incorporates a rechargeable li-ion battery-powered motion sensor, and is controlled by tapping its side. Four LEDs provide the user with operational information, and it connects via Bluetooth to an accompanying app on the user's smartphone. It measures 31 x 19 x 10 mm (1.2 x 0.7 x 0.4 in) and slots into an accompanying elastic ankle-band that is available in different colors.
Although the Flyfit can sync with the its smartphone app to provide real-time tracking, it can also be used without being synced, with users simply uploading any data to the app after their workout. The device will apparently last for eight hours when connected to the app, or 5 to 7 days if not. The app will be available on both iOS and Android, and will provide a personalized page for users with a daily activity summary, a GPS map showing distance traveled, goals and stat reports.
Flyfit looks pretty certain to meet its Kickstarter fundraising target of US$90,000, but the company tells Gizmag that the device will go into production either way. "We would still follow our plan to launch the product and promote it, since it’s the first ankle tracker worldwide," says Francis Chang of Flyfit.
Chang also revealed that there are already plans to develop the Flyfit further. "We would encourage users to do exercises with more fun and we are planning to develop games for the Flyfit," he says. "When users wear the Flyfit to do exercises in gym, they will be able to use Flyfit as the controller to play game with others on the internet."
The cheaper pledges for which Kickstarter supporters can receive a device are already gone. For US$99, however, supporters will receive one tracker and two bands, assuming all goes to plan. Flyfit is expected to begin shipping from August.
You can watch the pitch video for the Flyfit below.