Amount of steps you took today: 3,451. Miles traveled: 1.4. Calories burned: 348. Calories consumed: 625. Then you went to bed at 12:05 a.m. Time to fall asleep: 23 minutes. Times awakened: 25. You were in bed for 8 hours 2 minutes. Actual sleep time: 7 hours 42 minutes.
The math is easy, sure. But never before has a device tracked so many aspects of an individual's physical movements to measure overall wellness. From caloric intake to activity levels (sedentary, lightly active, fairly active, and very active), Fitbit clips onto clothing or straps around one's wrist and uses a 3D motion sensor similar to the one in Nintendo's Wii to measure multiple aspects of one's physical self.
And much in the way services like Quicken encourage people to measure whether they are living within their means, Fitbit's Web site analyzes all this data and allows users to input goals. The device costs $99 plus shipping.
Perhaps most exciting of all is that Fitbit will now help each of us understand objectively how vigorously we engage in such activities as laughing, having sex, popping open that bottle of champagne, etc. Will Fitbit users suddenly do these activities more vigorously to maximize caloric output? This little gadget could be a far more romantic gift than current marketing suggests.