It looks like a bracelet, or some space-age tube. But the Misfit Ray's a fitness tracker. One of a vast number of track-your-steps, pair-with-an-app gadgets that keep popping up. Fitness trackers -- the standalone ones that aren't smartwatches -- have started shrinking down to aspire to be jewelry, sort of. That's been Misfit's formula for years. But now, that formula feels a little commonplace.
The original Shine, a metal disc that automatically tracks steps and sleep and has good battery life, was innocuous. But also, easily lost. It could pop into accessories and be worn lots of places. I liked the Shine a lot when it first debuted in 2013, because it was unique and small. But there are more fitness trackers now, and most of them are unnecessary. The Shine 2 only made a few advances over the Shine. Its main appeal -- being simple and automatic -- has been adopted by many other competitors, including the king of the hill, Fitbit.
Now the Ray is the same idea as the Shine 2, but in a tube. Like those earlier Misfit products, the Ray tracks steps, sleep and short activity sessions. It can be worn as a bracelet (it comes with a band), or turned into a necklace pendant. But it's not really attractive enough that you'd wear it if you weren't "using" it.
It looks like something someone crafted out of a piece of metal at an indie art shop. It is, at least, water-resistant enough to shower with, if you get a non-leather band. But yeah, it doesn't look like a gadget. That's probably the idea: human, versus "techie." But it felt uncomfortable on my wrist, the band way too small. Maybe it's meant for someone other than me. Or I'm not appreciating that it's a fancier variation on a basic band like the Jawbone. But that's the problem. Why not just get a Jawbone on sale...or anything else?