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Fitbit: The Dangers of Inaccurate M2M Data | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M

Other academics have also weighed in on the challenges delivering accurate results various wearable fitness devices face

Fresh off the Vegas-style hypefest that is the Consumer Electronics Show, fitness wearables darling Fitbit is already in hot water. Numerous customers, furious at the inaccuracies of Fitbit’s devices, filed a national class-action lawsuit on January 5.

“Plaintiffs and many consumers like them have experienced—and testing confirms—that the [Fitbit] PurePulse Trackers consistently mis-record heart rates by a very significant margin, particularly during exercise,” the lawsuit alleges. “Far from ‘counting every beat,’ the PurePulse Trackers do not and cannot consistently and accurately record wearers’ heart rates during the intense physical activity for which Fitbit expressly markets them.”

fitbit

Fitbit, predictably, takes issue with the statements in the lawsuit. “Fitbit stands behind our heart rate technology and strongly disagrees with the statements made in the complaint and plans to vigorously defend the lawsuit,” a Fitbit spokesperson says – but then issues an important caveat: “But it’s also important to note that Fitbit trackers … are not intended to be scientific or medical devices.”

Fitbit is attracting most of the negative publicity surrounding the accuracy of wearables, but in fact there’s concern broadly about just how accurate any of the fitness wearables on the market actually are. “Cycling, not great,” says Ray Browning, a professor at Colorado State University who directs the Physical Activity Energetics/Mechanics Laboratory. “Elliptical training, not great. Yoga, terrible. There are some pretty significant limitations.”

Other academics have also weighed in on the challenges delivering accurate results various wearable fitness devices face. “You can make millions of smart watches that are identical, but you have millions of people who are not identical,” says Chris Harrison, an assistant professor of Human-Computer Interaction who leads the Future Interfaces Group at Carnegie Mellon University. “It’s really hard to find something that’s robust across all these people.”

From Accuracy to Trust
On the reasonable assumption that fitness wearables vendors realize their devices are not particularly accurate, the question then becomes whether consumers can trust the devices to suit a particular purpose. If a device helps you with your exercise regimen, then does it matter whether it’s accurate?

Read the entire article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonbloomberg/2016/01/10/from-fitbit-to-volkswagen-the-dangers-of-inaccurate-data/.

Intellyx advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. Image credit: Jason Bloomberg.

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

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