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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, 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 a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

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), and several software and web development positions.

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