I lost my Fitbit today. It fell off my trousers when I was out for a long walk while the kids rode their bikes, and I didn’t notice. Boo.
But I found it. Yay!
A few thoughts for Fitbit about this:
I don’t like the Fitbit One‘s belt clip as much as the Ultra‘s belt holster. It’s stronger, and less likely to snap (which is what happened to my Ultra and why I ended up having to get the One). But it’s not as effective. It’s hard to attach it to many of my clothes, which was never the case with the Ultra. And it falls off. This isn’t the first time it’s fallen off, although it’s the first time it’s happened without me noticing.
Design-wise, I think it needs reconsidering.
Knowing when I lost it
We’d been out for hours. I had no idea when it had gone missing.
Last synced: 40 minutes ago.
That was a big clue. I knew where we’d been and could retrace my steps. Knowing how fast we’d been going and that my phone had last seen the Fitbit 40 minutes before gave me a rough idea of where it might be.
But Fitbit, if your app stored a location with each sync, and could show me a map, that would’ve been so much better! I guess you need to think about the battery implications for my phone, but even a rough large-radius location estimate would’ve been appreciated.
Using my phone as a fitbit-detector
When I tried to manually get the app to sync with the Fitbit, it threw a “Tracker not found” error.
I retraced my steps, repeatedly hitting the sync button. My idea was that once I was within Bluetooth range (What is Bluetooth’s range outside? A dozen metres?) my phone would sync, and I’d know I was close.
After half-an-hour of brisk walking with my phone held out like a PKE Meter it synced. I stopped walking and started hunting. And sure enough, I found it on the floor to the side of the path. A little dusty and a little muddy, but I’d found it.
This is very cool. Fitbit, you should call this out in your app. Make it much more obvious that the phone app can be used to do this. If the phone app could send the fitbit an instruction to beep or vibrate, that’d be helpful too.
Another way round could be that the app could just notify me whenever it can’t find the tracker. If my phone had beeped as soon as I first stepped out of range of my dropped Fitbit, my hunt-the-tracker game would’ve been much quicker!
A final thought
The sad thing is that the most annoying bit of all of this is that I did so much extra walking without getting the Fitbit credit for it. That’s just not fair!