A fitting Misfit update

While standing around chatting when we briefly crossed paths on the running leg of the first ever Las Vegas 140.6 yesterday, Ray and I noticed the Misfit booth conveniently situated adjacent to the Polar booth.  We flipped a virtual coin, so I got to go over and talk to the very fit Misfit folks.

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As you may recall back in June Ray introduced us to the flagship product from Misfit, the Shine.

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Here at CES 2015, Misfit has stepped up the game by bringing in some new products and some new, and interesting, collaborations.  As you’ll recall, the Shine is yet another activity tracker, and trust me…everyone has activity trackers now, this seemed to be the prevailing theme at this year’s conference.  But Misfit is doing something a bit different with their offering, and actually, doing it well.

Granted, activity trackers appeal to athletes, but they also appeal to everyone else, hence their explosive popularity.  It’s the ‘everyone else’ market that the new Misfit efforts are targeting here. A quick walk around their impressive booth was like walking into a high end jewelry store.  Bling everywhere you looked.

In addition to a new line of dressy pebbled leather bands, seen above, they have now cleverly partnered with Swarovski to create a really stunning lineup that fits in nicely with the ‘other 23-hours’ characteristic of activity trackers.

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And they’ve taken the fitness band off the traditional wrist location and made interchangeable pendants, clever.

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And pushing the envelope a bit they are leveraging the light gathering qualities of the Swarovski crystals and developing a unit that self-charges from any ambient light it might stumble on from time to time, pretty cool idea.  The below is just a prototype firing off the little demo-only LEDs with that free energy from the little flashlight she is shining on it…no more CR2032’s!

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Moving beyond their activity tracker lineup they are also now doing the opposite of that and giving us the ultimate inactivity tracking capability – sleep metrics.  Ray first reported on this product, Beddit, when it was just a small crowd funding effort many months ago. Now they have wisely partnered with Misfit, so yet another crowd-funding resulting in new toys for us all.

Basically a bed sensor strap that you position under your sheets, it tracks your sleep events as well as quality, and interestingly it captures heart rate, respiration, and snoring. Snoring? Yep, snoring; built-in microphone.  I’m not quite sure how they present that as actionable data, but there are a lot of possibilities.  Also, as an extension of that, I assume it records sleep-talking as well. My mind is reeling with possibilities, and pit-falls, of that one. [Update: prompted by a reader’s comment below I did a little more research and found that indeed the Beddit does not have a built-in microphone; instead the app uses your phone’s mic.  And further, it uses that only for detecting sound levels. It doesn’t record any sound.  Sorry for the confusion; a little booth babe misinformation;  and there goes the sleep-talking intrigue.]

(A Note From Ray: I do actually like the Beddit, and used the first generation device a bit this past fall.  That generation unit had some quirks with it, but the latest generation unit they’re sending me in the next few days should resolve most of those oddities.  It’ll make for an interesting bake-off against the Withings Aura, which I’ve been using for months now.)

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Note that the strap is positioned in the below photo for demo/display purposes only, it normally lives under your bed sheet directly on the mattress.

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And there, on either side of the bed is another new product, the Bolt Smart Bulb. I’m not sure how I feel about the colorful-light-show features for creating room moods, but it does have some cool go-to-sleep and wake-up features.  Via the Misfit Home app, it can allow for creating customized sunsets and sunrise light and sound shows to lull you to sleep and to gently wake you at the optimum time in your sleep cycles.  The Bolt ships in February and the Misfit Home app is ‘coming soon’, so we’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out how well that all works.

Thanks for reading!

(Note from Ray: I know many of you have asked for a Misfit In-Depth Review. I did use the device quite a bit over the summer, for about three months, but ultimately lost a bit of interest in it – primarily due to the lack of display.  That said, I’ll probably give the platform another shot – likely in conjunction with reviewing Beddit, since it feels like a natural pairing.)

Welcome to CES 2015! Don’t forget to check out all my CES 2015 coverage, as well as my continual updates throughout the day on Twitter.  It’s gonna be a crazy busy week!

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16 Comments

  1. Dan

    How do these sleep trackers account for a spouse (or whomever) in the bed?

    • Many of them only go half-way across. Others also support dual sensors, such as the Withings Aura which recently released that capability. So you have one sensor for each half of the bed.

      In my testing with the Withings Aura with a single sensor (my second sensor just arrived this week, but obviously I’m out of town), the results were mixed. I’d say 75% of the time it’d correctly detect that I’ve left the bed if she is still there. But about 25% of the time it’d pickup her sometimes. And then yet further sometimes even if nobody was there it’d pickup a pillow or something out of alignment, and think we were there.

    • Susan

      I’m guessing pets on the bed would really mess things up then.

  2. mykd83

    I don’t suppose you’ll get a chance to ask Misfit when they will add Windows support for the Flash? I thought it was the same internally as the Shine so it wouldn’t be too difficult, but the page still says support is coming “soon”

  3. I got the Beddit from their Indiegogo campaign. I was nothing but disappointed. They did not provide any API to access your data (the most important part to me) and their iOS app was really bad. I have the unit at home and maybe I will give it a try in the future.
    Looking forward to your Withings Aura review. Hopefully Withings provides (raw) data download.

  4. nnkns

    It horrifies me. The empty face of the watch reminds me of a face with no features.

  5. Rob

    Going by the size of that woman’s ring it is either pure bling or an activity monitor. Being CES it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a few smart-rings about.

  6. David

    When I originally read about the beddit, it required your cell phone to be “at your bedside” to do the snoring detection. Is that still the case? Randy said built in microphone. I don’t sleep with my cell phone, it recharges in the kitchen while I recharge in bed.

    • Randy Cantu

      David, I checked and you are right, actually. No built-in mic, it does leverage your phone’s mic. I updated above. Thanks for the insight.

  7. Patrick

    A pendant? This is getting silly. Do manufacturers pay any attention to the literature establishing locations on the body that are known to be ‘good’ locations for a device to measure physical activity?

    It’s been a few years since doing studies with devices that estimated physical activity, but I remember having to be extremely picky with how different devices were located on our participants’ bodies. While I’m not wild about wrist based measuring, a pendant seems crazy. Are manufacturers doing any validation research? It seems most of them are nailing connectivity, mobile apps and computer interfacing. Those were nearly non-existent in the days we were getting excited about ActiGraphs and Sensewear/Bodymedia armbands.

  8. Nikolas

    Hi Ray,
    Why you have not reviewed the Shine? Seems that it is quite promising and competitive product, compared to Fitbit etc.

    • I mostly lost interest in it. I wore it for many months, but didn’t feel like it really gave me anymore than my phone would via the motion co-processor. It lacks a screen, so it wasn’t glanceable like a Fitbit or others.

  9. JimH23

    Did you wear the Flash in the pool at all? I’m reading its really only 3 atm but nothing specific from their website on the rating. Hearing many are failing in pools. Just picked one up on clearance for only $15 at Target but still don’t want to brick my cheap investment!

  10. Sylvester Jakubowski

    Any updates on a beddit review? Maybe compared to the new Emfit QS?