Caribbean rides the Fitness Craze as Nike Fuelband SE making Apple iPhone users healthier

Here in the Caribbean and especially here in Jamaica where I live, the fitness craze is catching on. With our Economy slowly showing some signs of recovery and Boys and Girls Champs fast approaching in March 2014, many can already seen walking around in Track bottoms trying to lose some pounds and get fit. Nike’s Fuelband SE can help you do it!

The US$149.95 Nike’s Fuelband SE, made by the same dudes that make sneakers, trainers and other assortment of shoes and sports apparel, has also made a venture into the rapidly expanding Global Fitness Market. Their first run, the Nike Fuelband, was a Bluetooth synchable Fitness Tracker.

The new updated version, the Nike Fuelband SE, with SE standing for “special Edition” isn’t much of an improvement in a way that’s noteworthy. Both Fuelbands do what all others like the Fitbit Force and the Jawbone Up24 do; track your body’s Vital Metrics related to your health, functioning as a Pedometer, a Heart Rate Sensor and Body Temperature along with Motion. Its algorithm synchronizes via Bluetooth 4.0 with your Apple iPhone and rates your level of activity based on Nike’s points system called NikeFuel.

Nike Fuelband SE stands out by virtue of the fact it has its own NikeFuel points system. The device sets targets and motivates you via rewards points and Foursquare-esque badges to be your best in all form of activity. It’s even able to track your activity level when doing such light exercises such as Yoga.

Nike Fuelband SE Design – USB Stick that gives you NikeFuel points towards Fitness

The Nike Fuelband SE is basically a USB Drive that fits around your wrist like a very large rubber band. The clasp pops open to reveal a USB port that serves both to recharge the device as well as transfer your metrics after exercising or just doing general activity. Recharging takes a little over an hour and once fully charged, lasts for a total of 7 days, keeping tabs on your Fitness regimen even after the power has faded.

It actually comes in 2 different sizes and an extra piece is included in the packaging when you purchase it that acts as an extender, making it larger as required. It’s water resistant, meaning you don’t have to take it off in the shower.

nike fuelband se 5

The Nike Fuelband SE comes in various colours schemes on the inside that clasps to the wrist, with the outside being all black save for the white Nike Logo:

  • Total Crimson

  • Pink Foil

  • Volt (really Neon Yellow)

There is also a Rose Gold limited edition sporting a golden Metallic clasp that sells for higher price of US$169.

The design is simplicity defined. The Rubber band like Health Tracker has a large Billboard-like very brightly lit LED display that look like something out of the movie Tron, the Readout is not a static but a runner display, kinda like the one you see in the store, so a little wrist-turning is required to full read what’s going on with your health.

The Nike Fuelband is controlled by a single button that cycles through Time, hours Won in terms of exercise and fuel points earned. Additionally it measures:

  • Calories burned daily

  • Steps via its built in pedometer

  • Syncing reminders to synch data with your Apple iPhone app

Press and hold the button to start an activity session timer. Press it down a little longer and you get to see a battery-life indicator and also gain control over the Bluetooth. The Progress bar, just below the LED is rainbow coloured from Red to Voilet, helps you stick to your exercise regimen.

As you get closer to your NikeFuel goal, the LED above flashes how close you are to achieving that goal with the rainbow-coloured Progress Bar giving a quick visual indication of how close you are getting to your intended goal.

Nike FuelBand SE is a good Fitness Assistant – Support for Google Android needed

That said, when you get down to the nitty-gritty of synching, there is where the pain starts. Albeit the latest version of Bluetooth, it’s synching isn’t perfect, often requiring repeated fiddling and sometimes reformatting of the Nike Fuelband SE to get it talking to the Apple iPhone. Directly plugging and transferring your Fitness Data to your Apple Mac or PC is an option, but this is a buzz kill as it now means you have to synch from PC to Apple iPhone.

Hopefully too, they’ll improve on the syncing and incorporate more Social Networking Integration as well as the ability to alert you of phone calls and IM Instant Messages from your smartphone.

I also have an issue with the fact that Nike chose to make their app available it solely for Apple iPhones, missing out on the many Android smartphones owners with US$149.95 burning a hole in their wallets willing to spend on what’s really a great replacement for your personal Trainer.

Jamaicans looking to get fit in times for Boys and Girls may find the price on this personal Fitness Trainer a tad high, but compared to spending money at a Gym, it’s a lot better. Plus, the Social Networking feature helps you to connect with other Nike Fuelband SE Wearers to compare your progress on a regional Leaderboard of sorts. Nothing like a little competitive motivation to help get you in shape and lose those love handles!

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.