We need wearable devices now more than ever. Our fast-paced lifestyles and disproportionate work-life balance has left us with little or no time to work on our wellbeing. We need a device to remind us that our fitness levels are far from fine, and our sleep just about enough. This is why you may have noticed some sort of wearable device strapped on the wrists of a growing number of people; men in well-cut suits included. As much as you might have a high level of disdain for such seemingly unnecessary gadgets, they are, in actual fact, just what the doctor ordered. And before you dismiss this as some sort of corny fitness discourse, one that will con you into wearing a bulky device on your wrist, you should know that there is a new breed of smart wearables hitting the market as you read this. The FitBit has been around for a while and, thankfully, bears no resemblance to some of the hideous smart devices available today. And now there’s the Garmin Vivofit, an equally effective option.
The Vivofit is a wearable device developed by Swiss brand Garmin, well known for its fitness monitoring devices, albeit of the bulky kind. Straying away from its erstwhile form and features, the new fitness tracker is a sleek, lightweight band that offers more than just the usual fitness features. It sports a curved OLED display and just a single button for user-friendly operation.
The all-knowing fitness band
Garmin hopes that the Vivofit will turn your good intentions into lifelong habits. For starters, it allows you to enter your daily fitness goal and then sets about urging you to achieve it. The Vivofit knows when it’s time for you to move, even if you’ve been sitting for hours on end trying to wrap up a project. We love that it encourages the wearer to give more importance to the all-important work-life balance. It does this by prompting you when it’s time to move—a segmented red bar gradually starts to fill up after an hour of inactivity reminding you to move around, or more like, tricking you into feeling guilty enough to get going. Even a few minutes of walking will set the bar back to zero.
The Vivofit fitness band registers your current activity level and then assigns an attainable daily goal. Once milestones are met, the Vivofit will adjust your goal for the next day. It also shows the number of steps taken (10,000 steps a day will do you good), goal countdown, calories burned, distance covered and time taken. Besides displaying the time, it also greets you with a personalised daily goal, just in case you conveniently decide to ‘forget’ it. Set it on sleep mode before bed and it will monitor the quality of your sleep.
It’s also water-resistant to a depth of 50m. When paired with a heart rate monitor (provided in box with a higher-end version),
the Vivofit records one’s heart rate and zone data for a more accurate report on calories burnt during cardio activities.
Other features that matter
The device never needs to be charged thanks to its replaceable batteries that last for over a year. Connectivity takes place via Bluetooth and so you won’t need any wires to connect the device to your phone or computer. Besides, the Vivofit can be wirelessly synced with the free Android and iOS app Garmin Connect, which presents online challenges with other Vivofit users. The app also offers a complete picture of one’s progress through graphical representations.
At present, the Vivofit is available in black and slate, colours that are perfect if you don’t want to draw attention to your wrist. You will have to shell out an additional ₹1,990 (for a pack of three bands) if you want to go bright, in such colours as teal, purple and blue. Packed in box are two sizes, for the average wrist size and smaller. It’s available on Flipkart for ₹9,990, which makes it an expensive buy. We definitely miss a backlit display for easy night reading, and additional features—text, mail and message synchronization—which its smarter counterpart (not yet available in India) offers. Still, if you’re really keen to get in on the tracking craze, this one will work just fine.
This piece was first published on The Label, a lifestyle magazine by Louis Philippe