Random (but not really)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pedometer Testing: Results

I think that I’ve generated enough data now.

total steps total difference thu - mon

Couple things: where the pedometer is placed affects the step count. I wore the pedometers in several configurations: on my waistband, in my pocket and a combination of both. When they were on my waistband together (Friday), the Omron and the Pulse gave the closest results. When in my pocket together (Monday), the Pulse had a slightly higher count than the Omron.

time period steps thu - mon

The Fitbit always had a higher count, averaging 800 steps more than the Omron. (The Pulse averaged 15 steps more than the Omron.)

The Pulse and the Omron were relatively close in counting active minutes, with the Pulse being higher, due to the fact that you have to be active for ten minutes before the Omron starts that time.

A couple things I didn’t mention previously:

The Pulse has the ability to measure pulse rate. You hold the device between your fingers, cycle through the menu until you find the heart (pulse rate) icon, touch that icon and it measures your pulse through your finger. If you have the Pulse in the wrist band for sleeping, make sure the device is resting over the pulse point in your wrist and start the measurement.

heart rate

It looks like the measurements are relatively accurate on average, but not very precise for any single measurement. The chart is hard to read, but I would take several measurements, one right after the other. The results are clustered around what should be the correct value, but can fluctuate wildly.

I’ll probably play with the pulse measurement more in the coming days, but for now, I’m not that impressed with it. Which is fine, because I wasn’t that interested in that option.

The battery life on the Pulse is nowhere close to as long as the battery life of the FitBit, however, on a positive note, the way it charges, through a short mini USB cable, means I’m less likely to forget to put it back on. (I had to resort to charging the FitBit at work, and taking off my shoes and putting the charging station on my shoe, to remind me to put the thing back on.) I also like the charging monitor better, and think I won’t have the same charging issues I did with the FitBit (sometimes I would put it on the charging station, and it wouldn’t charge, or the display wouldn’t update to show me that it was charging, so I generally had to fuss with it).

Another point in the favor of the Pulse is that it’s a brand new device and so the phone and web applications are still being developed, and one of the things that will be added is the ability to download your data as a CSV file. I have NEVER been happy with the fact that FitBit wanted to charge you a subscription to download YOUR OWN DATA, and that the data is “allowed” you to have was in no way the full data set you created.

I am hoping that the data set the Pulse generates will be closer to that created by the Omron. I’ll let you know how that one goes as well.

One additional thing I haven’t tested is wearing the Pulse while hiking and biking. I’ll be curious to see how accurate that data is compared to the data generated by my new Oregon.

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