That Wearable Buzz From The Fitbit On Your Wrist Says It's Time For Bed

Some of the impact of the Internet of Things will start small and grow from there.

A good example of this is the new feature coming next week in the form of an update to a fitness tracker.

In addition to tracking steps taken, floors climbed, calories burned and resting heartrate, Fitbit will tell wearers when it’s time to go to bed.

Wrist wearables have been known for haptic feedback, this just takes it to a next level.

I wear both a Fitbit and Jawbone fitness tracker, primarily to track similarities and differences, of which there are quite a few.

Even on the same wrist, Fitbit consistently gives higher readings of steps taken and miles walked. And both can be higher than Android Google Fit, provided by just my Nexus 6 phone and no wearable.

But one of the subtle nudges of both Fitbit and Jawbone is the haptic feedback, that quick little vibration signaling something.

For my Fitbit, I get a jolt when I reach 2 miles and Jawbone buzzes on my wrist if I sit for more than a half hour. All of these are adjustable in the app, of course, where all the major dashboards and data feeds reside.

The new Fitbit setting allows a consumer to set an automatic sleep schedule by indicating the time asleep goal.

Since Fitbit has been tracking sleep each night, it already has a good idea of how much sleep the wearer gets, and asks if they are OK with that, or desire more or less and adjusts accordingly.

And then comes the haptic feedback that it’s time to go to bed.

The obvious question is whether many consumers will use this feature and of those, how many will actually hit the hay when their wearable tells them to. Like most wearables, Fitbit already had a vibration wakeup alarm feature, so the other end is taken care of.

The behavioral change comes in the reliance on the devices to precisely track what has happened, such as sleep patterns over a period of time, a relatively reliable tracking based on actual data collected.

When asked about how they slept last night, a regular wearable user is likely to say ‘let me check,’ as they tap in their fitness tracking app for an exact read on their amount of deep sleep, light sleep, REM sleep, awake time and how many times they awoke during the night.

Those same wearable aficionados now won’t have to decide when to go to bed. Their wearable will do that.

Anyone can speculate on what else might be suggested in the future.


The MediaPost IoT Marketing Forum is being held Aug. 3 in New York. Check it out the agenda here

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