Gadgets and the IoT: Speedo Misfit Shine

April 21, 2016 Comments Off on Gadgets and the IoT: Speedo Misfit Shine

I thought I’d review of a couple of things I’ve used recently, all sort of activity trackers that I’d hope would improve on shortcomings of apps that track your activity on your phone. That, and the fact that I was jealous of my other half and her Fitbit.
Fitbit didn’t fit the bill for me as they have no device that records my swims. So when Speedo announced something back in August-September last year, I was eager to try it out. And it was relatively cheap as well. It wasn’t even £60.

Speedo Misfit Shine

The Speedo Misfit Shine promises to do general activity tracking but with the added benefit for swimmers that it would count your laps. I was sort of hoping that it would record the times for those laps as well, but after I first put it to use, I immediately realised that it would never get this far.
The pages at Speedo and Misfit promise you all sort of things, including the fact that this has been thoroughly tested with elite athletes.

  • The Swimmer’s Edition has the exclusive feature of tracking your swimming by counting your laps
  • The embedded proprietary lap-counting algorithm has been validated by Speedo in-pool testing with elite athletes and researchers.

From the very first swim, both myself and another team member of my swimming team realised that not all laps will be counted. The difference could actually be quite substantial. We worked out that when you kick in training, the laps often aren’t counted. This probably means that the internal mechanism does not base the laps on the detection of sudden accelerations which happen as you push of the wall, but is based on pauses in the arm movement. So that begs the question, how thoroughly has this been tested with elite athletes? Assuming of course that elite athletes do kick sets, they might not… (sorry for the irony if you don’t deal with that well).
On top of that, within a month, the device would stop recording halfway my training sessionis. I’ve had a number of emails with support regarding that and their conclusion was that I must have had a faulty device.
Alas, the new device started behaving in the same erratic way within 2 months. By that time, the battery was dead, as well as what remained  from the original battery. So that’s two batteries gone in 6 months. The pages from both Speedo and Shine promise a battery life of “up to 6 months”. I know what “up to” means, but you’d think that the device would last beyond the 3 months.

The data from my activities and sleep (sleep tracking is great with this swim tracker, so if sleep is what you want to track, this is your device) were accessible both through a web interface and the app. There were APIs available but I couldn’t find information on that. IFTTT has done an integration with sleep data for example.
So in terms of data availability and accessability, Misfit did well. Just a shame that the data it collected was crap.

Ditched it and on to new things: Moov. Review coming soon.



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