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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

Fitbit is giving away a million bucks to worthy causes. To quote them about this:
From November 9-20, the charity that collects the most steps claims the grand prize of $500,000. Second place gets $350,000 and third takes home $150,000. So everybody wins, but only one charity wins the biggest piece of the pie.
Overall, it’s great, and for those who are badge crazy, it’s a good way to do a tad bit of good while earning more badges. Badges earned using the FitForGood campaign include the following:
  • DoGooder: Join the FitForGood challenge at fitforgood.fitbit.com
  • FitForGood: Join the FitForGood challenge and get 25,000 steps afterwards
  • Helping Hero: Join the FitForGood challenge and get 60,000 steps afterwards
  • Charity Champion: Join the FitForGood challenge and get 100,000 steps afterwards
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November 21st, 2015

Posted In: Wearable Technology

Tags: , , , , , ,

As with many a wearable that tracks movement, running and the such, the Apple Watch comes with… Badges. Wait, no, they’re called Trophies. No, crap, sorry, they’re called Achievements. You could just call them gamification incentives. Either way, they’re nice, they’re modern, and to me they’re a little bit more meaningful than some of the others that I’ve seen out there. As with the Fitbit, there aren’t a ton of Achievements to be had (for example, as compared to the Fuelband, which has dozens and dozens of them). There is a unique twist with the Apple Watch Achievements in that many are deferred until you’ve used the device for a few days, a few workouts or a few weeks. This way, you get a little bit of a baseline before you start breaking your own records. One of the smarter innovations, albeit a minor one – shows how much thought was put into minor details on these devices. Another interesting twist is that it primarily uses active calories, rather than just looking at all calories expended. Another twist I like a lot. So here’s how they work. Use the Activity app on the watch to track your progress. IMG_3576 When you hit an achievement, the watch tells you. IMG_3604 Use the Activity app on your iPhone to see the status of your achievements. Pretty simple. IMG_3630 Here’s a list of all of them, straight out of the Activity app:
  • First Running Workout: Awarded on your first run using the Workout app on your Apple Watch.
  • Workout Record: Awarded after the 5th calorie-based sessions with the Workout app when you hit a new record.
  • 7-Workout Week: Earned after doing at least 7 fifteen minute workouts in a single week.
  • New Record: Set a new personal record for most calories burned in a day after your first 10 days using the Apple Watch.
  • New Award: Set a new personal record for most exercise in a day after your first 10 days using the Apple Watch.
  • Move Goal 200%: If you double your daily move goal, you get this cool achievement. (awarded once)
  • Move Goal 300%: If you triple your daily move goal, you get this swanky badge, er, I mean achievement. (awarded once)
  • Move Goal 400%: If you quadruple your daily move goal, you get this award and simultaneously prove that your move goal is way too low!
  • New Move Goal: Earn your Move Goal for the first time. The easiest achievement to hit. Just hit your goal once!
  • Perfect Week (Exercise): Hit your exercise goal concurrently, every day from Monday to Sunday.
  • Perfect Week (Stand): By default, your stand goal is to stand for 10 minutes an hour for 12 hours in a day.
  • Perfect Week (Move): Hit that move goal every day from Monday to Sunday.
  • Perfect Week (All Activity): Hit all three goals from Monday to Sunday. And keep in mind. These four goals are not 7 days concurrently, but those 7.
  •  Perfect Month: Hit your goal every day from the 1st through the end of a month. Not 30 concurrent, but every day in a month.
  • Longest Move Streak: Make a new streak for concurrently hitting your move goal.
  • 100 Move Goals: Pretty cool to hit your move goal 100 times!
  • 365 Move Goals: This is similar to the Every Damn Day Trophy with a FuelBand. Except that you don’t have to hit your goal concurrently, just a total of 365 times. But you should totally go for concurrency.
  • 500 Move Goals: You get this bad boy when you hit your move goal total 500 times.
  • 1000 Move Goals: We probably won’t see anyone with this achievement for a long time. But this one means that you have hit your move goal 1000 times. Not concurrently, just total.
I’ll make this into a page accessible in a nav bar, available at here. I also have lists of FitBit and Nike badges, if you’d like to see how the three platforms stack up.

May 10th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch, Wearable Technology

Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been using a FuelBand on and off for about a year. I upgraded to the newer FuelBand SE as soon as it became available, and immediately noticed that Nike built a bunch of new badges in for users of the newer devices. As you obtained more Fuel, you can unlock the ability to earn these ever increasingly difficult to earn badges. But, I noticed something kinda’ strange. Not all of the badges were available to me that should be. In fact, only a few badges were available. But, as I continued to obtain more Fuel, all the new badges unlocked. All of the badges from the Nike Running app were available. Upon further inspection it turned out that the only ones of the new FuelBand SE badges available were those that required the number of Fuel that I’d had when I got my first FuelBand. Basically, a loop where you need 1,000,000 plus the total that a badge is supposed to be unlocked at in order to unlock the badge. Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 4.12.18 PM Seeing a bug and a phone number for support on my Nike+ account, I called Nike. They were very nice and didn’t make fun of me for bothering to call them about something so trivial as badges from their app. The guy who answered the phone was very nice. I have to admit, I was totally surprised that there was someone on the other end of the phone to help me deal with an app issue. Then, today (about a week later) I received this email, restating the problem I explained to them:
Hi Charles, We have researched this issue a little further and I believe we have determined what is going on here. I appreciate your patience while we looked into this! Any trophies or milestones earned before the update on November 1st, such as the 500k NikeFuel milestone, are not awarded retroactively. This means that though you are nearly to 1 million NikeFuel, you have only earned 700k and above. Fortunately, you can start earning these earlier milestones again after you hit 1 million NikeFuel. It looks to me like those should be unlocked for you very soon. This is definitely expected behavior, and I am glad to determine that things are working correctly for you. Please let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with, Charles.
Holy crap, they actually bothered to research my utterly trivial issue. So I guess if you ask Nike phone support, this is a feature. But, I still kinda’ think it’s a bug. Reason I think that is because Fuel added to my account by the Nike+ Running app since I started using my FuelBand actually contributes towards my ability to unlock new badges. And it’s not like absolutely none of the Fuel from before works, just not a lot of it. I’m sure there’s a field in SQL that’s not in use until you use a FuelBand and it keeps a running total. Makes sense from a database standpoint. It’s not a big deal, and the whole point of this stuff is to be more healthy, so it’s not like I’m going to stop when I hit a million Fuel at some point this week anyway. The whole purpose behind this post is to actually express my gratitude that there was someone at Nike on the other end of the phone to support of all things an app they make available for free (granted, you need a FuelBand to basically take any use out of it but there’s a whole ecosystem of apps and you don’t actually need any of their products to use them). I am constantly impressed by the folks at Nike for the little things just like this. Thanks ya’ll!

December 10th, 2013

Posted In: Wearable Technology

Tags: , , , , , , ,