This year’s International CES showcased a variety of fitness trackers, including debuts from recognized brands such as LG and Epson to introductions from lesser known brands such as Misfit and Archos. While all of the designs introduced were sleek and eye-catching, the majority were still rather bulky. The Misfit Shine however stood apart from the rest, being marketed as “the world’s most elegant physical activity monitor.” Unlike its competitors, Misfit’s design is simple and perfect for everyday use – exactly what you would expect out of a wearable fitness tracker.
The major component of the Shine is a classy aerospace-grade aluminum casing, just big enough to house a standard watch battery, low-energy Bluetooth, 3-axis accelerometer, processor and 12 tiny LEDs. This pristinely polished tracker not only fits inside the included rubberized wrist band and magnetized clasp, it can also be placed inside a leather watch band and a fashionable pendent necklace. This makes the Shine incredibly versatile as both a fashion accessory and a fitness companion. Depending on what activity you are doing dictates what accessory should be used. The sport band is good for walking, running, swimming and other activities; the clasp is the only accessory that will properly monitor cycling;
The Shine is the most comfortable of all the fitness trackers I have tested to date. So comfortable in fact, I hardly notice it’s on my wrist. I have been wearing my Shine since the last day of CES and I have not taken it off since, nor do I plan to. There is no visible watch face on the Shine, however with two taps on its face the built in LED’s will light up, revealing what time of day it is. A lightly visible “12” is etched on the back on the Shine, indicating which direction it should be installed in order to properly read the 12-hour clock. Double tapping also lets you quickly check your progress. LEDs light up as you get closer to your goal. Once you have accomplished it, all 12 LED’s will automatically light up. The shine comes in four elegant colors including grey, jet black, topaz and Champaign. Although not evident on its website, all four colors are brilliantly designed and from my women’s perspective, are very complimentary to just about any outfit.
The Shine is extremely versatile; it is capable of monitoring your activity level no matter if you are walking, cycling, swimming or sleeping. The Android application allows you to set up goals and measure your progress throughout the day. Activity is measured in three ways: steps, miles and calories.The goal system is measured in points, the default being 1000 points, which equates to approximately one and a half hours of walking. Ten minutes of walking earns you approximately 100 points, depending on your pace. As you progress through your day the application updates the amount of time you need to be active in order to accomplish you goal – I have found this to be very motivating. If by the end of the day I have not achieved my goal and the watch says I only need to walk for 25 more minutes, I am going to walk for 25 more minutes. If I don’t feel like a walk, a few minutes of chores helps do the trick.
With three quick taps on the watch face the Shine’s accelerometer will begin monitoring your sleep. The first night I did this I was amazed at how little sleep was actually getting during the night. Not only does it measure the amount of hours you’ve slept, it also measures the amount of time you were in deep sleep. According to Web MD, the amount of deep sleep a person needs depends on their age. From infancy about 50 percent of sleep is spent in the REM cycle, AKA, deep sleep. As we grow older it decreases and by adulthood, only about 20 percent of the night is spent in REM. Unfortunately the tracker only tells you if you have a problem, it does not tell you how to fix it. So while it is a pretty cool feature, it could make a person with a sleep disorder more stressed than anything else. Also, since it is activated and deactivated manually, you have to actually remember to use it every night for it to be useful.
According to the instruction manual the Shine automatically syncs with the application when opened, as well as periodically throughout the day. However the option is currently only available for iOS7+ – Android users have to manually call the application and press the sync button. Right now the application is pretty bare bones, however detailed activity and sleep graphs, a daily highlights panel and weekly summary, and activity tagging are coming soon. The 3-volt CR2032 coin cell battery is expected to last four to six months with normal use. It is also water-resistant up to 50 meters or 165 feet. The Shine has a very strong magnet so people who use medical devices such as implanted pacemaker, defibrillator or medication pump should talk to a doctor before use.
The Shine is currently available for $119 and includes the sport band and clasp. Additional sport bands can be purchased for $19.99 each and clasps for $4.95 each. Both the necklace accessory and leather watch bands are $49.95. The leather band is available is two colors: black and tan.