I own a Fitbit. It’s black, and it’s not anything to look at. (Actually, it has broken twice, so it’s not really anything to swear by either, but that’s another post.) I bought one with two co-workers, the motley trio of us peppering the poor saleswoman at the City Sports on Walnut Street with questions not at all related to the actual technology of the device: Do these come in any other colors? Can I get this in silver? Can you stud them?
My co-workers both sprung for the variety pack of bands: seafoam, navy and red. I stuck with black; when it’s piled on with my daily armful of cuffs, you can barely notice it anyway. Also I don’t really like seafoam, navy or red. Then the nice City Sports lady told us that a Tory Burch collection of pretty Fitbit accessories would be launching soon. There would be a gold band, she said. Hooray! I don’t even like Tory Burch (those ubiquitous Reva ballerina flats actually make me angry inside), but a gold pedometer sounded nice.
And then the collection launched. With a preppy, brassy, graphic … thud. (See for yourself over at Be Well Philly.)
The idea is nice, I suppose. Wearable tech is notoriously ugly, and a range of brightly colored bands isn’t the same as a more sophisticated metal option. But $195 for a garish brass bracelet? Come on. The bracelet—along with the brass pendant necklace ($175)—has a hinged box that holds the actual Fitbit tracker. But for a design that’s supposed to conceal the device, it fails: You can see the black plastic through the brass fretwork, which defeats the purpose and looks downright cheap. Both of the brass options look like something you’d find hanging on one of those rotating jewelry displays by the register at Express. The patterned silicone bands are fine, if a bit phoned-in in terms of design. At least these only ring in at $38 each. (You’re better off getting that variety pack at City Sports, which gives you three options for $29.99.)
I get it. Fitbits aren’t exactly the most aesthetically pleasing things one could wear. But they’re not supposed to be. They’re pedometers, for Chrissake. Pedometers aren’t sexy. Maybe we should all stop trying to conceal them and start wearing them proudly: Yes. This is a Fitbit. It’s silicone. It’s sort of ugly. And it tells me that I’ve walked 10,853 steps today, which is over five miles. How many steps have YOU taken?
At the very least, we can hope that the next designer to jump aboard the wearable tech train takes Tory’s designs a bit further. Lim? Lagerfeld? Wang? You there?