Category Archives: Sports

An Early Adopter’s Take on the Nike+ FuelBand

It lights up all pretty…

I’ve got to hand it to Nike: when it comes to sleek products combined with slick marketing, not many other companies in the world can do it better. My perpetual fascination with technology coupled with my recent conversion in brand loyalty from Adidas to Nike led me to their latest gadget, the Nike+ FuelBand. I had just won my fantasy basketball league–for the second consecutive season–and rationalized such an uncalculated purchase.

The concept of the Nike+ FuelBand was simple: a wristband you wear all day that tracks your movement and gives you points for activity, thereby gamifying your activity level. The FuelBand is a matte black rubber wristband similar to those ubiquitous Livestrong bands that everyone had in the mid 2000s, except slightly thicker and heavier. It seems quite durable and was comfortable enough for me to wear that I’ve already forgotten about it after 2 days, but I’m used to wearing lots of crap on my wrists so your comfort may vary. Inside this wristband is a three-axis accelerometer that tracks the motion of your wrist in all directions, and a really cool LED display. The display is completely invisible when off, but with a push of the only button on the FuelBand, the display magically appears and relays the time, calories burned, steps taken, and NikeFuel.

The integrated clasp / USB connector.

What sets this device apart from being a glorified pedometer for middle-aged women is the concept of NikeFuel. Researchers at Nike have developed algorithms to translate the patterns of wrist movement to the intensity of your activity, quantified as NikeFuel. The amount of NikeFuel you receive is normalized to your height and weight, so essentially, NikeFuel levels the playing field for everyone of all shapes and sizes. Each day you set number of points as your goal for the next 24 hours. By Nike standards, a normal day sans workout would net you 2000 NikeFuel points, while an active day (1 hour workout) nets 3000 points. The calories burned and steps taken metrics feel like tacked-on afterthoughts though, as the real star of the show is the NikeFuel.
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If it’s not on ESPN, it’s not a sport…but I don’t care.

Before I get into the second part of the last post, I need to show off my newest toy:

Like many normal teenage boys, I had one of those Nerf basketball hoops in my room. You know, the kind where after a few months you start to master the fine art of off-the-side-wall-double-clutch-reverse dunks or how to arc your shot just high enough so it almost scrapes the ceiling.

Well it turns out I never grew out of that phase. I guess I never grew period, but a couple months ago I got myself a mini basketball hoop from Now these bad boys aren’t your normal plastic hoop and cardboard backboard type that you get from Toys R Us. The Justintymesports hoops are breakaway and made of solid steel, and attached to a thick fiberglass backboard. Basically, it’s the real thing, just miniaturized. Basically, it’s the best $50 I’ve ever spent.

Unnecessary Instagram filter.

In this apartment, the holy grail of trick shots is the one where you bounce it off the back wall of the living room, and into the basket. After hundreds of failed attempts, my roommate Chris did this:

Anyways, the moral of the story is that this will never get old!

My 2010 NCAA Tournament Bracket has closed.

And there it is, in all it’s glory. 55 points out of 192. From a cursory glance, I think I may be under 50% correct with all my picks. What’s really funny is that I’m actually in like, 3rd place right now among Facebook friends. I’m bound to fall hard, though, since I’m all done scoring points.