Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fitbit Alta - Securing the Bracelet

In reverting back to a simpler fitness tracking ecosystem, I have acquired a Fitbit Alta. By the way, this is a nice refresh of the old Fitbit Force that I had for awhile. It is similar in size and comfort to the Garmin Vivosmart that I used last year. Reading the screen is much easier but interacting with notifications is awkward. I have also given up on MyFitnessPal, having found that the most recent version of the Fitbit app and website provide a food database and food management software that is as good or better. In addition to my steps not arriving in Fitbit in a timely manner, the other problem I had been plagued with was seemingly random calorie synchronization between the two products.

Anyway, one concern I had going back to this sort of bracelet was losing it. There is no buckle, just a pair of friction posts for a clasp. This is like the Vivosmart which I lost twice when the end caught on something and came off my arm without my noticing ... that gets expensive. One really awesome aspect of the Fitbit Alta is the new bracelet design. Each side clamps on to the tracker body and is intended to be removed to change colors. I have already upgraded to one of the faux-leather bands because it is more comfortable, especially when sweating, though I wish it came in a darker color.

Looking over the detachment mechanism lead me to come up with a neat "life hack".  Even though the bracelet is only supposed to be detachable while off the arm, I found that by slipping my pinky-finger under as shown, I could push the release lever while sliding the bracelet up and off the tracker body.

This maneuver is impossible to do by accident but can serve as a secure way of removing the device from my arm instead of using the clasp. I wrapped some sewing thread around the posts of the clasp from the inside and secured with some knots. This prevents the clasp from being undone, does not damage the bracelet ... and can be undone if this trick proves not work. Each morning when I shower and charge the unit, I can apply the "pinky slip" to take the unit off. Otherwise, it says on all day without worry of losing it.

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