get hands on with the new Nike+ Fuel Band

Here at we love getting invited to exclusive events to try out new sports gear before they hit the shops.

So we felt like we’d received the golden ticket when Nike asked us to test out their new Nike+ Fuel Band earlier last month!

And after getting hands on with adidas’s Virtual Footwear Wall back in November, we thought it was only fair to send our in-house gadget geek Chaz Barry along for the ride…

In a nutshell, the NIKE+ FuelBand is an innovative wristband that tracks and measures everyday movement.

Nike has made it their task of 2012 to motivate and inspire the people of the world and the UK more active. 

Which is fair, as most of us are pretty lazy every now and then. And even if you’re not, then this gadget from Nike will show you just how superhumanly healthy you really are!

Most of us enjoy a lazy sofa day/night/week when we get the opportunity, and it’s sometimes hard to get up without a little bit of motivation. And that’s what stands out as the Nike+ Fuel Band’s main feature, motivation, in the form of a line of 20 LEDs going from red to green. Simple yet surprisingly effective and fun.

So if you want to lose weight or just be healthier and fitter all you have to do is get into the green!

Depicted nicely at this light wall at Nike’s Boxpark shop in Bethnal Green/Shoreditch where we met the team behind the Fuel Band.

The team explained that the Fuel Band measures your everyday activity using a 3-axis accelerometer, then using an algorithm that Nike have used to convert athletes oxygen intake whilst doing various different sports, gym activities and everyday physical tasks (such as doing the weekly shop), into a Nike+ Fuel Rating.

Essentially it shows how active you are, however you like to be active. On top of that, it’s a pedometer, counts calories, and even tells the time. Like a little black and silver retro style Swiss army band if you like!

Oh and like everything will do in the future, it syncs with your iPhone. How long until my kettle syncs with my iPhone so i can really show off how much i love tea? Anyway…

So after I got the technical low-down I tried it on and set my daily goal; a very modest 2000Fuel points. Just a step up from the base goal, so I was pretty confident I’d get to green with Cardio Tennis at the Islington Tennis Centre booked in for the next hour.

Before we left, I had a look around the Boxpark at their new Running Trainer range, including a virtual/augmented shoe which appeared when they pointed an iPad at a bit of card!

I also found out about the Nike Running Club, a sociable way to run, organised through the groups on Facebook, which started in Covent Garden and has now has expanded all over the country.

Holding runs with scores of people at a time, plus an occasional few speedy celebs like Mo Farah. The Nike Running group has really taken off with over 80,000 likes. Nike are trying to make exercise and shopping as sociable, fun and active as possible, which can’t be disagreed with!

Cardio tennis was brilliant fun, mainly because we were told, ‘don’t worry about the white lines, just hit the back wall as hard as you can!’

More games should be like this. It was also hard work, a lot of running through ladders and pretending to smash like Nadal (there was a better photo of me smashing, I promise!). After an hour of cardio tennis I was about a third into my daily goal and just out of the red.

Next up was Cocktail making at The Old Queen’s Head – in my opinion probably the best way to demonstrate an everyday way of being active! I’m not sure how often everyone else makes cocktails with a teacher of 20 years, but this was my first time.

I hadn’t made Mojito Sorbet with Liquid Nitrogen either funnily enough. After shaking up a few different cocktails we uploaded our Nike+ Fuel ratings directly through Bluetooth to our iPhones.

The Nike+ Fuel App looks great. It breaks down your activity into easily read graphs and makes it simple to compare you activity by day, week or year.

If I found out I was generally less active in January, I’d go for a couple more runs! And I’m very interested to see how a solid through the night shift on the dance floor measures up compared to a slogging football match on a weekend morning!

But unfortunately I had to give it back at the end of the day and will have to wait till May 1st for the UK release…

The Nike+ Fuel Band is a solid contender to a potentially very popular market of gadgets using gamification to motivate getting fit and keeping track of your daily activity.

It could even make an impact on the obesity epidemic all those skinny politicians keep banging on about. Tax sausage rolls or hand out Nike+ Fuel Bands? I know which one I think is better!

What are your initial thoughts of the Nike+ FuelBand? How do you think it will do with consumers when it launches? Let us know via the comments section below or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

4 thoughts on “ get hands on with the new Nike+ Fuel Band

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