Fitbit’s New Year Resolution
Using Apple’s iPhone 5S and its M7 chip for application expansion
Thanks to the innovation that Apple packed into the iPhone 5S, Fitbit is one of the first mainstream developers to leverage the M7 co-processor inside the latest smartphone. The latest update to their iOS application allows the iPhone 5S to act as a basic Fitbit tracker without requiring the purchase of any additional hardware.
Founded in 2007, the privately held San Francisco based startup manufacturers and sells fitness trackers that cost around $100, alongside a $49 annual membership fee to the service to access historical data and analysis. Though the innovation of the iPhone 5S allows for users to track their results without the necessary purchase of the initial equipment, it cannot yet replace a physical Fitbit tracker completely. Rather, the updated application will allow people to experience the functionality of the service without having to blindly invest in a tracker.
For those of us who want to get in on the fun without the hefty price and commitment to the advanced techy-piece can now give the application a test run without feeling bogged down thanks to the new upgrade - considering the life-span of most New Years resolutions, this is fantastic news.
Good on Fitbit for finding the quintessential way to welcome new brand followers by lowering the limitations to get a closer look and entry to the service. Their usage of the new hardware is an intelligent business decision - the timing couldn't be better. Looking to Apple, the ones that Fitbit has to thank for the upgrade, they've illustrated once again the forward thinking of the company. While the launch headlines focused on the faster A7 CPU and the fingerprint recognition technology, the iPhone 5S represents the start of a new cycle of technology. The environmental sensors and the M7 co-processor are part of that platform, and as time passes they will become a vital differentiator for consumers to consider.
As described by Forbes' techy-contributor, Ewan Spence, at the iPhone 5S launch in September of 2013: "Much like a GPU takes the graphical calculations away from the CPU to free it up for more important core tasks, the M7 chip reduces the load on the CPU. It will take the raw data from the various movement and geo-location hardware sensors, and directly output workable data for applications to use. As a dedicated chip, this should reduce the battery demands across the system, as well as freeing up more processing time on the CPU."
Though the first to utilise the M7 chip as a colossal contributing factor into their application design, Fitbit will surely not be the last to turn the iPhone 5S into a wearable fitness tracker, but they are the first in a line of recognisable names in this area to understand the benefits that the M7 co-processor can offer. Without a doubt, 2014 will welcome a wealth of others to follow who will surely note the opportunities associated with Apple's most recently renovated iPhone technology.