Doctorate Housewife

What my degree in IPE didn't teach me about baking, DIY, fitness, and life…

My Basis Band Review

So, health monitoring… it’s definitely a new trend. There’s lots of fitness trackers out there, including the popular Fitbit and Up. I looked at those, but then the geek in me found the Basis Band and just couldn’t pass it up. Not only is it equipped with the motion sensors of the other fitness trackers, it also measures skin temperature, perspiration levels, and heart rate.


Getting my steps…

It’s definitely been motivating to keep moving. As a lot of bloggers have noted lately, getting 10k isn’t a piece of cake. Either you have to have a lot of walking for transportation built into your life or you have to make a serious effort. Lucky for me, I live in a city. Hubby walks about a half hour to work and I’m lucky enough to get to walk with him. That works out to just under an hour at the start of my day – yay. But that’s only about 6k steps. So I still have to make an effort if I want to reach my goal.


Building habits…

I love that you can work on different habits. I’m not so keen on the fact that you don’t have a lot of control over the goal posts. Still Basis does a great job sending you congratulations when you make your goals and reminders when it looks like you might not hit them. And instead of being perfectionist about it. If you fail to meet a goal one week, they automatically make it a bit easier the following week until the habit gets more ingrained. Both the website and the Android app are great for checking out how you’re doing.

habits screen shot


It starts you out with the “Wear It” habit. You get points as you succeed and those points allow you to open up new habit possibilities. This keeps you from trying to do too much too fast and makes it more like a game.

Points for improvement…

P1030992The heart rate monitor isn’t great. Or rather it is great… when you’re not moving. Which to me kinda defeats the point. Yeah it’s great to find out my resting heart rate and see the trends through out the day, but it doesn’t take the place of a good exercise heart rate monitor, which is a serious disappointment. This also causes a problem for exercises that the watch doesn’t detect automatically. And on to my second PFI…

P1030991Detecting activities other than running and walking. I do a lot of walking and I like to run, and the watch is awesome at detecting when I’m doing those 2 things. But I also like the elliptical and the rowing machine. I’d like to have a way to have them counted too. For the moment there’s not even a way to manually input activities. So you can do a really tough elliptical, rowing, weight session and it’ll look like you’ve done nothing =(

data screenshotFinally I want my data. When you first log-in, you have to agree with their terms, which includes the clause that all data is the sole property of the Basis company. If you don’t agree, you can’t use the product. Not much of a choice really. Not only that, but they don’t even let you download the data so that you can organise it or analyse it as you want. You’re stuck with their graph parameters and filters. They’re not bad, but I’d love a way to look at calories burned one day against another, along side activity minutes or steps.

Serious annoyance…

Losing my data in the sync ether somewhere. On Wednesday I went to bed thinking that I’d walked (because I had) 10,643 steps. But on Thursday morning I woke up to discover that there was a hole in the data and though my steps were still listed on the activity detail page, they’d gotten lost everywhere else. They didn’t contribute to my calories burned, or habit goals, or anything. It seems stupid, but I like my gold stars and this was a major bummer. I was willing to accept that this was a one time thing, but then on Sunday it happened again. I went for a walk in the woods with a friend. The watch recorded it. I checked. On my way home I noticed that I still had 1500 steps to go to reach my goal, so I did another lap or 2 around the block. I made a special effort just to make sure that I got my 10k steps on a Sunday – not easy for me. I was super proud of myself! And the next morning, again major bummer – the syncing process somehow lost ALL of that and has only credited me with 1446 steps for the day =(. I’ve written their customer service team. They normally respond pretty quickly – another plus point for Basis. So I’m hoping this gets resolved soon.

How about you?

Do you use a fitness tracker? What do you think of health monitoring?

5 comments on “My Basis Band Review

  1. imarunner2012
    February 1, 2014

    Great review. I think these health monitoring devices have big future, especially for clinical applications. I use a Garmin watch and it has issues sometimes also. I’ve had my watch freeze up 15 minutes before a half marathon.
    Not owning your own data seems like a big deal to me. What are their restrictions on using your data? Are they it to selling to researchers or marketers? What are your privacy rights?
    These devices monitor intimate parts of your life such as your sleep and physical activity. Are they going to sell that to insurance companies?
    I hate to think we need new and more laws but as more of our personal data goes to the cloud we need to have some rules in place.

    • Jessi Mouqué
      February 2, 2014

      Thanks, I agree. The possibility for applications is enormous. With the Basis, you can look at your data as they’ve parsed it, but there’s currently no way to download it and analyse it yourself. For the moment, they have no intention of selling the data. It is my understanding that they keep it, so as to keep their algorithms secret. But that sounds pretty lame to me. The policy is definitely not my favourite! They say that they can sell it as long as they keep your identity a secret.

      • imarunner2012
        February 2, 2014

        They can sell your data without revealing their algorithms. I’m not a programmer but I don’t think a database dump or spreadsheet will give away their secrets.
        I love all of this technology, but I do have concerns. Sometimes it feels like we are all standing naked before the world.
        Big Data, meet Big Brother. I think there’s a blog post in there somewhere?

      • Jessi Mouqué
        February 2, 2014

        I agree completely! Privacy and data use is likely to be one of the biggest issues of the modern age. I definitely feel like 1984 is upon us. I’m not quite sure what to do about it though :-(… Definitely worth a blog post or two!

  2. Pingback: Top 3 posts from 2014 | Doctorate Housewife

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This entry was posted on January 26, 2014 by in Healthy Living and tagged , , , , .

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