Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wii U Fit Meter - Durability and Tracking, Personal Review

I have been using the Wii U Fit Meter for a few months. I did not intentionally test these "features" so most are just from my recollection.

Durability

I had accidentally left the Fit Meter in the pocket of my pants that went through wash and dry cycle. Surprisingly, it has survived and appears to still be functioning accurately. Unfortunately, it did track a bunch of steps and elevation during that time. I did not find a way to cancel these steps. 

Treadmill

The Fit Meter appears to track my runs on a treadmill. I am not exactly sure how accurate it is though but it seems roughly correct. Usually, I have other steps in the day so that kind of complicates how far I actually traveled. I typically run around 3.5 miles and I end up with around 5 miles on the Wii U for the day. 1.5 miles seem to be the typical distance for the usual daily steps when I'm not at the gym.

It also does a pretty good job of determine if I am walking or running on the treadmill. I am quite stumped on how it determines this. Since I am not displacing any relative distance it would make it difficult to determine how far I walk/run. It would have to somehow calculate from just the 'bounce' from my steps (guessing). It would have to estimate my gait from my height and weight if that were the case.

Update (1/8/2015): My guess is that it estimates by the steps. Now that I am in more shape to run a bit faster, I noticed that the distance is not accurate in that the Fit Meter calculates a shorter distance. I think this is due to my sprinting form having a larger gait than walking/jogging so the frequency of my steps decrease.

Flight

Interestingly, the Fit Meter tracks the elevation even on an airplane. It does not track it for the elevation walked, but you can see in the graph that the meter was at a certain elevation while flying.

Elevation

The Wii U sits on the second floor, so most of the elevation at the gym is at a negative elevation as the instructions does mention that it zeroes where the Wii U console unit is. There is a way to reset this but I have not found this to be a problem yet so have not bothered to set the ground level to be 0.

I have also traveled to other places that have a much higher elevation. The Fit Meter tracks this similar to the flight elevation. I'm not sure if you are walking while climbing these elevations that it would record that data. I have not put in any steps during these artificial elevation changes.

Car/Train

The bumps in the car or train does not seem to impact the Fit Meter. I have not walked around the train while it was moving so I cannot say what happens for that. My guess is that the Wii Fit somehow considers the current velocity and uses the accelerometer to determine steps inside a moving vehicle.

Tricking Fit Meter, Distance and Step Compensation

Similar to losing my meter in the washer and dryer, I can shake the meter up and down to add artificial steps to the meter. Steps are also counted while walking or running in place. Jumping will also be considered a step. The distance is still calculated for these "steps" even though I do not move.


Current Status

I am quite impressed with the Fit Meter. I cannot theoretically guess how it calculates all its numbers but it seems to be accurate enough for a leisure level exercise. There are quite some limitations to viewing specific data so I would not recommend this for more hardcore 'steppers' or runners. It is great just for trends that I am steadily improving or seeing holiday splurge of added weight (sigh).