Say Hello to Our Little Friend: The SPARK Activity Tracker

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/30/2013 6:00 AM   :  77 comments   :  26,369 Views

It's an exciting time here at SparkPeople.com! After 12 years of helping people reach health, fitness and weight-loss goals with our free online programs and trackers, we have a new innovation that's been many months in the making. (Do you know how hard it is to keep something like that a secret for so long?)
 
Today, we are thrilled to announce the release of the Spark Activity Tracker, a tiny (and fun!) little reminder to fit more fitness into your day. About the size of a quarter, it's the first—and only—activity tracker that fully integrates with your SparkPeople.com experience.
 
If you need a little extra motivation to be active each day (and really, who doesn't?), then keep reading to find out what it is and how it can help you achieve your goals.


It's no secret that I am a BIG fan of activity trackers. They make fitness a lot more fun and motivational for people of all levels (myself included). Each day, you think about your activity level a little more. When you clip it on, it's on your body and your mind—and you set goals for yourself, reach new milestones, earn rewards and trophies for your efforts, and can even compete with friends who also use the tracking device. The Spark Activity Tracker makes it easier to make the right choices—to go for that walk after dinner rather than sitting on the couch, or to walk the extra block instead of parking closer.

 
 
SparkPeople's experts have long talked about how workouts are helpful, but being active throughout your day matters just as much—if not more than hitting the gym. With the tracker clipped to your shoe, pocket, belt or bra, you'll notice yourself finding more ways to get active instead of looking for excuses to stay stationary. That's the magic of it: the motivation—and reminder—to get up and get moving.

How It Works
The Spark recognizes motion in your body and can even detect whether you're taking a short walk to the car or powering through a tough workout. It determines your "steps" and calories burned accordingly, storing and tracking that info all day. When you sync the Spark to your computer wirelessly, that info feeds directly into your SparkPeople Fitness Tracker and your Activity Tracker "dashboard" (see picture below) so you see all of your results, receive feedback on how to do better, compete with your friends and more. There are NO subscription fees to use SparkPeople or the Spark features after your initial purchase of the device! It makes fitness tracking easy!


Even better, the Spark Activity Tracker experience is fun! It's easy to set up, easy to use, and easy to stay motivated thanks to emails, trophies, monthly challenges that only Spark owners can participate in, and feedback to help you get to the next level. Unlike other activity trackers, that only spit out data, the Spark fully integrates with your totally free account at SparkPeople.com. By combining the Spark Activity Tracker with our totally free food tracker, workouts, articles, recipes, and supportive community, you have a comprehensive program to help you reach your goals. Everything you need for health and fitness, all in one place!
 
How to Purchase the Spark
The Spark is available in two colors (matte black and glossy four color) from our online store and amazon.com for just $59.95. You'll also earn 500 SparkPoints when you sync your tracker to your SparkPeople account (when purchased from either website).
 
We created the Spark Activity Tracker and the new features that go along with it with YOU in mind. We think you'll love using the Spark Activity Tracker and can't wait to hear what you think about it. If you have questions about the Spark, our team will work hard to answer them if posted below or in the Message Boards--or you can check out our Spark FAQ page. You can also check out some reviews of the tracker from other SparkPeople members below:

LARRI2010's Review
111BUTTERFLY111's Review
ATHLETELORI's Review
RENE176's Review
ICANLOSEMORE's Review
CHERYL_ANNE's Review
PINKHOPE's Review
BOBCATGIRL76's Review
 
Thanks as always for supporting SparkPeople.com by being a member, visiting the website, Spreading the Spark far and wide by telling others about us, and purchasing the SparkPeople products that fit your lifestyle.  Every little bit helps us in our mission to SPARK millions of PEOPLE to use health and fitness as a foundation for a happier life.


Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
 

NEXT ENTRY >   6 Times You Should Exercise (and 4 Times You Definitely Shouldn't)

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Comments

  • 77
    I love the idea of this but I wish it came a phone app. I don't have a PC so it wouldn't work for me. Once I get one I might consider buying it even though it is a little expensive for me. I do wish it would show you your steps on the screen as well as the green lights. - 9/2/2014   6:19:01 PM
  • 76
    I am very sorry to say that this is a waste of money. For me it works for about 3 months and then stops, and then I have to have the dongle replaced. The customer service representatives give excellent service, and they are very eager to assist, but I have already had 2 dongles replaced, and the tracker is not even a year old. I wish I had spent a little more and purchased one of the bracelet-type trackers. :( - 7/19/2014   8:51:19 PM
  • 75
    It is a waste of time and money, half the time it won't work the other half is spent trying to make sync. - 7/11/2014   1:15:46 PM
  • 74
    Probably a stupid question: Does anyone know if this works with a European computer with a European ip-address? - 4/8/2014   1:44:10 PM
  • 73
    *thumbs down*

    No way to get it over here in Europe (Austria).

    :-((( - 3/6/2014   10:54:21 AM
  • 72
    I really like how 'your little friend' syncs everything on the site for me! I don't have to manually put anything in. Thanks for creating such a wonderful product that really enhances our Sparkling lifestyles. I find myself checking in lots more on SparkPeople, it's one of my favorite things! Can't wait to see what else you guys are working on there at SparkPeople for us! I am happy with my purchase.
    Thank you, your the best- I love SparkPeople forever. - 2/27/2014   12:51:30 AM
  • 71
    I have the Fitlinxx Pebble from work... Is there any way to link the one I already have with Spark People? - 2/7/2014   4:30:22 PM
  • 70
    Can I ask why amazon is not selling it anymore? - 2/1/2014   5:21:30 PM
  • 69
    I really love SP. But the wording of the article raised my eyebrows a bit...
    "When you clip it on, it's on your body and your mind—and you set goals for yourself, reach new milestones, earn rewards and trophies for your efforts" - I think we still need to MOVE to do these things?! Just clipping it on won't develop muscle or burn calories I suppose.

    "The Spark Activity Tracker makes it easier to make the right choices—to go for that walk after dinner rather than sitting on the couch, or to walk the extra block instead of parking closer." Exactly how does the S.A.tracker make this 'easier', I can wonder? I don't think 'easier' is a correct word here. Maybe it could aid to one's motivation. But making it easier? Exercise remains work no matter what gadgets we use...! - 1/4/2014   9:19:34 AM
  • ERASGIRL
    68
    I absolutely love my tracker!!! It really is fun and easy...I love getting the trophies and seeing how many steps I have taken. I find myself going out of my way to add steps. I keep mine on my shoe and it goes with me everywhere. I've been sticking out my foot to show all my friends, lol!!! My only downer is that mine won't light up at all, boo hoo! But I still love it! - 11/10/2013   2:40:28 PM
  • JWOOLMAN
    67
    Crazywheels- probably won't track your wheelchair exercise. You should describe your exercise capabilities and ask someone who has the tracker to try it. But you could just use a timer for those as the easiest way to compare your activity level day to day. - 10/24/2013   1:29:55 AM
  • JWOOLMAN
    66
    145 - check out Fitlinxx to see if they have anything to do with fitbit. But Spark gets this tracker from Fitlinxx, it's basically their Pebble model just branded for Spark. Seems as though this is Fitlinxx's first venture beyond corporate wellness programs, Spark has 15 million members (!) so that must have been quite an attraction. But that might mean it's not a rebranded fitbit since fitbit has been on the open market for a while now. It's also significantly cheaper. - 10/24/2013   1:22:26 AM
  • 65
    Is the Spark Activity Tracker made by the "fitbit" folks?

    The fitbit Zip basically does the same thing as the Spark Activity Tracker (but the Zip comes in more colors). Graphics, verbiage, and ad layouts seem similar. It make good business sense for the two to work together and provide a product that helps all us SparkPeople. - 10/23/2013   7:51:38 PM
  • JWOOLMAN
    64
    Since I was just researching pedometers a couple of weeks ago- the price seems reasonably in line with what it can do. The wireless sync sounds very nice, although reminded me of house arrest ankle bracelets... same technology! If I were looking for a device that could report via my computer. I'd consider it. But I can just as easily keep my numbers in an Excel spreadsheet.

    If you want to first try out a pedometer to see how it works for you- there are free apps for iPhone (and Android maybe?). I like Walker Lite a lot- it runs in the background on my iPhone and the badge on the icon shows the steps so I can check it easily every time I'm on the home page without actually going to the app. It keeps track of minutes and averages for the week, month, and year and easily shows you previous days for comparison. Really worth a look. Picks up walk in place also. It uses the iPhone's accelerometer so it works when I'm holding the phone and walking in place (like right now) or in my pocket. I assume the Spark tracker is also an accelerometer type (the most accurate) since it can handle any position. I'm waiting for an Omron HJ-321 (less than $17 at Amazon) to use when I can't have the phone on me or when playing certain games (Walker Lite and the free Runtastic app which also runs in the background conflict with the music in some games while counting for some reason. I can't live without my Candy Crush fix and usually am walking in place while playing... ). That Omron model uses a tri-axis accelerometer (maybe the Spark one does also), making it even more forgiving of positions than older two-axis models. - 10/22/2013   10:04:21 AM
  • 63
    I hope that Spark is reading these comments because I have feedback.
    It would be nice to know how many minutes of non-movement before it stops calculating a "Workout" and if it could be extended for walk/runs were you have to stop to cross a road. Better yet, let us select the timeframe of workout to allow us to classify the workout.
    For example, it doesn't track a workout when I do Nicole's Total Body sculpting video so I'd like to define the timeframe of the workout and the activity and have it subtract the steps from Total Steps and add the Workout event. - 10/16/2013   2:50:39 PM
  • 62
    I have had mine for over a week and what I've learned is that you MUST continue movement for at least 10 minutes in order for it to track a "Workout event" so keep your feet moving!! You can then go into the Details page, click on the event and select "Reclassify" which allows you to select the activity you were actually doing during those steps if it isn't correct. For example, I did a Step Aerobic class and it classified it as "Walk Event" and gave me less than 100 calories but when I reclassified it to "Step Aerobics", it went up to 500!! - 10/16/2013   2:33:21 PM
  • 61
    I have Sp. tracker but even with putting it on my shoe properly, it said my 28 min. walk was 17 min. the other day and tonight I walked 40 minutes and it said no workout event, just steps. So far I am not impressed but it counts steps anyway. I wish now I would have tried the fitbit first. Wait before buying this for a while, let them get the bugs out of it first. Maybe it works better for runners who pound the pavement? - 10/9/2013   8:58:27 PM
  • 60
    Does it track swimming? - 10/3/2013   12:45:06 AM
  • 59
    You cannot purchase this in the UK.....not a happy bunny - 10/2/2013   5:42:37 PM
  • 58
    Got mine yesterday, I also have had a fitbit since they came out. But I love gadgets. So I wear the striiv for the game but if you don't sync every night you lose your steps, fitbit is the best, but have not had the spark long enough to say much (except that it needs to sync with you android or iphone). I had the jawbone up but did not care for it, if you were pushing a cart or buggy (not swinging your arm) it missed a lot of steps. - 10/2/2013   2:20:53 PM
  • 57
    I might ask my kids ( adult daughters) to buy this for me for Christmas. - 10/2/2013   11:20:00 AM
  • 56
    Can I order one of these if I live in Canada? - 10/2/2013   10:36:58 AM
  • 55
    I'm not sure I like the idea of this. I already have a Fitbit Flex which I love, but the syncing to Sparkpeople is horrible. Sparkpeople will often give me more calories to eat for the day than what Fitbit said I burned. Sparkpeople really needs to fix their issue of overestimating calories. - 10/2/2013   10:13:12 AM
  • 54
    I am going to definitely save up some money for one of these!!
    - 10/2/2013   9:42:18 AM
  • 53
    Does it track swimming and aqua-aerobics? What type of battery does it take and how is it changed? - 10/2/2013   5:00:21 AM
  • SHADE338
    52
    it really isn't much more than a pedometer and for that price you can get Nike+ as a free app on your android or I phone. it shows a GPS tracking of your run/walk have it sent to Facebook or just see it on the NIKE website,and cheers you on etc. and you can listen to your music at the same time and it,s FREE
    Love Spark.com don't get me wrong but 59.99 ??
    - 10/1/2013   11:08:37 PM
  • 51
    Does it work if you are paralyzed and in a wheelchair?? - 10/1/2013   3:33:46 PM
  • 50
    Does it work if you are paralyzed and in a wheelchair?? - 10/1/2013   3:33:29 PM
  • 49
    Does it work if you are paralyzed and in a wheelchair?? - 10/1/2013   3:33:11 PM
  • 48
    I have a birthday coming up in November...I know what I am asking for! - 10/1/2013   2:21:33 PM
  • 47
    I just tried ordering it, but apparently you can't on amazon if you're Canadian. Boo! - 10/1/2013   1:53:32 PM
  • MLI123
    46
    Sounds good but I love my Fitbit! - 10/1/2013   12:42:57 PM
  • TIME2BLOOM4ME
    45
    I like the fitbit because I can see the amount of steps I take. I am visual. I don't want to have to hook up to the computer to see what should be on the front of it. - 10/1/2013   11:02:47 AM
  • 44
    I received a fitbit as a gift from my employer about a month ago.... It serves it's purpose but I have noticed syncing issues. I think I'll seriously consider buying the SparkPeople tracker since SparkPeople is my online application of choice for tracking my fitness goals. It looks like it will be a pretty handy device. - 10/1/2013   11:02:38 AM
  • 43
    SOUNDS GOOD! - 10/1/2013   10:29:39 AM
  • 42
    Awesome , I want one too
    - 10/1/2013   9:39:31 AM
  • PEACENCARROTS
    41
    I want one! This is going on my amazon wish list right now. - 10/1/2013   9:02:47 AM
  • 40
    Pretty unhappy to see this after following your advise and buying a fitbit. Would have been nice to know this was in development... grrrr!!! - 10/1/2013   9:02:01 AM
  • 39
    Mine will be here tomorrow! - 10/1/2013   7:25:21 AM
  • 38
    I have been using BodyMedia which also syncs to my SparkPeople account although I dislike that Spark won't import my daily food log, it is great for activity and fitness minutes. I prefer using BodyMedias site now for tracking. I think it is nice idea that Spark is offering something of it's own.. I hope they won't stop supporting other devices to promote their own. The price seems steep when it doesn't track sleep and provide other daily goal functions like BodyMedia, but I endorse anything that gives you a better idea of if you are really meeting your daily goal. - 10/1/2013   2:25:01 AM
  • 37
    That's incredibly expensive for me....but I'm determined to get it! I already have $15 worth of Amazon gift cards....guess I just need to save up some more!! - 9/30/2013   11:37:14 PM
  • 36
    Is there a monthly fee as well as the initial cost? - 9/30/2013   10:29:40 PM
  • 35
    If I were to get one, it would usually be clipped on my pants or bra as only my gym shoes have laces. That said, what is considered "good" accuracy? If shoes are "best" and clothes only "good", what are the actual standards? - 9/30/2013   9:14:19 PM
  • 20_TO_LOSE
    34
    Just went over to Amazon and bought this. Have used another similar type before but like Sparkpeople's features for food tracking so didn't use it to the fullest. It will be nice to see the data sync up all in one place. - 9/30/2013   8:48:22 PM
  • 33
    Great idea! Thkis will help a lot. Another good fit item for my wish list. Thanks for ALL you do! - 9/30/2013   8:27:06 PM
  • 32
    I would love to get one of those. It will be on my Christmas wish list for sure along with new earphones and lululemon training gear! - 9/30/2013   7:22:39 PM
  • 31
    I need help, this morning I was reading about the first Spark Activity Tracker challenge (running Oct 1 - Oct 31), which is what prompted me to order this and pay extra for next day shipping and now I can't find my way back to the challenge. Can anyone post a link? - 9/30/2013   6:21:07 PM
  • 30
    I bought a Fitbit a few months ago, and I loved it until I started trying to sync it with SparkPeople... it overestimates calories burned, essentially rendering it useless. After shopping around, including using the Fitbit software, I have decided my favorite fitness/nutrition tracking software is SparkPeople, nothing else can really compare... So, I ordered the Spark tracker! I can not overstate how excited I am about this. - 9/30/2013   6:16:08 PM
  • 29
    I too wish I'd known about it a month ago before I bought FitBit. I think this would have worked better for me, but my budget doesn't allow me to buy two fitness trackers. Phooey!!
    - 9/30/2013   5:31:50 PM
  • 28
    I personally love that I can wear this tracker in an inconspicuous place, that it's water proof, and automatically syncs with SparkPeople. I live in Hawaii and so am in the water a lot, I also wear sandals a lot which makes it hard to put a tracker on my shoes, with all the sun I get I don't want to wear a band anywhere, and it's nice to not have to take the time to enter in my fitness activities! The only thing I would love is sleep tracking capabilities. Thanks SparkPeople! - 9/30/2013   4:50:29 PM

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