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Fitbits are being assembled

Front shot of packaging

Hi All,

So I’m happy to announce that the first production Fitbits are in the process of being assembled. You can see Unit #2 in its packaging above. We’ve also closed pre-orders.

It’s been a long journey to this point. However, we’re about 2 weeks behind where we’d like to be. A lot of reasons for that, some logistical (some of our testing equipment was frustratingly stuck in Indonesian customs for 3-4 days) and some of our own making. The biggest issue we have right now is assembly throughput; it takes about 600 seconds to assemble and test a Fitbit, which is really long. We’re working to get that time down, but in the meantime, this is what it means for our schedule:

The first 10% of orders will finish being assembled and ship from Singapore to the US on July 30/31. They will arrive in the US on Aug 3/4th. It takes 2-3 days for Fedex International Priority to deliver these and clear customs. We will open these up in our US warehouse and do one final set of testing and verification and to load them with the latest firmware. We currently have 19 firmware bugs, which is not too bad at this stage and which we will stamp out between now and then.

We will start shipping these first units to customers on the week of August 10th. I will make a post when they ship to the US, when they arrive in our warehouse and also comment on the status of our bug queue.

Fitbits will continue streaming into the US in weekly shipments. We expect the last 25% of the orders to be shipped to the US around Aug 21st and shipped to customers on Aug 25/26th. The website will be open to all when the first units start shipping.

In general, you should get a final confirmation email a few days before your Fitbit will ship, which will give you a chance to review your order and confirm or cancel.

We’re excited to get these out to you as soon as we can!

Again, it’s been a long journey to get to this point. Here’s some photos and videos that give you an idea of what’s going on what right now as the Fitbits are being assembled:

Another packaging shot and the display in action showing steps:

Diagonal shot of packaging Showing steps

Video of the circuit boards being assembled by an SMT machine:

A small set of our finished circuit boards:

Lot of finished circuit boards

Lot of chromed housings and Fitbits with its guts hanging out

Lots of chromed housings Guts are hanging out

Lots of partially assembled Fitbits

Lots of partially assembled Fitbits

A Fitbit being “welded’ together in a ultrasonic welding machine. Ultrasonic waves are used to melt the plastic together in very tightly sealed unit. This is a $30,000+ machine we are using.

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186 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I am so excited to finally be able to use the fitbit soon! It will feel better wearing this than my bulky omron pedometer, and also be able to work it into any outfit rather than change an outfit because the pedometer will stand out too much. Or better yet, not be able to wear the pedometer.

    Yes, the wait was long, but I rather a product go through numerous testing than just throw out a product with too many bugs and kinks in it! Good job!

  • Thanks for the update! Looking forward to getting access to the site and receiving my fitbit! Hope you get the last parts of the process improved so you can get the production rate up! :-)

  • WOW!! I am very excited. It has been a long time coming, but the wait is better than getting a paperweight because of bugs, glitches, and products that were not tested appropriately. Congrats on the end of a long journey, and good luck with the sales.

  • can you show us some videos of the fitbit in use? and/or the website?

    Excited that we are getting closer… I can only hope that my order is in that first 10% 😉

  • This must truly be exciting for you to see your idea coming to life. I am very excited to receive my fitbit soon. I admit I am like a kid wanting my TOY now; however, the adult in me is very assured that all precautions and glitches are top priority.

  • Congrats on getting the first batch nearly out the door! I narrowly missed the pre-order round, do you know when you’ll be opening up ordering again?

    Thanks.

  • Thanks for update. You mentioned the first 10% of orders… any time line on when the next batches may be going out? I pre ordered kind of late. Also, any chance of letting us on the site to at least start tracking food?

    Thanks!

  • I pre-ordered in October. Since then I’ve received an updated credit card with a new expiration and code. How do I contact you with that information? Even though I pre-ordered back in October my card has yet to be charged.

  • Congratulations on the final stages of getting your creation to the market. I’m very excited and looking forward to an August delivery. Thanks for keeping us updated. I’m a patient person and I would rather have a fitbit that works than a buggy product that was rushed to the market too soon. I appreciate your honesty in pointing out that extra time is needed to resolve issues.

  • I know this is probably not the best forum (or time), but out of curiosity:

    On OSX, if the computer is asleep, will the fitbit receiver wake it to send the data or does the computer need to be awake in order for the fitbit to sync?

  • @Diane, you preorder to make sure you get one once the fitbit is officially released. Your CC only gets charged when your fitbit is shipped.

  • I don’t understand closing pre-orders if you’re going to re-open the website after the first ones ship. That’s a timeline of 2-3 weeks. How many orders are you actually getting to constitute this? Is demand so great a 3 week layover in orders is neccesary? Just a question, as I’ve been waiting for this thing since it’s announcement last October but never placed a pre-order since there was nothing to actually order. Can’t wait for the release though… however delayed :/

  • Awesome ! Purley Awesome.. i could only imagine how relived you guys are that the final product can finnally be shipped to the eagerly awaiting customers ( including me )..

    one thing im really interested in is the sleep feature cause i always wonder.. how much sleep i really do get..

  • Tanisha, I realize the CC only gets charge when the fitbit is shipped. The problem is I gave them my credit card information back on 10/1/2008 and the expiration and code on the back of the card have since changed when I received an updated card. I e-mailed them directly (per the e-mail I got when I pre-ordered) but have not heard back from anyone. Some people have already been charged, and since I pre-ordered so long ago I hope they don’t skip over my pre-order because the original information on my CC won’t be accepted.

  • From an e-mail I got some time ago:

    “We will notify you one week prior to shipping and will not charge your credit card until we ship.”

    I imagine everyone will have a chance to update cc info before a charge is made.

  • @Diane
    some people have already been charged? now that is interesting…I didn’t think it would happen until it was shipped. I understand your concern. :)

  • In an earlier posting someone in PA said her credit card was already charged. It didn’t sound like she was contacted first. I still haven’t received a response to the e-mail I sent 4 or 5 days ago, nor has fitbit responded to my question here. I’m getting frustrated!

  • 11 months of waiting… 2 info changes… 1 fitbit. Congrats on all the hard work putting this together and making it fly. You have a strong loyalty from all of us and we haven’t even held the product in our hands. If you are not profitable on the preorders you will be after we play with them for a while. I know my sister will be looking you up after she sees it in action.

  • @Diane

    If I missed a different post then the one I think you are talking about she just said “anyone else a bit surprised/perplexed fitbit charged state sales tax??” The tax could have showed up on her order confirmation when she placed the pre-order. She did not specifically say her credit card was charged.

  • @diane

    I updated my cc info a little while back by submitting a new pre-order then emailing the generic info email address with both my old and my new confirmation number.

    I got a response back right away that they had updated my cc info and kept my spot in line…

    of course the pre-order has been taken down, so I am not sure what you need to do.

  • wow. I pre-ordered last September when you got a mention on gizmodo. I knew at the time that it would take a long time to develop the fitbit, develop the manufacturing process, and ship to customers. I’ve checked back on the website from time to time for an update – maybe once every 3 months or so.

    After reading this post and the comments on a couple of other posts I have a couple of thoughts. One is that I’m amazed at the progress you’ve made in getting this product developed. Six months is not a lot of time when you’re going from testing to production. Kudos to the team that put this product together and many thanks for publishing the information to keep us all in the loop!

    The other thought has to do with some of the comments. It seems that there are very high expectations for this device – some of which aren’t very practical given current technology. I’m looking for the fitbit to tell me about my daily habits and give me an idea of my general activity level. I think asking it to count calories for me, though it would be a nice feature, is reserved to being approximate at best. 30% inaccuracy is acceptable so long as the inaccuracy is consistent in my opinion. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think this is a substitute for doing your own analysis of intake and activity vs. weight loss. It would help give me a general idea of what works for me, but I don’t feel it would be a complete solution.

  • I am very excited about receiving the FitBit. Is there a way to let us know who the first 10% are? As in anyone who placed an order before a certain date, their units will be the 1st 10% shipped.

  • Hi everyone,

    We have not charged anyone’s card, yet. We will only do that once *your particular* Fitbit ships. You will also receive an email about a week before your package ships so that you can confirm your details one last time or cancel as well.

    @Diane
    The PA tax that the previous poster refers to is the amount that shows up on the order confirmation page. It is what we *are going* to charge her once we ship the Fitbit to her.

    We’re also catching up on some of the emails coming into our order@fitbit.com email address. I’ll check up on your request.

    thanks everyone.

  • @Darren,

    Yes, one of the things we’re worried about is too high expectations. We are going to have a detailed info page when we sent out confirmation emails to people so that people can review the features *and* limitations of the device so that they can cancel if they don’t think it will meet their needs. I realize that there has to be much more detail available. We just haven’t had time to write it all up. The last thine we want is for a lot of returns b/c of mismatched expectations.

    We are also going to have (monday-sat) phone support so that should hopefully get people up and running smoothly if they need it.

    In general, I would say that devices like the Fitbit are motivational devices, not precise scientific/medical instruments and are the most useful for people if the device is used to observe day to day trends. The day to day activity trends should be pretty solidfor the Fitbit. Day to day consistency and between unit consistency are 2 things we have worked hard on. The latter is how much difference there is between 2 Fitbit units worn by the same person in the same location. The typical difference is about 4%, which is not too bad.

  • @James
    thanks for the updates! I understand that you have alot going on right now so the fact that you are able to give updates is awesome. I look forward to using the Fitbit as a motivational tool to lose the last of my lingering baby weight! :)

    @Darrin
    I couldn’t have put it any better…

  • James, since it is Aug. 1 in Singapore and you made a post on July 31 with no mention of the shipment does this mean that the shipment from Singapore to the US has been delayed?

  • I preordered a Fitbit last September and another in October. I wouldn’t say I have high expectations, but I do think that in conjunction with my Garmin 305 GPS watch, Polar S610 Heart Rate Monitor, Nike Sports Band, and Tanita BC-590 Bluetooth Wireless Body Composition Monitor that I will have a pretty good picture of my fitness.

  • @bill
    I would like to see a picture of you with all of those on at the same time! wow! I think you are correct, you should have a very accurate picture of where your at with all those monitors.

    @James – What’s the word on the Fitbits… have you received them at the warehouse yet?

    I’m just happy that there is a monitor that is coming out where the main concern is the customer experience… rather than here is the product, make it work.

    I actually feel like the web 2.0 aspect (interactivity with other Fitbit users) could be what takes this product to the next level… now we just have to get the website open and the fitbit in our hands 😉

    looking forward to it.

  • The faq states: “Yes, you must use the website. We do not provide any way to dump data to your PC, but the website will have an extensive XML and JSON API. You will be able to access most of your data through the API.”

    When do you plan on releasing the technical details of the APIs?
    MisterP

  • I’m not expecting laser accuracy from the device either. I’d like it to give me some fitness motivation so once I establish some baseline, I can try to keep it there if not exceed it. Being able to monitor REM sleep time sounds interesting too. I’d like to know what caffeine does to it.

  • I can’t wait, but I don’t think i will be one of the first orders as my preorder was in December. But as for high exceptions: mine are simple, it will count my steps, record the data so I don’t have to, and some level of sleep monitoring. Everything else is gravy, I use those other features, and probably love the other features, but if they aren’t perfect I won’t be disappointed. Now if only mine could be in the first wave :-) if it ships on the 10th I would get it just in time for my birthday :-)

  • When will fitbit have their twitter account up and going?

    Will the website work with the iphone, or will there be an app for that? :)

    Looking forward to seeing mine in the mail soon, will we get a notice a day or so before it ships? If I need to switch the credit card its on? I forget which one I even pre-ordered it on.

    Best of luck on the final leg.

  • @Brent

    No, it has not been delayed. The first shipment went out late last week. I hope to put up pictures of it arriving early this week.

    @John

    No worries. Step accuracy will hopefully be the best on the market. You can check out the accuracy blog post I made a while back, but we will handily beat the most popular pedometers out there on any location on the body.

    @MisterP
    Yes, there will be an extensive API. Unfortunately, we’re not going to be able to document it fully at launch. However, we will point you to some of the URL’s of the calls and the responses are intuitive enough for you to take a stab at parsing it.

    @Phingers
    We’ll have an iPhone app, but I’ve learned my lesson and am not going to promise a delivery date until we’re 100% sure when it’s going to be ready.

    You’ll get a notice soon…we’re still finishing up some of our ordering/warehouse backend software, so that’s what’s holding up the emails.

  • @James – I can only imagine how stressful it was to not make deadlines because of the hiccups along the way. I’m excited about the application to Ipod touch as well. Maybe updates every so often on the process of what is coming up next for fitbit?

    So VERY excited and thank you again for making sure this is perfect before is mailed to us. Ordered mine in November, Take care and hope you can find time to rest soon Mr. James.

  • I am really excited to hear that any day now my fitbit should show up. Like many of the others my CC info has changed since I placed my order last year. Hope I don’t get passed by since I am testing this product for my school with the hopes of having one for each of my students (I teach PE and have around 200 students). Thanks-Kate

  • Congrats, and thanks for keeping us up-to-date throughout production! I’m really looking forward to this cute little device!

  • Great to read! I can hardly wait to get my FitBit and start testing it out. It looks like it’ll be alot more practical and easier to use than thte Body Media gadget (though it looked cool, too…just bulky!).

    Looking fowward to testing this and seeing if it’s something I can recommend to our patients. Also interested in once production is humming, to see about how we can integrate it into a video game play. We have some ideas so hopefully, once you catch your breath, we can talk sometime and see.

    Congrats again and keep up the great work!

  • Hi everyone,

    The first Fitbits are starting to come into the US.

    You can check out the first few boxes that arrived:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fitbit/

    Fitbits currently come in cartons of 48. The 48 unit boxes then come in on pallets of a few thousand units each.

    Right now, there’s two things to note

    1. Our software is behind our hardware. This is really ironic since we’ve been so focused on the hardware up to this point. There a few major bugs that we need to hammer out.

    2. Assembly throughput, as I mentioned, is still too low for our liking. This might have an impact on delivery dates for people who ordered later in the process. We’re solving this by ramping up to ~16 people on our assembly lines to pick up the pace.

    I’ll post an update when I have more detailed info on both of these issues.

  • Some more frequent updates would be really nice. Via Twitter would be fine…

    Is there any way to figure out where we sit on the list?
    Does this signify further delay in shipping?

  • James,
    You gave us some data but no real information. Do you have a new shipping schedule, or will the SW take an undetermined amount of time?

  • If you’re going to ship them to customers based the order of purchase, is there any way to find out where we are in the queue? I ordered mine on 7/19/09 which I’m guessing is kind of late. Am I likely to get one of this first batch? If so, about when (+ or – a week)?

  • I have the same question as @danny, i would love to know where i sit on the shipping list. first batch, second batch. whatever you can share would be great. thanks for the open communication

  • Jeez, I’m so excited. I really can’t wait for my fitbit to arrive. I ordered early, so I’m pretty psyched. My birthday is on the 21st, soooooo (wink wink.. nudge nudge..say no more)

  • Would love to know where I sit on the waiting list. It was ordered as a xmas present so Im eagerly anticipating…….

  • Congrats on the progress guys! I can only imagine the frustrations you’ve experienced and the excitement to come!
    I too am curious to know if I’m in the first 10%.
    So, lets all post our orig. order confirmation date and maybe we can get an idea?

    I’ll start.
    From my order confirmation email: “Date Tue Sep 16 10:19:00 PDT 2008”

  • Eagerly waiting to see how you sort out the pre-prder situation….I pre-ordered when it was first announced on September 13th, 2008. Since then, the card I used to order has changed, and soon my shipping address will change.

  • Well, I wonder if the first shipments are still expected to go out the week of August 10 (next week)?

    My preorder was not placed till March 15, so I don’t expect to be in the first week.

  • Can you give us a better idea when we might expect our individual orders. For example, orders placed by (e.g. December 1) will ship first. Orders placed by (e.g. February 1) will ship….

    I ordered mid-January and would love to know where I am in the cycle. Thanks.

  • I have a co-worker who claims that estimates for delivery of software projects are always off by the next highest calendar unit. So if someone says they will deliver in 2 days it will be two weeks; 2 weeks would become 2 months … So I think I am just going to assume that I will not get my fitbit until the end of September.

  • I pre-ordered one Fitbit last September, another in October thinking I would have them by Christmas. My wife and I went on a cruise in April, so I asked if there was a possibility I would have them for the cruise. My wife and I aare going on another cruise this September, so I was pretty sure I would have them for that, but now I am starting to think about Christmas again.

    On the positive, it has been pretty interesting watching the production process. I just bought a Garmin 310XT Foreunner GPS watch, which has an interesting tracking feature called “heartrate based energy expenditure.” There is also a footpod available that can be used on the Nike + shoe. Looking forward to checking them out.

  • these comments are getting a little rough, so I’d just like to send a big kudos to James and everyone on the team for having the guts to push back dates when need be so that we get the best fitbit possible. i’ll be glad to own such a quality product!

  • I too am really annoyed with the slipping schedule.. especially when it slips without posts from james letting us know ahead of time… but, I only get annoyed because I care and really want my fitbit.

    While the deadlines might be continuously completely off, the fact that they did decide to keep this blot and let us know what’s happening in their battle to deliver the product has definitely been the primary reason for me not just canceling my order and finding an alternative product.

    Also, as a software developer I know all too well about Hofstadter’s law

  • I first e-mailed you on 7/27 and again on 8/3 to ask how to update my credit card information. I placed my order Oct 1 and want to make sure I do not lose my place in line! I have yet to receive a response from my e-mail. I just read above that someone else is asking the same question (how to update credit card info).

    When are you going to tell us how to update our information and assure us we won’t lose our place in line?

    When are you going to give us a revised shipping date?

    When will you provide an estimate for shipping based on when we ordered?

    The lack of information is very frustrating!

  • @April,

    I don’t think anyone is trying to be rough on the team. My major gripe is the sporadic communication. Fitbit has the platforms available to keep everyone in the loop much more frequently. In fact, people have begged James to keep them up to speed via Twitter either here or here. The fitbit twitter account has 485 followers (up from 350 in April) and only 2 updates; that should make it exceedingly clear that people WANT more information.

    Don’t get me wrong, the posts on this blog have been incredibly thorough, which is great. But they happen once a month, and each time they say something along the lines of “we’re getting close”. They’re constantly dangling the carrot. I think a lot of us would have been appeased throughout the wait by more frequent updates that gave considerably less info (ie. 140 characters). In fact, I even wrote about my thoughts on the subject here.

    I’m excited about getting my fitbit and it sounds like James and the team have gone above and beyond to make sure that it lives up to what’s promised. But when a product is delayed by almost a year, it does start to create doubts. It also allows ample time for excitement to dwindle.

  • Someone asked earlier but it wasn’t answered; when can we expect to be able to buy these if we didn’t pre-order?

  • Hey Everyone

    I appreciate everyone’s comments. *Everyone*’s comments, even the less than nurturing ones :). It keeps us on our toes.

    It’s ironic at this point that the firmware is behind the hardware.

    Here’s where we’re at

    The hardware keeps arriving.

    The firmware is not ready, yet. I think we’ve solved the major issues (remember, the 19 bugs I talked about a while back; a few of them were major ones called P1’s), but it’s going to take us a few days to verify. It’s really hard to reproduce the problems in the field, so it’s hard to say with 100% confidence, yet, whether the issues are fixed. We have a lot of units being worn by testers out in the field, so we should know soon.

    The Mac “sync” software is also not as fully tested, yet, as we’d like. It works, but hasn’t undergone any major stress testing. The Mac software shares a lot of the same code with the Windows software (we have a cross platform library that does a lot of the work), but the critical issue that we need to bang on more is the USB driver on the Mac side. It’s not written by us and the vendor does not have a lot of resources put on the Mac side of things, as is typical for a lot of hardware companies.

    We’re probably a week or so behind where we want to be in terms of setting up customer support. We’re working with a US firm to have phone support by local agents for early morning to early evening and email/chat support 24/7.

    If we can get the firmware verified as fixed our testers within a few days, we might ask 20 or so of you to try out some of the units for free, just as a sanity check. and open the website to any other volunteers simultaneously, so that you can help us uncover any remaining issues on the site. However, we’re still thinking over the having you guys help test the site, since it does put a burden on our operational team, but I’ll let you know.

    Look, I’m eager to get this out, b/c it costs us money to keep storing the Fitbits in our warehouse, but we’re not going to ship these out unless we’re pretty darn sure it’s a rock solid product. I’ll keep you all posted, hopefully more frequently.

  • @Danny, I agree with you. I DO appreciate the care taken in making sure the Fitbit is up to their standards; however, I expected a post yesterday about the status of the shipping this week.

    Definitely a line or two about something is better than nothing.

    Don’t get us wrong, James and Eric, your efforts are admirable but the postings could be more frequent.

  • @James, good for you getting that post out. I would love to be a tester if you go that route….

    Thanks for the update! :)

  • Thanks for the update, much appreciated!

    Does the fitbit allow later firmware updates by end users, or is the firmware you put into it now the final firmware that a unit will operate through for the rest of its life?

  • @James
    Thank you for the update! It’s very commendable that you are trying to work out every bug possible before shipping instead of just waiting for user complaints and pushing firmware updates as they come in (although that’s always an inevitability). I know that everyone is anxious to receive their fitbit, but I’m sure that they will be happy they waited for you to get everything as stable as possible beforehand.

    If you do indeed decide to send out 20 or so units for customer testing, I would be happy to volunteer. As a software developer, I may be able to help provide some technical feedback. I would just need to know what types of issues to look for. I’m also happy to help test the website if you need anyone.

  • “….and open the website to any other volunteers simultaneously, so that you can help us uncover any remaining issues on the site.” ….. I’m up for that…..at least we will get a taste of what’s to come……But I also understand your concerns…..

    Patiently waiting……

  • @james …I too would love to help testing.. I’m a mac software developer with iokit development experience, so testing and thorough reporting on the mac would be an easy thing for me.

  • @KasperJJ

    The Fitbit can be upgraded via the onboard radio. We do plan on delivering firmware updates later.

    For instance, while we are not going to ship with known P1 and P2 bugs, to be honest, your unit might have much lower impact bugs (P3, P4) bugs in it.

    I’m looking through our bug database for an example:
    “Flower shows 4 leaves after long inactivity”
    On the Fitbit itself, there’s one screen where flower avatar grows and shrinks based on how active you are. However, currently, it doesn’t shrink if you leave it on the charger. oops. We *will* fix it. I just don’t think we’re going to delay shipping due to a bug like that.

    So, we plan on upgrading Fitbits OTA (over the air) to fix these issues later once it’s in your hands.

    There will also be a Known Issues page when we launch.

    Also, the other thing firmware updates will deliver are improvements to the algorithms. For instance, our algorithms guy made some improvements to the distance calculation, but we’re not going to include in the shipping firmware due to the amount of testing that’s required to fully validate it. In general, as we get feedback from more customers, we’ll be constantly improving the algorithms.

  • @James,

    Sign me up for the testing as well. I was planning on ordering a second anyway, but pre-orders were already down. I’m willing to be part of the test and still buy my original pre-order of 1 unit.

    Thanks,
    Steve

    P.S. I think you guys are doing a great job. keep up the effort!

  • i have been following fitbit since the day it was announced at techcrunch, even pre-ordering the same day or the next (can’t remember the exact date).

    i am so absolutely grateful to james, eric, and everyone else involved in this project for taking time to actually produce what i am sure will be an amazing product! too often, it seems companies rush to bring a product to market simply to satisfy demand, without thorough testing. i would much rather have a delayed, well-tested product than instant gratification filled with bugs and disappointments.

    (doesn’t mean i don’t check the blog daily, even multiple times daily.. 😀 )

  • *Crossing my fingers* that I can be one of the testers. I check the blog very frequently during the day. I’m very excited!

  • James,

    I’d love to be a tester if you’re still looking! I’m a PhD student in Human-Centered Computing, and testing pre-production prototypes is something I do for fun! Let me know if I can be of any help. (I did pre-order one)

  • @James

    Thanks for the update. I hope my comment didn’t come across as too accusatory. Working for a digital/creative company, I fully understand and appreciate the difficulties in the development process. I hope you’ll understand that my feedback is intended as purely constructive and take it as just that. The fact that you’ve garnered as many followers as you have is evidence of the excitement about your product. I, for one, am excitedly waiting (if somewhat impatiently) for my Fitbit to arrive.

  • Sign me up for testing too. I’m a consultant for a software company, who spends my time developing web applications, so I should be able to give you good feedback on your website.

    I’m still waiting for my earlier questions to be answered.

  • I thought I’d posted a comment earlier, but maybe I forgot to hit the submit button? Anyway – yes I’d love to be a tester. PhD chemist with employment history in software QA.

    I also think it would be nice to see a new post, rather than new comments. When you go to the blog, it shows July 25 as the date of the last post, and no August archives.

  • Sign me up for hardware or website testing (or both!) I’m a web developer so I’d be happy to QA stuff for you.

    Heck, you can even charge me for my two Fitbits I ordered if you ship them to me sooner! I’d love a free one as you mentioned but would gladly pay to get them and volunteer to test them.

  • James ~ Thank you for the update. I check the blog routinely and love the updates, struggels and all. Just very impatient on my end, but, would love to help with testing if you need the assistance. I don’t think you will be in shortage of volunteers. I want my fitbit yesterday as most but I am even more interested on the website and how it can be utilized to its fullest potential.

    Here is to the firmware and possible fitbit for my birthday.

  • My request seems to fall of deaf ears, but…

    Any news on international shipping?

    I’d actually like to hear an answer either way on this. I’ve been asking since early this year, and I haven’t gotten a response. I read the blog and notice that questions before and after mine get answered, but my question goes ignored. That isn’t really appreciated. I hope that you read this and give all the potential international clients the answer that they’ve been waiting for.

  • @K

    Sorry, sometimes I just fly through comments and miss questions.

    Your question on international shipping does bring up an additional thing that we’re waiting on: certifications. Right now, the Fitbit is being tested for FCC, CE (Europe) and IC (Industry Canada) and I think we should have approval shortly.

    However, we’re not going to ship to Europe or Canada for a couple months at least.

    1. We cannot go into Europe until we have fully researched the implications of WEEE, which covers the European sale of devices with sealed batteries and other electronic recycling issues. Not a huge deal probably, but there’s a bunch of logistical issues that we have to figure out, such as identifying a recycling service, figuring out where you would send Fitbits for recycling, etc.

    2. We cannot go into Canada until we have designed bilingual packaging.

    3. Inventory is really really tight. We have put in large future orders to our manufacturer, but we have a rather large backlog of US people on our email waiting list and it will take us a while to get through those people first.

    It kind of sounds like I’m saying I’m not valuing international people, which is totally not the case. It’s just that for the next month or so, we have a ton of balls that we’re juggling and I’d rather do one thing (US) right first and then focus on international, rather than screw up by doing too much all at once.

  • James – Thanks for all the updates on the status of the Fitbit. I am anxiously awaiting the shipment of my Fitbit but would much rather wait a few weeks longer to get a product that is bug free.

    To that end…If you are still looking for testers, count me in also.

  • Thanks for the updates James. I check the blog everyday for new updates and I am getting very excited that the Fitbits are almost ready.

    I would be happy to test the product as well.

  • @ James

    I’d love to be a tester too! Anything I can do to help, please, I’d love to! I’m increasingly excited for the Fitbit every single day. :o)

  • I have a Windows system so I hope the Mac issue will not hold the shipping of the units much since I don’t need the Mac software.

    Also James, have you been able to test the software/fitbit with Windows 7? I’m currently running the RTM on one of my systems.

  • @Brent

    No, we have not tested on Windows 7, yet. That’s a good point. I’ll see if we can grab a copy just to see if it runs. I’m guessing that if there’s problems, that it won’t be in our code and that it will be in the USB driver, which unfortunately is not written by us. I’ll let you know.

    Everyone, thanks for all the volunteering :) Give us another day day or two to come up with a test plan. I want to make sure that any tester is given particular interactions or use cases to really stress test, rather than us just saying, hey, try this out.

  • I am a Macintosh user (and former developer) and would be willing to be a beta tester (I have a pre-order in the queue). I wear an omron pedometer everyday and keep detailed records of my steps which could be used as a cross reference. If you are interested, please contact me at my email address.

  • Hey James, I totally look forward to the product, and know that you guys have the best you can in keeping the lines of communication open. Bringing a new product to market is never as easy as its supposed to be. I’m sure you have a back log of testers as well, but I would be more than willing to help out in anyway that i can.

  • @James

    How will you decide who becomes a tester? Most of the frequent visitors to this blog I suspect would be great candidates for testing since we are so eager to get our hands on one! Let us know what we can do..

  • I’m so excited to get my FitBit. The packaging is stellar, by the way. Reminds me of Apple products. Any chance of a way to login on your website and see how far along in the “queue” we are to get one? I’ve had my pre-order in for quite some time, but I have no idea where I rank in the overall orders.

  • Thanks for the comment updates, James, even though I’m sure you’re incredibly busy right now. I’m really looking forward to trying it out. I also very happily volunteer to be a stress tester. I’d be glad to help build social media buzz about it, too.

  • James, if you’re looking for runners to test it out, I’m your gal! I’d be happy to test along with my Nike+ system…it’d be interesting to see how the calorie expenditure matches up! I’d be happy to keep a diary of other daily activities, etc. throughout testing as well! :)
    Can’t wait for my fitbit!

  • Hi James:

    I wanted to put my name in as available for testing. I am a sysadmin, Mac power user and experienced web interface tester. Good luck working out your final bugs, I know that it can suck waiting on those at the end. The frustration must be incredible now that you have the inventory on hand.

    gabi

  • Mark me as another user running Win 7. Much more stable than Vista. I am not looking back after running the RC.

    McK

  • I’m ready and willing to be a tester, I’d love to assist in any way possible. My husband ordered this for me as an anniversary gift, he knew just what I wanted- leaving the website up on the computer may have helped ; ) It’s exciting to see everything coming together!

  • I’d love to be a tester as well, just to get my fitbit a little sooner. I’m in the SF Bay area ,where I think fitbit also is, and could also test in person or bring my fitbit in if there is a problem or whatever, my schedule is very flexible.

  • Hey all,

    Let’s look on the bright side, shipments of Fitbits are filling up that warehouse, which means that when they do iron everything out, many of us (presumably) will receive one in our own mailbox. Instead of trickling out, they’ll open the faucet!

    @James, all that said, if you happen to need any more *cough* testers… :)

    Very much looking forward to this, and have been following since TechCrunch.

  • I have been following the development of this products since I saw it on techcrunch last year. I have not pre-ordered, but am very excited for the product release and plan to order after in the next month or so.

    I would love to be counted in on the testing, if you decide to go that route – both for the product and website. I have worked on beta testing online games, but never a physical product. I have also used various calorie and exercise tracking products over the years. I don’t work in the industry, but I do understand the kinds of feedback you will be looking for.

  • I keep reading the comments, but I would love to see a new post with what is going on so I don’t have to sift through all the comments to find the updates. I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my fitbit.

  • @ James

    I would love to be a tester too. I have a BS and MS in Computer Science. I am also training for a couple of Marathons. So I would put several hours into it.

  • Hi Everyone,

    Could the following people email their physical shipping address to support@fibit.com with the subject Hardware Beta?

    Tanisha tancr…@…
    Eric projectma…@…
    Anomoly xl5…@…
    Justin Justinla…@…
    KasperJJ kapp…@…
    Steve steveg…@…
    Andrew Mi… andrew.mi…@…
    housewifeheather married2j…@…
    dawn dawnva…@…
    joakim jrk…@…

    Then give us a few days to get back to you on details. You are part of the initial group that we’ll pick from for hardware testing. Units will be shipped to you sometime next week. We’ll give you more details in the email. Btw, no special selection process (yet). I just grabbed the first 10 people off the comments. We’ll see how this goes. The main blocker for getting the units out to you is that we want you to test the syncing process against our production servers (see below) so that you can help debug problems there, as well.

    We’re also racing to get the site ready for some beta testing. We’re currently setting up the servers in our production facility. Setup will take a few days and is the main blocker for the site beta test. We’ll probably grab 20-50 names sequentially off the comments for that.

    So I thank everyone’s offer of testing…I think we’re all set for now on volunteers. I don’t want to go too much beyond the number I mentioned above or else we will get overwhelmed, esp with duplicate bug reports.

    I will post an update of where we are on the site beta process on Sunday. Yes, we’re obviously working weekends here and have been for quite a while. :)

  • James,

    I am test engineer (Software and Hardware) for LLNL the NIF project. I would be glad to test the product for you and come up with a comprehensive test plan. I have 20+ years of experience in testing, and have worked for major companies around the silicon valley.

    Thanks,
    Jasna

  • @James, thank you for choosing me as a tester. Looking forward to being a test dummy (uh maybe not dummy! lol)

    I guess check the blog about every 2 or 3 hours paid off.

    Tanisha

  • YAY! You picked my sister as a tester (housewifeheather)! She was out running errands, so I was fervently checking this for us both. I just called her to let her know and she is ecstatic!

    @ James – you picked the right girl! My sister will be a fantastic insight to your product. She’s been following this Fitbit for many, MANY months. She’s the one who found this and immediately got me hooked!! We are both so excited!

  • Hey James –

    Thanks again for keeping us updated! I’m definitley interested in piloting the website when it’s available.

    Thanks, and keep up the great work! =)

    Tony

  • I’d be more than happy to beta test either the hardware or the website. I walk at least several miles per day and also try to track my food.

  • Wowee!!! I was out running errands when my sister Gpaswtp called me on my cell of the good news! I’m so very thankful and happy. Yippee! I sent out the email with my address on it. What a great day!!!

  • Crap, I knew I should have thrown my hat in the ring when there were no comments after the 20 testers were mentioned. I’m jealous of the ones that get to test but am hopeful that they will make this the best motivational tool ever!

  • I’ve been watching the progress of this for quite awhile and really looking forward to finally getting it in my hands (or, on my belt, as the case may be).

  • James, congrats again on getting ever so closer to the shipping date. I am looking forward in receiving a FItbit. I can use it with my Polar HRM, and Nike+ shoe pod and Ipod. With all this data, I can pinpoint my calories loss, steps, miles walked and/or ran, and now sleep patterns. Thanks again James for all the work you have done to give us a product that is going to be great!!

  • It sounds like the shipping date is getting really close. If you need another tester for the software let me know (that’s what I do for a living)

  • “…I don’t want to go too much beyond the number I mentioned above or else we will get overwhelmed, esp with duplicate bug reports….”

    What? There’ll be bugs? Just kidding…

    Actually, on my last job, that was always a huge problem.

  • James, I am the CTO for an internet marketing, web development and hosting company. We are currently running Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise versions on 64 bit hardware/software. I would be happy to do some testing for you in that 64bit environment as well as the 32 bit environment under Windows 7. I also do about 30 miles of running per week to provide some good test data. Let me know if I can be of assistance.

  • Hi James,
    I see that another person has asked, but what if we need to change our credit card info? Will we loose our place in line? I preordered mid september, but i was worried if I changed my card info that I would be placed as a “new” order. Thanks to let us know.

  • @ James

    Hello James, I just thought about this to add to my Windows 7 support question. Do you also know if there are any known issues using it with 64-bit versions of Windows? I have been using the 64-bit version of Vista since it has been out and now use the 64-bit version of Windows 7.

  • Hi
    Have been watching this product now for a long time, I know your not going to be shipping to the UK yet. But if you need any long distance UK website testers then count me in.

    Can’t wait till it comes over here..

  • @Jessi,

    When you receive the confirmation email, there will be a link to update your credit card info and relevant addresses. No need to worry on that front.

    @Brent

    I personally use 64 bit Vista Business as my primary desktop and I also use an 64bit Intel Macbook Pro, so I don’t think there’s any issues with the 64bit-ness. A bunch of other internal testers have no issues with 64 bit.

    We haven’t run the “sync” software on Windows 7, yet, though. We plan on doing that next week.

  • I wish I commented earlier now. If you need any more testers I’m available. Always tracking my food intake and exercise.

  • James-
    Seems like I may be late on board for the whole testing sweepstakes, but if you need a OSX tester, I’m your guy. I’m SO ready for this thing to take my fitness program to the next level. Thanks

  • I’ve been following the blog since my order last October and appreciate the updates, although I agree with the others that the updates could be shorter and more frequent. My husband is a software engineer and he was baffled by your position of wanting only a few testers so you don’t get duplicate bug reports. That’s how he prioritizes bug fixes and knows which bugs are real and which ones appear to be isolated. Anyway, we’d be happy to pay for our 2 Fitbits and be testers (realizing you can’t give them all away for free!) We are running Vista on one PC and Windows 7 on another. We both also have iPhones when you are ready to test that area. :). Looking forward to the finished product!

  • I too, am anxious to receive the unit. And, while I hate to be a me too-er, if you need an active “seasoned citizen” for testing, then I’m your man.

  • Latest update.

    We’re getting all our production servers up and running. We have all the application and database servers setup. We’ll spend today and tomorrow getting our load balancers up and running. For those less versed in server-speak, the load balancers take incoming requests from your browsers and distribute/”balance” them among our application servers, so that

    1. If an application server fails, your request will be guaranteed to go to an active server
    2. As traffic increases, we’ll be able to easily add more capacity.

    I also say load balancers, plural, b/c our primary load balancer will also have a backup, which will take over in the event of a failure. We also have 2 sets of load balancers. One set for the application servers and one set for the database servers.

    We’ll let this setup bake for a few days and then start to gradually open the site up to testers.

    On the hardware test side, I noticed we’re a bit deficient on the Mac testing side, so I’ll grab a couple people who commented that they had Macs.

  • James should you open up to more testers, I can offer you a household of 3 (I pre ordered 4 one is for a student at college).
    1. Adult male – Electrical and SW engineer with 25+ years experience in embedded development. Exercise – runs 5-6 times a week; walks 5 times a week; ergs 5 times a month. Yard and garden work 2 times a week.
    2. Adult female – Exercise – runs 2-3 times a week; Wii active 6 times a week; Yard and garden work 4 times a week.
    3. Adolescent male – Exercise – trampoline 7 times a week; basketball 4 times a week; soccer off and on.

    Not only that I will pay for the devices as long as I end up with equivalents to the devices sent out to the general public.

  • Hi James. Mac user here and ready to test! Ordered two fitbits and closely following the updates. I am excited for you, your team and all us users!! Good luck!!

  • Hey James,

    If you’re still looking for some Mac testers, I have a pretty diverse environment, including a couple of generations of Macs (can test with Windows VMWare: XP, Vista), and Windows 7 64bit on one of my main use computers.

  • I’ve got a Mac and a PC at home, and would be happy to test.

    Anxiously looking forward to getting my Fitbit. Thanks for all you do!

  • While I appreciate the update, again, can you post them in a separate entry instead of just commenting on the old one? I’d rather not have to scan through all the comments to find the information I am looking for.

  • James,
    If you need a Mac tester. I’m a Mac user and my spouse is a software engineer and he uses a Mac (Powerbook). Be happy to do it. I consider myself kind of techie as I’m also a graphic designer. Between the two of us, we can provide good feedback.

  • James,

    I have been following the development of the FitBit since it’s announcement last October. I’m a PhD candidate in computer science and conduct research in the field of Human Computer Interfaces. I’ve experience in utilizing and troubleshooting USB driver stacks. If you are still looking for a OS X tester then please count me in.

  • If you need another Mac user I would be more than happy to – but I am in no way an expert – just got my Mac notebook.
    Thanks

  • I’d be happy to be a tester–I utilize Mac. (I also have Windows via Bootcamp and would be willing to test the same unit on Windows as well if requested.)

  • James –

    Count me in for any hardware/website beta testing help you need. Have a good amount of beta testing experience, having done beta’s for DirecTV, Tivo, Dash Navigation and Microsoft to name a few…

    Very much looking forward to using the 2 fitbits I ordered and keeping tabs on my fitness level….

    Thanks!
    Aaron

  • James-

    My wife and I have been eagerly waiting for the product to ship for quite some time. We are so happy it is getting so close. We were not able to get in a pre-order but want to thank you for providing this blog so that the progress is easy to follow.

    We would happily pay for our units and be testers if you are still looking. I work retail and walk several miles each day just for my job. On top of that I workout 6 days/week and wear a Garmin GPS watch when I go out for a run. I think I could provide you some excellent feedback on the accuracy of the aglorithm.

    Needless to say we will be in for 2 when you open up orders again.

  • I’m a Mac user and developer and would be happy to test. I pre-ordered last year when I saw the Tech Crunch 50 mention and have been anxiously waiting.

  • Been waiting and watching since the beginning now excited to see its almost there.

    If you still need testers who use a mac I would be more then happy to help. I am also running windows 7 on a mac and could help with testing in that area as well.

  • James, I’d love to test the Fitbit device and/or website. I’m an early pre-order customer (since 9/10/08) and have been waiting patiently for the unit to be complete. I’ve also recommended it to several people and they are also on the pre-order list. I am a hardware/software/web/ecommerce developer with over 15 years experience in those areas and would most certainly be able to give you some good feedback on all the operational aspects of the Fitbit device. Looking forward to receiving my unit soon! Thanks.

  • Hey James thanks for the updates and all the hard work. I have a Mac and would be love to be a Mac beta tester.

  • I’m a Mac user running a new MacBook Pro. I’d love to test the product. I’ve been following for a while. Can’t wait to get my hands on one.

    sb

  • @James
    Wondering if you would stop posting comments and do blog posts instead… We are subscribed to the blog posts in order to get updates… however we are not getting them because you are posting in the comments section.

    We have been waiting as long as anyone else and we would like to receive the updates just as those who have time to read all 141 comment posts just to find an update.

  • Hi Everyone,

    Yes, I am going to do a full post on the beta details, both for the hardware and the site and stop making any more comments on this post.

    Hardware testers, we expect to Fedex the units to you on Wednesday.
    Website beta, I am still waiting…it will probably start Wed/Thursday.

    I’ll make a post on this by end of day tomorrow. You won’t need to scan this post for my comments beyond this one.

  • Hi there, I have multiple PCs and a Mac (running Vista 32, Win7 32, and OSX Leopard). I’d be happy to help out with testing! =)

  • Ditto on the “I use all OS” comments. I’m an IT guy with a slew of boxes in front of me running everything from Win2k thru Win7 and a couple variants of OS X. Id’ be glad to put a few hours of testing in for the privilege of being an early software/hardware tester. Thanks!

  • Agh, I could just kick myself for not mentioning I use a mac as one of my main computers when mentioning I’d like to be a tester above. :(

  • James:

    I know you are busy and have many people who have added to help. I have been on the waiting list and was a prolific user of the PC, but switched to the MAC. I have a MAC and PC. I would offer my services if you would need the help.

    Thank you.

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