The Fitbit Blog

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Shipping Update

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been holding off on this update until I’ve gotten solid confirmation from our manufacturer. Here’s the update everyone has been waiting for. Fitbits will begin shipping from our manufacturer during the week of July 27th to our warehouse in northern California (about an hour drive from our office). We are shipping everything via Fedex Priority Air to get it to our warehouse as quickly as possible. The moment the shipment touches our warehouse, we plan on turning as many as we can around the the same day and shipping them out to you.

Have a lot of you been waiting a long time? Yes and I’m really sorry. However, we’ve worked closely with our manufacturer to come up with this final schedule and they (and we) are confident we can can hit it.

So what is happening between now and then:

Currently, there are 22+ plastic and metal pieces and 100+ electronic components that make up the Fitbit. Here’s renderings/outlines of some of the plastic and metal pieces:

Some parts

I really hate the metal pieces in the 3rd row / 2nd column 3rd row and the 1st row / 4th column. Those are our charging contacts. If you remember, we had charging reliability problems in our early prototypes and it took forever to get those contacts right.

Each of the plastic parts needs a mold created for it. A mold is essentially a large piece of steel that has a cavity carved into it. The cavity is the shape of the part that you need to make. This piece of steel can weigh 100+ lbs. Designing the mold and cutting the steel is a slow process. It can take 5-8 weeks to cut and polish the mold. Once the mold is created, it’s placed into an injection molding machine. During the injection molding process, melted plastic is injected into the mold at high pressure and the end of the process, the plastic part is formed inside the mold and ejected out.

Here’s a tool /mold. Note the complexity of the mold and all the pins sticking out. Those pins are used to “eject” the plastic part out of the mold.

Tooling / molds

Actual injection molding machine and video of injection molding process:

Injenction molding machine

For us, mold creation began a while back and the last molds will be finished by mid-June. There are a lot of parts and therefore a lot of molds. Once the molds are created, we do a production run, where the full quantity of parts will be produced. For each run, we occupy an injection molding machine and the manufacturer only has a limited number of them, so our run has be scheduled and interleaved with all of their other customers.

Also during this time, our manufacturer will be assembling our 3 circuit boards (2 go into the wearable Fitbit. 1 goes into the base station/charger). In parallel, we are designing and building test equipment to functionally test each board as it comes off the line. As each board is produced, it is placed into the test equipment where a series of tests are automatically run that measure voltages, currents, frequency, etc, to make sure that each component has been properly attached to the board and that there are no shorts or disconnects anywhere.

A key check-in date to see if we’re on track will be the week of June 29th. That is the week that we expect all parts to be completed and on-hand. For some of the parts, we’ve got our manufacturer to commit to 3 working shifts a day to meet our demand in the short time required. Once we have all parts on-hand, we will begin assembling all the pieces into Fitbits.

We do expect snaufus to occur and hopefully have padded our schedule accordingly. We’ve already have a couple incidents happen a few days ago. The big scare was that our battery supplier delivered our batteries last week, but most of them were about 1mm too long, which prevented them from fitting inside the Fitbit. We did get a few early samples from them, which were all within our requirements, but somehow the rest of the batch that were produced were not up to spec. Here’s an image I sent them detailing the problems.

Battery Feedback

The supplier is scrambling to redo all the batteries and I actually just got word from them an hour ago that the new batch of batteries will be ready by June 4th, so this won’t cause any delays.

We also had to re-tweak our wireless radio a bit recently to improve our range as we found that later sample units did not have the range as our earlier prototypes. This required us to get some additional parts, which we’re currently sourcing and I don’t think this should cause any delays, either.

This is the end of yet another long post. Please be gentle in the comments and I hope you all hang in there.

James

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58 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Excellent, Cant wait for the product. Im hoping for minimal snafus! thanks for the update James.

    @James, when you ship them from california, will they be next day air as well, or something different

  • This is great news. I ordered mine back in September and have been eagerly waiting and reading the updates online. I can’t wait to receive this.

  • I’m so happy you were able to perfect our toy!! Thanks James for the best update yet. Can’t wait to hear when we get to beta test the website.

  • Finally! This looks very good though. So when will we be able to use the webpage? What about some beta testing? What is your plan concerning international shipping? And what happened to that twitter account 😉

    Great news, and thanks for the update!

    Julian

  • This is great news! Can’t wait to get our hands on these little puppies! Told my wife I pre-ordered one and now she wants one too!

  • I can’t wait to get mine (hope I’m in the first round of shipments). I start marathon training in August and it will be great to have a new geeky gadget to measure my exercise progress. If it works out for me, it’s going to be my Christmas gift of choice this year. Make sure you ramp up the production so my whole family can get Fitbit packages for Christmas!

  • congratulations!! i know it has been a long road to get to this point. I am so Excited!! cant wait! looking forward to seeing the web site also

  • finally have a date… this is exciting news!! What is the word on when we can start testing out the website? I hope that is soon.
    Thank you for the updates! Looking foward to getting to use this great gadget/website over the summer 😉

  • It is good news to hear. Nice to see a shippment date in site. Pre-ordered and can’t wait to use my fit bit.

    Thank you for the update.

  • Thanks for the detailed blog entry — I’m looking forward to the product very much. Please post any potential need for software beta testers — Congratulations!

  • Can’t wait to get the fitbit in my pocket, I think I’m even MORE excited to get on the website and start tracking data and getting to know the community!

  • I agree with everyone so far, it’s been a long wait but it’s going to be worth it for a quality product.

    Also, the website comps look killer! Love the bar charts and graph layouts. :)

  • That is wonderful news. I have been watching the blog for quite sometime but only ordered this month. Can you give an idea of when it will ship by when you ordered? Thanks, eagerly awaiting.

  • I’ve been watching, waiting, hoping.. Can’t wait to try the Fitbit. As a past SportBrain user I really hope you can avoid having the long-term hardware issues that plagued that product. I’d still be a customer if the darn things didn’t die every 6 months . Some early problems should be anticipated, such is the plight of the early adopters, ha!

    Monitoring steps is the only way to go if you are a perennial dieter. I love setting the goal, watching, improving. It makes the process of “moving” even more rewarding.

  • I agree with Elizabeth. If these work as well as we’re all expecting them to, you’re most likely going to need to increase your production to keep up with the overwhelming demand that you will get. Also, I’m very excited about trying out the website!

  • How exciting!! James, you guys must be overwhelmed with joy and excitement. It sounds like this has been a very needy baby for quite some time. I know I am excited to hear the updates and more excited to have a fitbit of my own. To everyone involved in the process of perfecting the fitbit: Kudos! You all should be very pleased and proud of your accomplishment! I am grateful for your time and efforts and creativity. Way to go!

  • What would put this over the top would be an iPhone app that could be used to enter the caloric data and retrieve the calorie burning data. What keeps me from products and services like this is the need to be tethered to a computer. So, every time I eat I have to go back to computer and punch in data, assuming I remember everything I had for lunch or dinner. My iPhone is with me all of the time everywhere I go.

  • This is nice information, but if you cared about your pre-order customers, you would email them this information. Did my mail go to spam?

  • I recently discovered Fitbit and it looks awesome. I don’t know if you have already addressed this, but will there be applications developed in order to access the web content for smart phones? I would love to be able to use my iPhone to enter data when eating out, or to look at the fitness stats.

  • I agree with Elizabeth. If these work as well as we’re all expecting them to, you’re most likely going to need to increase your production to keep up with the overwhelming demand that you will get. Also, I’m very excited about trying out the website!

  • Hello,
    I am still wondering how the fitbit will perform while I operate a car or I am on the bus. Will it know I am resting or will the speed of the car/bus be calculated? Will there be a pause button?

    thanks!
    Pat

  • I really can’t wait for my Fitbit to arrive…I ordered last September and it has been a very long wait!! I hope the end of July date doesn’t slip. Do you anticipate fulfilling all pre-orders right away, or is that going to happen in stages?

  • Can’t wait until (I know when) this can ship to The Netherlands. Exactly the kind of low-effort, tiny and cool health monitoring device I was hoping someone would build. Can you also add a mic to record snoring? Or is the motion sensor sensitive enough to pick that up?

  • Great report hang in there we know the wait will be worth it. When are you going public and offer stock options?

  • All good things come to those who wait. So I’m psyched !! (Cause I’ve been..Kinda, “Waiting” a really really really long time)

  • Helo,

    I am really happy that finally you can launch Fitbit on the market. I am wondering also if there is possibility of sending fit bit to Spain or any other European country.

  • Hello,

    I am really happy that finally you can launch Fitbit on the market. I am wondering also if there is possibility of sending fit bit to Spain or any other European country.

  • Thanks for the update! It has been fascinating to follow the triumphs and challenges you’ve faced. I can’t wait to get my hands on the final, perfected product! Keep up the great work.

    This update reminds me I need to update my CC!

  • I would love to get into the website and start tracking my food calories now. Then add the fitbit when my pre-order is filled.

  • Ditto on the excitement and anticipation of getting the little bugger in my hands. I also have come to depend on iPhone to log all my meal and fitness data, so I do hope a fitbit iPhone app is on your to do list.

    This will be the highlight of my summer since I won’t be upgrading that iPhone on June 19.

  • Is there any word if the first shipment will include all pre-orders? How is everything going for the July shipment?

  • I’ve pre-ordered two units. However in the ensuing months, my credit card information has changed. I sent an email to your company, but have not heard back from you so I don’t know if you are reading them. I’d like to remain in the queue and just resupply the correct cc info. How do I do this?

    Thanks. I know that launching a new product like this has many challenges and I’m sure that you guys are pulling out the stops to get everything ready. Good luck! I’m looking forward to using the fitbit.

  • I’m really excited!! Been checking everyday….just feel like this is going to help me get things more under control with my eating/activity and see how I’m sleeping. Can’t wait until the next post Mr. James. Hoping to get into fitbit nutrition site soon to start logging things.

  • Great stuff! Ipeople we get it you have an Iphone or Ipod and you want an app. It has already been mentioned along with a mobile site suggestion. What I would like is email and text alerts about going over calorie budgets and reminders to exercise. I am please you guys are on the ball and finishing up with the physical product and can’t wait for some of these early adopters to start helping you guys enter nutritional info for the rest of us.

  • Awesome news – thanks for sticking it out through to tough process. Really looking forward to seeing this come alive.

    Sure there are other options (Polar have the FA20 and WalkStyles have the DashTrak for instance) but the FitBit looks like it’s the best all round package

  • Very much interested in getting one or two units. Do you ships overseas? Philippines? How much will the shipping be? Can payment be done by paypal?

  • Yeah! Let us into the website so we can start logging food and other stuff that doesn’t require the FitBit itself….let us play with it in anticipation of getting the actual device.

  • I have now asked this question for the fourth time:

    Hello,
    I am still wondering how the fitbit will perform while I operate a car or I am on the bus. Will it know I am resting or will the motion of the car/bus be calculated? Will there be a pause button?

    thanks!
    Pat

  • Excited about the dawn of a new age of tracking activity! This would be a great tool to partner with health clubs and insurance companies to track activity vs simply logging attendance to a fitness facility…

  • I am Primary investigator on and spearhead several funded projects that challenge the childhood obesity phenomenon. We hope to help kids through education and behavioral modification. I am very interested in obtaining one of your “Fitbits” to learn how it works and if it could be of use to me in any of my projects. Please indicate when this product will be ready for sale and how I can purchase one.

  • Just got my fitbit and already thrilled. It took me about 4 hours of use and looking at your website to determine that an iPhone app would be essential for me to keep up on the food/water/excercise entries. I’m not sure I understand the Jon S guy who wants alerts on going over calorie budget and a reminder to exercise. If you are entering your data to count calories, won’t you instantly know when you are over your calorie budget? Also, seems like the reminder to exercise is also intrinsic to the site.

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