About the size of a quarter, the Spark is a small, lightweight and waterproof plastic fitness sensor. Activity is displayed by green lights on the Spark itself or on the SparkPeople website after syncing your data.
From the company that brought you the online diet and fitness website SparkPeople comes their new fitness sensor called the Spark. One of the major complaints of the SparkPeople website was the tedious data entry of activity and food into the website. While the Spark can’t help with your food entry, it can help with data input of your general physical activity. About the size of a quarter, the company states that their device “…can actually determine which workout you're doing, so it knows—and tracks—whether you're cycling on your stationary bike, pushing through a tough run, or strolling to your car.”
The device itself is a 3-axis accelerometer that measures your steps and workouts lasting longer than 10 minutes. This data is then used to calculate total distance and calories burned. The Spark comes with one replaceable watch battery (CR2032) and should last between six to 12 months.
The Spark has 12 green lights around the outside of the tracker. To check your daily progress, tap the Spark five times and your status is displayed in green lights, indicating your progress toward your daily step goal. The device itself does not display your actual numbers, instead the green light represents 1/12 of your daily step goal. The Spark comes preconfigured for 6,000 steps; thus, one green light represents 500 steps. While you can easily change your daily goal from your SparkPeople online account it can prove somewhat challenging to do so as it difficult to navigate around the cluttered website.
Users of the SparkPeople website will like this device as it is the only physical-activity sensor that directly integrates with the website. Wireless syncing of your data occurs when you are within 50 feet of your computer and the small USB dongle is plugged in. One nice feature of the USB dongle is the color display—green if working, red if not. The Spark should be able to track at least two weeks of daily activity before you need to sync the data to your SparkPeople account.
If you are looking for a physical-activity device that is small, lightweight and with a long battery life, then the Spark might be your answer, though setting up the tracker can prove challenging. If you are already a user of the SparkPeople website then this might be the fitness tracker for you.
What we liked:
· Sync capability with free smartphone app
· Lightweight and waterproof
· Six- to 12-month battery life (you change the battery with a watch battery)
What we didn’t like:
· Website is cluttered and confusing
· High difficulty in setting up tracker
· Lack of digital display on the Spark device itself