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Gadi Amit on Designing a Lifestyle App for the Networked Body
Gadi Amit
San Francisco, California


James Park
San Francisco, California


Designing a Lifestyle App

Gadi Amit, 46, designed the Fitbit Tracker, an activity monitor that calculates your steps, calories burned, and sleep patterns. The device, conceived by James Park and his partner, Eric Friedman, debuts this July.

"The design challenge with the slew of new technologies that allow you to monitor your health is to blend them seamlessly into modern life. Most pedometers are quite male-oriented. They're focused on numeric achievement and look like electronic gear. With the Fitbit, we wanted to move from a message of pure performance to one centered on wellness — more urban lifestyle than fitness. It should disappear into a person's garments, whether that's an evening gown or a running shoe, effortlessly carried 24/7 by either gender. The Fitbit has one discrete button that lets you cycle through the functions, including a digital flower that blossoms as you approach your daily goals. It's a softer, more subtle cue. We wanted to measure the same data but present it in a different way. By being insightful, funny, or invigorating rather than simply stark and scientific, our hope is that you'll wear Fitbit more and it'll be more effective."

Read Gadi Amit's The New Deal blog here at

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A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.