Tractivity is planning a release of an iPhone/iPad app and dongle to allow wireless updating and viewing of data via those devices, for Fall, 2012.
Wearing the Tractivity Sensor
You can also buy insoles from Tractivity that will hold a sensor. This allows you to wear it discreetly in your dress shoes.
They also sell an ankle strap to wear it on your ankle. This can be a good option if you want to track your steps while wearing sandals, flip flops or going barefoot.
They do not recommend carrying the sensor in a pocket or wearing it on a waistband or wristband. It is designed to be accurate only on the foot or ankle.
You aren't limited to just one sensor, so if you find it convenient to get one for each of your most-used shoes, you can do that. The system is smart enough to not double-count data if you accidentally wear two sensors at the same time.
The sensor uses a CR2302 battery that should last a year of normal use. You can easily replace it yourself.
The sensor is water-resistant but not waterproof. It shouldn't be used for swimming.
The sensor turns itself on when it detects motion, and powers down automatically when it is idle for awhile. You don't have to remember to turn it on or off. You don't have to put it into airplane mode when traveling because it only transmits when you run the Tractivity Connect program on a computer with the USB stick plugged in.
The system works for both PC and Mac.
Viewing Your Data Online
To upload the data, you must have the USB stick plugged into the computer and then you run the Tractivity Connect program to upload the data to the Tractivity web site.
You will see an hour by hour total for steps, distance, active time and calories burned. You can also view the daily, weekly and monthly data.
You can't drill down deeper than hourly data. You can't really track a specific workout during the day unless that is the only time you wear the sensor.
You can refine the distance measurement by measuring your stride length.
Tractivity also encourages you to enter your weight and waist measurements and you can see them also charted on a graph. Adjusting your weight will give a more accurate number of calories burned.
You can set daily goals for distance, steps, calories burned, and active time.
Achievements and Social Sharing
You can also post any hour, day, week, or monthly totals to Facebook or Twitter. The posting does not lead them to your account, but only posts what you choose to post.
Tractivity currently has no social sharing among Tractivity users.
Bottom Line on Tractivity
I prefer an activity monitor that has a real-time display, either on the sensor or available via a phone app.
Tractivity can be used to track your total daily steps and active time, helping you achieve the recommended amount of exercise for health. You can track individual workouts if you only use the sensor during those workouts.
Tractivity doesn't have an integrated diet-tracking program.
This is a very affordable activity monitor system, priced lower than systems such as Fitbit.
I think the system will be much more friendly to use with the planned iPhone/iPad app and dongle for doing more on-demand updates of you data when you are away from your home computer (and for those without home computers!) Until then, you might use it in addition to a waistband pedometer than has a step display if you want data throughout the day away from your computer.