How the Sony SmartBand Works

What Are the SmartBand's Main Features?

Both the original Sony SmartBand and SmartBand Talk have two main components, a fitness tracker and a lifestyle bookmark tool, the Lifelog. The band's fitness tracker is fairly standard and simplistic. Intended to be worn 24/7, it keeps tabs on your steps and calculates how far you've walked and ran each day. It doesn't track other physical activities, though, such as cycling. And it doesn't monitor your heart rate. When you hit the sack at night, the SmartBand will record how long you sleep. You'll also learn how many calories you've burned each day.

The SmartBand's Lifelog app is where the fun comes in. As its name implies, the Lifelog's goal is to log your life. Every day, the app will monitor and record your every moment spent in communication (email, Facebook, Twitter), photo-taking, music-listening, movie- and-TV-watching, game-playing, reading and browsing. You can set goal figures for any of those activities — say, 10,000 steps per day — and the app will then also measure your daily figures against your goals [source: Pilcher].

It's easy to review your stats. The top of the Lifelog's home page features an animated calendar with your daily activities highlighted. Below that is a grid of colorful boxes with symbols depicting these activities (e.g., a camera for your photo-tracking or footsteps for your walking habits). The up-to-date time you've spent on these activities that day appears beneath the symbol. Want more specific info? Tap on, say, the footsteps and you'll see the number of steps you've taken, whether it's above or below your daily goal and, in a bar graph, how many steps you took per hour. You can also tap additional tabs to see similar information for the week, month and year. Tapping the bed icon will bring up a screen showing the number of hours you slept the previous night, including the hours and percentage of time you spent in deep sleep, in light sleep and being awake [sources: Colon, Sony].

For even more fun, you can press a button and the Lifelog will play a visual clip of your day: An animated figure will walk through the past 24 hours, while activities pop up on the screen as you did them. If you had your phone's GPS on, a Google map will show your route that day, too [source: CNET].

Getting engaged or promoted? You can add Life Bookmarks, which will log your GPS data, type of activity and the weather at the time of this special moment. You'll have to go in later, though, and add notes about what, exactly, you were doing and how you felt [source: CNET].

As its name implies, the SmartBand Talk has some additional audio components, mainly the ability to receive calls to the device on your wrist. Just like Dick Tracy.