WIT: Fitbit’s lousy period feature proves the need for more women in tech

 

 

By Cara Curtis of The Next Web

Once again it has being proven that more women are needed in tech after Fitbit’s period tracking feature only allows women to log their menstrual cycle if it lasted for 10 days or fewer.

How long does your period last? Five days? A week? Two weeks? A month? It’s a question that doesn’t have a consistent answer month by month.

Your cycle can alter depending on your lifestyle and type of contraception. Not to mention the obvious, but every woman’s body is different. Or maybe this isn’t so obvious for the guys behind Fitbit’s latest menstrual tracking feature.

Fitbit
has been around since 2010 and in its time has sold more than 75 million devices globally. The period health tracking feature however, was only added onto Fitbit’s devices in May 2018.

Why did it take eight years to introduce the feature when women have been tracking their periods since the beginning of time?

The feature works in a similar way to other fertility and period tracking apps like the disastrous Natural Cycles. It tracks a woman’s period length (unless it’s over 10 days), it will then send notifications two days before the user’s period is due to start and it also claims to provide information about fertility, but don’t get me started on that.

For the millions of women out there who suffer from conditions like Endometriosis – this condition makes a woman’s period length vary from 21 to 35 days – the period tracking feature therefore becomes difficult to use with the current limitation.

Asides from the limited time you’re allowed to be on your period for, the menstruation tracker only allows a user to choose from five period “conditions” (or as we call them, symptoms). These include, acne, headache, tender breasts, or sickness.

Whilst these symptoms are what can happen to a woman during her menstruation, it seems that Fitbit have forgotten to mention the other common issues like food cravings, cramps, bloating, moods, muscle aches, tiredness, and stress (the list goes on).

Twitter user @Stephanenney took to Twitter when she noticed her FitBit set limitations to the length of her cycle. After attempting to extend the length, she was greeted with a notification explaining, “Periods should be between one and 10 days” with the two options been “OK” and “Cancel”.

 

Nothing like an app telling you what your period should be like, eh?

Fitbit announced that any users concerned about the limited period tracker should go to the suggestions board which welcomed many users expressing their anger towards the limitation.

Some of Fitbit’s moderators have joined in the discussion and agreed at times but currently, Fitbit have showed no signs of modifying the feature.

One user nailed it on the head with her comment on the forum, “Locking the entire female population into a 10 day period makes me wonder how many women were involved in creating this feature… please fix”

While it’s great that leading fitness companies like Fitbit are finally paying attention to women’s health, this particular feature was set up to fail due to ignorant research (and the apparent lack of female employees).

This feature had the potential to provide interesting data about a women’s body and what happens during their cycle. Until this feature gets a needed update, and then another one, I’ll stick to using my calendar.

Weekly Round Up 6/2

 

Me too, Woz. Elon Musk is ‘the man’!
Apple Co-Founder Bets on Tesla for Next Tech Breakthrough

A strongly worded letter isn’t going to do it, guys. Drumpf only has a third grade reading level and the attention span of a gnat with a lobotomy.
Lab Report: Tech Leaders Fight for Paris Accord

Any progress in this fight is good. We need to up the survivor rate numbers for most gynecological cancers.
New tech promises easier cervical cancer screening

I don’t know if this country can survive another bubble bursting…
Another tech bubble in the making? Many signs say yes

I applaud any gadget that motivates us to get off binge watching butts and work out.
The Best Health Tech 2017: Gadgets That Make You Fit And Healthy

Please be true!Please be true!Please be true!Please be true!
This guy wants to use tech to create a “Wizarding pub” in London.

Did they make this so all the nerds living in their mom’s basement will have something to wear when meet their Sex-bots for the first time?
Fashion and tech collide in this VR-friendly connected shirt

Let’s see if Apple has any love for the Mac Pro and iMac users out there.
Apple WWDC 2017: What to Expect

Weekly Round Up 4/14


“Brogrammers” is my new favorite word.

HOW ONE TECH START-UP DITCHED ITS BROGRAMMERS

 

 

Innovation is tough when you no longer have visionary leadership.
Apple Inc. Reportedly Struggling With New Touch ID Tech. Cutting-edge innovation is tough to bring into mass production.

 

 

Oh, Etsy. Don’t you know climate change is just a hoax?
How Etsy Built The Greenest Office Space In Tech

 

 

If only there was an App that would castrate men who hit women. Time to innovate, Apple.
‘I had minutes to make the call’: the tech helping domestic abuse survivors.

 

 

This is not a partisan issue, to me. This is a basic right.
Tech lobby goes to bat on net neutrality

 

 

Will it blend? No. Will it be an 11th hour act of desperation by two sinking mega ships? Absolutely.
Will it blend? Oath will combine disparate AOL-Yahoo ad tech assets

 

 

I think Fitbit has played itself right out of the game.
Fitbit’s new smartwatch has been plagued by production mishaps

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