Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

Activity-Tracking Tech Moves From Wrist to Neck, With Sculley’s New Shine Necklace

Activity-tracking wristbands like the Nike+ FuelBand and the Jawbone Up are becoming all the rage.


But what if they’re just too clunky for you?

That’s the problem former Apple CEO John Sculley and business partner Sonny Vu have been tackling with the Misfit Shine. Under the company name Misfit Wearables, the duo recently came up with a metallic activity tracker the size of a quarter; it can be worn as an elegant bracelet or go almost unnoticed as a pocket clip.

Now, after crossing the $500,000 mark on, where Misfit is raising money to fund production of the Shine, Sculley and Vu are moving all that compressed tracking tech from the wrist to the neck. The company plans to make a leather activity-tracking necklace, designed with a small, connective metal pendant that users can click the Shine device onto. You can take a look at the picture above for an idea of what the Shine looks like; Misfit says images of the necklace design aren’t available yet.

Like the Shine wrist gadget, the necklace will then track activity levels, including steps taken, and share the data to apps on the iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and most Android devices. It uses Wi-Fi, not Bluetooth, to share the data, and in addition to tracking basic activity levels, it will record aerobic activities like running, cycling and swimming, since it’s waterproof.

But it doesn’t track sleep patterns, unlike the Jawbone Up, Fitbit or Lark bands, and the company hasn’t integrated any kind of food-monitoring system into the Misfit Shine, either.

“We do think the user experience isn’t complete without great software,” Vu said in an interview with AllThingsD. “But if you don’t wear the product in the first place, there’s no start. There’s no data start. So we really think the whole thing starts with wearability.”

Vu says Misfit plans to sell the necklace accessory for $79 at retail, though preorders on Indiegogo will cost either $49 for just the necklace, or $199 for the Shine-plus-necklace package.

Philips Electronics makes a similar product, called DirectLife, that costs $149 and can be worn as a necklace. But that product requires the user to plug the activity monitor directly into their computer, via USB, to transfer data.

Misfit Wearables expects to ship the Shine in a few months (although, as we have seen with some of these crowdfunded gadgets, delays are always possible).

The start-up is based in San Francisco, and in addition to crowdfunding money for production, is backed by Founders Fund and Khosla Ventures.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik