The tiny gadget that turns your fridge off when you eat too much

  • Fitbit tracks almost every detail of yroutine to boost health
  • Fitness obsessives are hacking it to control home appliances – one man even linked Fitbit to fridge so it switches off if he hasn’t exercised enough
  • There could be security risks because personal details can be hacked too

Rachel Reilly

06:41 EST, 25 April 2013


08:01 EST, 25 April 2013

The portable Fitbit has revolutionised the world of fitness gadgets

The portable Fitbit has revolutionised the world of fitness gadgets

Doukas Charalampos is so dedicated to his fitness regime that if he doesn’t get enough exercise in a day, his Fitbit switches the fridge off and the food inside starts to go off.

‘I am working too many hours on the computer and I neglect physical activity quite often. I needed some strong motivation,’ the 31-year-old Internet researcher told the Huffington Post.

He has hacked his Fitbit so that it interacts with the power supply to his fridge.

His desperation to achieve his exercise goals highlights the rise of an ever-growing group of  fitness freaks using computers.

Fitbit designed the first wireless activity-tracking device that syncs with your phone or computer in 2009.

The latest model, The One, can be clipped to a belt or just attached to a keychain fob.

It isn’t any old pedometer – it tracks the distance you travel over the course of a day, the calories burned, the hours slept and even records your weight and how many calories you’ve eaten.

Since 2009 the company, founded by Harvard drop out James Park, has grown by 150 per cent and was recently valued at $300million.

And since the first Fitbit design, the company has branched out into smart weighing scales that monitor up to eight users’ weight, Body Mass Index and fat percentage.

Park is open about how Fitbit was inspired after standing in line to buy a Nintendo Wii in 2006. 

‘I [bought a Wii], took it home and I was fascinated with the way they had combined motion sensors with gaming,’ he said.

Thanks it catting edge technology, the Fitbit not only monitors the distance you travel but how often you climb stairs too

Thanks it catting edge technology, the Fitbit not only monitors the distance you travel but how often you climb stairs too

Indeed the device employs a similar method of monitoring a user’s movement, by using a three-dimensional accelerometer.

But the Fitbit isn’t safe from competition. New portable fitness devices inspired by it are flooding the market. 

And in addition to the new competitors, a recent study by Florida International University has highlighted the ease with which hackers can access personal information on the device.

At the moment the worst case scenario is that inquisitive hackers might be able to access information about a person’s eating and exercise habits, but there is scope for more serious abuse.

Not only could be security be breached by those wanting to find out personal details of those in the public eye, but insurance fraud could be a problem.

For example Fitbit competitor Fitbug includes discounted health insurance for owners who manage to reach their fitness targets.

If users are able to manipulate their readings then there could be room for corruption.

To counter potential security problems on the Fitbit system, the American University have developed software called Fitlock, available to download on the university’s website.


The portable Fitbit has revolutionised the world of fitness gadgets


Tracks steps taken, distance travelled,
calories burned, and stairs climbed. At night it measures your sleep
cycle and wakes you in the morning. 



nike fuel

A wireless wristband that tracks daily
activity and calories burned. Also works as a watch tells the time of day.
Sequence of lights changes from red to green and you get closer to you
activity target or calories burned. Transmits data to your computer as
well directly to social networking sites.




This wristband was first released in
2011 but was withdrawn because of technical problems. It will be back on
sale in Britain shortly, after being completely re-engineered. More
compact than Nike+ Fuelband with added bonus of tracking quality of
sleep. Unlike Fuelband, it has no screen.



Comes with a coaching plan that delivers
daily progress reports and sets regular. Fitbug also has a deal with
Pru insurance, offering discounts for those who meet certain targets.

£24.99 + £2.99 per month subscription;


Polar watch POLAR RCX3 GPS

A serious runner or cyclist might want
to invest in a GPS watch, rather than a wristband. The gadget tracks
your route, speed and distance, which you can upload to Polar’s Personal
Trainer website. The Personal Trainer gives you access to training
programs, tracks your progress over time and offers feedback on each


The comments below have not been moderated.

Another entry for the annals of truly bad, stupid, and needless inventions! Big Nanny in your pocket: don’t let Mayor Bloomberg get hold of this! He’ll require all refrigerators in New York to be retrofitted!


Panama City Beach, USA,
25/4/2013 15:52

Really, we’ve become this ridiculous we need some stupid gimmick to do what what should already be doing with self control..


London, United Kingdom,
25/4/2013 15:49

I’ve had the Fitbit One for a year now, and it does prod you to go those extra steps…climb those extra stairs and park further away from the store. Seeing the numbers increase give you that push to try and do better than the day before. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It’s a great tool to inspire you to move more.


25/4/2013 15:35

Runkeeper is perfect to track my exercise.


Ipswich, United Kingdom,
25/4/2013 13:58

Have we now got to the stage as human beings and have to be told everything and rely on gadgets to do it for us?


Hants, United Kingdom,
25/4/2013 13:39

Maybe I can fit one too my wife when she talks too much……………JOKE honest!!!

Donnie Kearsley UK

Bolton, United Kingdom,
25/4/2013 13:16

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

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