The Fitlocket Project

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I got a Fitbit Flex right shortly after they came out– largely because it was the first sleep monitor device I’d seen that would work with my Android phone. I’d wanted some kind of sleep monitor for ages because I’ve had some wacky sleep issues over the years but up until then, all the ones I’d found were specifically for iPhones. Being able to track my exercise was a bonus as far as I was concerned.

When I started wearing it around, I realized something rather quickly. It looked *terrible* with my jewelry. When you’re wearing a bunch of handmade fine silver chains or cuff bracelets, a rubber band just looks kinda tacky. I thought about making a cool bracelet for it but I was more focused on trying to get into craft fairs to sell stuff. (Somehow, it didn’t occur to me that other people might want fancy FitBit bracelets, too. Now, it seems really obvious) I wasn’t really exercising or anything anyway at the time & it wasn’t helping a whole lot with trying to figure out my sleep issues so I stuck it in a drawer. Recently, I’ve been trying to get more active, so I got it out again. And gave some serious thought as to how I could make some bracelets for it.

I’ve decided to document the project so people can see how I approach a project. I’m also critiquing my process because I want to streamline the process after I get my own done, so I can make some more marketable versions. Since the prototype version of my more complex creations take much longer than average & are more likely to contain potential flaws, I always make them specifically for me to wear around. That way, if they have a problem, I know how it happened & can fix it, as well as redesign future pieces so they don’t have the same issue. And it means I don’t have a bunch of unhappy customers wondering why their hinges broke or container won’t stay latched.

One of the first decisions concerned the waterproofing of the FitBit module. If I wanted it to still be waterproof, I needed to cut apart the wristband and figure out a way to attach the module compartment to the bracelet in such a way that it would still be accessible without it coming apart. Or I could just make it all metal and not worry about the waterproof aspects of the rubber bracelet. The truth is that fine jewelry shouldn’t been worn while swimming in the first place. Pool chemicals, salt water, and whatever might be living in the creek are all very bad for the jewelry. Plus, jewelry is far too easy to lose and never find again. So, I decided to leave the swimming to the rubber band, and stick with metal. (I haven’t given up on the idea of a waterproof version — I’m just putting it on the back burner until I can do more research on working with things like silicon).

First step, measurements. The compartment for the module (aka the FitLocket) has to fit exactly so the thing isn’t bouncing around inside. Presumably, all that extra movement would throw off the accuracy and it’s just better for the electronics overall. So, I needed to make sure I have the correct dimensions to begin with. Then I brainstormed some ideas, including one that could be worn as either a bracelet or a pendant. (It’s the oval one in the upper left in the first photo, with the big S & the red spot, which will be a garnet. Garnets are my favorite stone so I use them a lot when I make jewelry for myself)

 I fleshed out a few of my initial ideas & decided which one to start with. I also made a paper model of the basic locket compartment. I decided that I’d start relatively simple (for once) and opted for a fancier, personalized version of the basic model with a forged band. It’s the one drawn in the second image below. The first image is a few variations on the basic model & the third is the “fancy” one I’m going to make next, featuring some seriously cool semi-precious stones I’ve got.

Here’s the basic pieces of the bracelet and how the module fits inside the locket.