The irritation caused by the Fitbit Surge fitness trackers has become a hot topic on Twitter, just four months after its release.
The news is very unfortunate for Fitbit, which had to stop selling its Fitbit Force tracker last year after a raft of similar complaints. Twitter user Shaun Ewing posted a photo showing the irritation his tracker had caused him, one of many fans to take to social media to air their discomfort.
Fitbit advice to users
The complaints prompted a statement from Fitbit, in which the company claimed that “a very limited percentage of users” have experienced problems and skin reactions are “not uncommon with jewelery or wearable devices that stay in contact with the skin for extended periods.”
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The statement cites dermatologists who state that skin rashes only occur under certain conditions, for example if the band is too tight or there is a constant presence of sweat, water or soap between the wristband and the skin. According to the statement, reactions can also be caused by pressure or friction against the skin.
Fitbit maintains that users should not experience problems if they stick to advice given by its team of dermatologists: “Keep it clean, keep it dry and give your wrist a rest.” This official line sounds a little strange coming from a wearables manufacturer, given that wearable technology is most commonly worn daily and continuously.
In its defense the Fitbit Surge does come with the following warning: “Prolonged contact may contribute to skin irritation or allergies in some users. If you notice any signs of skin redness, swelling, itchiness, or other skin irritation, please discontinue use or wear the product clipped over a piece of clothing.”
However unless Fitbit can find a way to reduce the number of cases of discomfort among others, it may find its future prospects for growth affected. The Surge sells for $250 which makes it pricier than a lot of market rivals, and consumers could be forgiven for believing that a more expensive product should not be causing them physical discomfort.