My favorite pedometer: Omron HJ-720ITC

Omron recently introduced a pedometer with a USB connector that can upload your step data to your computer. I’ve wanted something like this for years, so I ordered one from Amazon for 33 bucks and started testing it.

My verdict? It’s the best pedometer I’ve tried. It’s accurate, and because it has two inertial sensors you can wear it in your pocket instead of on your belt. The built-in software works great on Windows XP, and lets you slice your data in several ways:

Omron pedometer software graph

Plus you can export your data as a CSV file. Overall, I love this pedometer and always carry it with me.

So what keeps this product from being perfect? First, the pedometer has a 41-day memory. Memory is pretty cheap these days, so why not a 90 or 120 day memory? Next, the Omron software only runs on Windows. If you have use an Apple or Linux computer, you’re out of luck. In January 2007, Greg Kroah-Hartman offered on behalf of the Linux kernel community to provide free Linux device drivers for any hardware device:

All that is needed is some kind of specification that describes how your device works, or the email address of an engineer that is willing to answer questions every once in a while. A few sample devices might be good to have so that debugging doesn’t have to be done by email, but if necessary, that can be done.

In return, you will receive a complete and working Linux driver that is added to the main Linux kernel source tree. The driver will be written by some of the members of the Linux kernel developer community (over 1500 strong and growing). This driver will then be automatically included in all Linux distributions, including the “enterprise” ones. It will be automatically kept up to date and working through all Linux kernel API changes. This driver will work with all of the different CPU types supported by Linux, the largest number of CPU types supported by any operating system ever before in the history of computing.

That’s a pretty great deal. Whaddaya say, Omron? All we need is your permission and a tiny bit of info about the protocol; heck, I’d pay for 2-3 kernel developers to get the pedometers myself. If you’re not willing/able to document your protocol, here’s a suggestion for your next iteration: make the pedometer look like a little flash drive, and create a special text document on the pseudo-drive with the user’s step data. Then anyone could read their data, regardless of the type of computer they used.

These are small nitpicks though — the kind you offer when a product is so close to perfect that you start to root for it and push for perfection. It’s a great pedometer and quite affordable at $33.

Now I just wish every health device could connect to a computer. Omron offers a blood pressure monitor that also connects to your computer using the same software as the pedometer (it’s all seamless). I’ve tried it, and the blood pressure monitor works well. If Omron ever offered a scale that connected to a computer, I’d immediately get one of those, too. :) In the meantime, I’m not aware of any other pedometers or blood pressure monitors that connect to a computer, so it’s a good thing that they’re both solid products. :)

144 Responses to My favorite pedometer: Omron HJ-720ITC (Leave a comment)

  1. Sounds like a good one, shame Amazon won’t deliver it outside of the US.

    Might need to hunt for one.

  2. Dave (original)

    I was a running and gym junkie for many Years. Could run at 15KPH for 2 hours and then do 1 hr of weights. Aerobic and anaerobic. My eldest daughter is now going very well with her long distance running. Time for me to join her I think.

    One thing I always noticed was this. Those that buy ‘gadgets’ for exercise feedback, were the most likely to make excuses for NOT exercising.

    Is that you Matt? :)

  3. Okay, just bought one. Now we just need more walking meetings. I wonder if Amazon.com also sells rolling whiteboards? Hmm…

  4. In this day and age of 15GB (and rising) USB keys maybe omron could produce a USB Key-like pedometer that IS actually a USB key as well :) While they are at it, why not incorporate a wireless receiver so that it can automatically record and catalogue heart rate data from polar (or similar) heart rate monitor chest straps.

    This would be the ultimate fitness toy for geeks :)

    M

  5. Oooh usefull gadget post Thanks Matt

    Ive been looking for a USB BP monitor – my nephrologist keeps sugesting that I get a BP monitor for home.

  6. Richard Chmura

    A novel device; However I’m afraid of seeing my horrible results in graph form :(

    -It would be even better if the device could wrielessly sync with your PC and automatically upload the data. – Maybe even email an alert if you aren’t walking enough – or if you forgot to attach the device in the morning :P

  7. Richard Chmura

    Hmm, tried to placed an order for one on Amazon, but this product cannot be shipped to Canada. But it *can* be shipped to prison… idea! :P

  8. I love to track my daily movement (or lack of) so this is cool.

    You might also want to try the Nano iPod/Nike+ combo. Much more accurate than a pedometer for measuring your runs and walks.

    Probably not as good for measuring your daily total, however.

  9. That is GREAT… thanks so much for posting the information, I am getting one for sure. It was the software that sold me, if you can’t look at the data in a good form I don’t tend to use it.

    Thanks again, 73, Scott

  10. cmon Matt what kind of affiliate marketer are you use your amazon affil id !

  11. martin

    it’s a funny software. I’ve never heard this before. It’s a creative idea! I like it. Maybe I should think about to have one, hehe. As an IT person, it’s useful to monitor your health anytime. The same reason, your web site need to be taken care of. By the way, there is also a online service which i found last week. it’s really funny. YMU (http://youmonitor.us) it can provide free 24/7 web site monitoring serve. It can be usful for us webmasters and web site owners. Maybe one day it can be grow into another google, hehe

  12. Harith

    Matt,

    How do you do those Aerobic steps at the streets of Mountain View? any photo :)

    Now I know from whom Oz learned all those Aerobic jumps

  13. Shoemoney, does it bother you to see Amazon links without an affiliate id? :)

    Dave (original), this is one gadget that really helps, because it makes me a little more accountable to myself: “I only did 4400 steps yesterday? Did I just sit at my desk all day? I’ve got to move a little more today.” The other gadget that helps me is a scale, because it lets me know if I’m veering into an unusual area of weight or body fat.

    Harith, there’s a park outside the Googleplex. I’ve been taking to doing “walking meetings” when I have a 1:1 with someone.

  14. Harith

    Matt,

    Walking Meeting? never heard about it before. Should be an American thing but sounds very interesting. Thanks for mentioning it.

    I googled it and found this paper, in case other friends wish to read a little about it.

    Walking Meetings – Energize Body and Mind

  15. Chip

    That is cool. I think a wifi enabled scale would be the best. It gets hard trying to remember previous weeks BFI and weight and what not.

    Any chance you can take a photo of this pedometer next to a quarter or something for size comparison?

    Thanks,

    Chip-

  16. I’m going to have to get one of these, myself. Being accountable is so important when you job keeps you at a computer and/or desk for hours on end. Especially people working from a home office – it’s even more difficult to make certain you’re getting some exercise during your day. Great post. Thanks!

  17. JLH

    For walking meeting research, I’d suggest you get “The West Wing” DVD and watch a couple of episodes.

  18. Harith

    JLH

    Thanks. Do you know of any book about walking meeting. Amazon hasn’t been very helpful.
    You see I walk for at least an hour a day. I also wish to introduce it at work.

  19. Dave (original)

    Matt, dump the gadgets, buy a dog and start power walking it for 45 mins each day :)

  20. You are a true Googler Matt!

    Obsessed with stats.

    That has got to be the geekiest (but really cool) gadget I have ever seen, LOL!

    =P

  21. I’ve started using a pedometer over the past few months. I use my cordless phone at home during conference calls and wander about the house, racking up tons of steps. My main concern about this one, though, is that it looks sorta biggish. I like the smaller one I have which I can clip to my belt and the “stick it in your pocket” bit about this one sounds good on the surface, but I have way too much techie detritus in my pockets as it stands. Amazon doesn’t seem to have specs on how big it is. How biggish is it, really?

  22. Aaah.. Keniki – the way you’ve framed that comment is direct defamation against Dr Klein. I’d think it would be prudent to talk to your own doctor about a cranial retraction. I don’t think those sort of comments are at all acceptable in a public forum like this one.

    M

  23. Daisuke Shimamoto

    Hi Matt.

    Actually Omron sells scales which can connect to the PC with the same method as the pedometer (and the same software).
    The problem is they only sell it in Japan at the moment.
    I wonder why they haven’t brought it over to the US having brought
    the pedometer and blood pressure monitor.

    I guess we’ll have to wait.

  24. Matt,

    Aerobic steps = “more than 60 steps a minute….”

    What about uphill steps vs level steps?

    Does in know that when I slowly stagger up a steep hill, breathing hard, that those are aerobic?

    Bob

  25. cool, i have been dying to buy a pedometer, now i know which one to buy. thx.

  26. Dave (original)

    Come on Matt, you have given Keniki MANY warnings and he is STILL spamming your blog and STILL abusing people based on his tin-foil hat being too tight. Or perhaps a “cranial retraction” is on cards :)

    Ban him………………PLEASE!

  27. Harith

    Matt,

    It seems some of us are interesting in the subject “walking”. How about a post about “Walking Meetings” “Power Walking” etc… :)

  28. Chip, it’s three quarters high, two quarters wide, and less than a dime thick. It’s pretty light, too.

    JLH, well-said. Those walking meetings are fast! It’s amazing how much you can get resolved when you’re just walking to (say) leave for the day.

    Harith, just a cycle around the block is great. For a regular meeting, one cycle is enough. For a hard decision, sometimes it takes two loops. :)

    Dave (original), the problem is that a dog insists on being walked. The pedometer doesn’t make me go out in the rain. :)

  29. By the way, I was going to do another gadget or Google Reader post, but spent my time tonight debugging why DMOZ’s root page disappeared. Here’s what I wrote at Sphinn:

    Hey all, I dug into this a little bit with the help of a couple crawl folks. It looks like when Googlebot tried to fetch http://www.dmoz.org/, we got a 301 redirect back to http://www.dmoz.org/ . It looks like that self-loop has been going on for several days. We were last able to fetch the root page successfully on Sept. 10th, but from that point on DMOZ was returning these 301-to-itself pages, and after a few days Googlebot gave up on trying to fetch the url.

    It looks like the rest of the site is fine, so I suspect that if DMOZ gets 301/redirects for their root page sorted out on their webserver, we’ll recrawl and index the page pretty quickly.

    DLPerry, keep the faith. If you read back over the comments, several people (g1smd, jdevalk) suggested reasonable explanations instead of going right to “ZOMG! Google hatez da Moz!?!” :)

    It’s pretty rare for a site owner to hurt themselves like this; probably it’s not even worth putting into the webmaster tools console, but maybe something to add to the wish list. Anyway, the reason is pretty understandable, but I felt like I needed to check that out more than you needed to hear about the latest cat gadget. :)

    Also, enjoy this thread on the Google webmaster help group:
    http://groups.google.com/group/Google_Webmaster_Help-Indexing/browse_thread/thread/72231e3bdd7a31f8/7c5a5f528d48f43b#7c5a5f528d48f43b

  30. Harith – think about what the majority of couples say are their most ‘romantic’ moments.. long walks on the beach etc. Seems to be something about the act of walking and talking at the same time that leads to a unity of purpose and more open and honest dialogue.

    Here’s an interesting study that tends to suggest that walking, consciously or unconsciously, is somehow innately linked to the act of conversation –

    http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/%7Erod/publications/MurRamGar07.pdf

    The researchers found that when two parties are talking on cell phones, and both walking at the same time, oftentimes ~ 30% of the time those two people will be walking lock step without even realizing it.

    Walking and talking at the same time tends to result in a unity of conversation – the very cadence of walking seems to open the mind and result in consensus rather than conflict, it’s less stuffy than talking over the phone or over a desk and it gives a nice excuse to get out of the office.

    My 2 cents.

    doc

  31. Dave (original)

    Dave (original), the problem is that a dog insists on being walked. The pedometer doesn’t make me go out in the rain.

    Arrh, but that’s the whole point ;)

    Personally, I would find the pedometer gadget negatively inspiring. That is; “What! I stepped my arse off for 1 hour and only a quarter of the 2 Mars Bars I ate earlier have been burt off” :)

  32. Harith

    dockarl

    Thanks for references, very interesting indeed. I use walking beside the sea to “examin my life” sometimes, alone :)

    Together with friends or family my prefered spot to walk is beside the sea, just around 15 minutes drive from where I live. Sometimes I get new SEO/SEM thoughts during those long walks too :)

  33. JLH

    Thanks for the DMOZ explanation, and the GWHG link. It should be noted however, that sort of request is only a quite recent aberration and definitely not the norm for Googler interaction with the little people of the group. I will have to monitor the group for the next couple weeks to see if they actually follow up with this. It could be a signal of positive movements in communication, which just may inspire more participation, even some more from ex-regulars. :)

  34. Hi everyone,

    Really impressed by the precision of this tool. Can we also use it for blood alcohol rate ?

  35. A great review on the ITC Omron Pedometer Matt. Without a doubt it is the best pedometer out there. What you may not know is that you can take this pedometer and upgrade to web based tracking with WalkingSpree. We are the only North American distributor partner of Omron to offer a web based program for individuals and corporations with the USB pedometer. Those with the ITC pedometer can upgrade to the web for even more stats to measure with being able to track steps, food and weight online within a social networking group in walking clubs, forums, blogs, personal coaching and more. We all know that a little competition and nudging can push us even further and as a gadget girl, I love it. In light of your comment about offering it to other systems, ie. Mac, linux, we’re hoping to offer that in the future with WalkingSpree.

  36. Nick

    I am something of a bodybuilder. Each day, I try to eat 4000 – 5000 clean calories a day and also like to monitor the amount of calories I am burning each day.

    Does this program assist in calculating caloric intake from foods? Is this more of a product for the health-minded and/or those trying to lose weigh than it is for those trying to bulk up?

  37. Nice stuff. I should get one for my wife.

  38. John A. Davis

    Hmmm, now you can measure your steps that you take to the pizza parlor to eat your vegeatables. . . . .

  39. Todd

    Any recommendations for a good pedometer for Mac users? Sounds like you’ve surveyed the field pretty well.

  40. Todd, I’d bug Omron. They must be pretty clued in because they made a USB pedometer in the first place. So they might be enlightened enough to document the protocol or port their software to Mac. I’m hoping for the 1st, personally.

  41. George

    OT,

    Kind of quiet about the “chinese” spam sites here, but it seems that main stream media finally sees it my way, and that is a bigger problem than Google wants to admit.

    In my area of the web world, the results are infested by spam sites, pushing my site and tons of other good quality sites way down in the listings plus whatever else is going on with the Universal Search the results right now tends to push me more towards Live.com/Msn and Yahoo…. Too bad, GOOG used to be god but not anymore :(

  42. Dave (original)

    George, just for you :)

    Got a webmaster-related question or suggestion that is not directly related to the topic of this entry? Instead of posting it here, your best bet is our official Google forum linked from http://www.google.com/webmasters/

  43. George

    Dave,
    the only difference ins that Matt probably doesn’t read the web master forums :)

  44. Harith

    Matt,

    It seems Oz or Emmy have been tinkering with your blog :)

    While trying to enter the comments, I got this error alert:

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    SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND post_name = ‘my-favorite-pedometer-omron-hj-720itc’ AND (post_type = ‘post’) ORDER BY post_date DESC

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    ===================================

  45. Matt-

    Nice plug, but I have one question. How could you average almost 3 miles a day in 8 minutes of walking? That would be a record-setting pace for runners, let alone a walking SEO guru. Just curious.

  46. Thanks for the info on your post.

    Omron have produced two great products with the pedometer and the blood pressure monitor.

    Unfortunately, Amazon say that they don’t ship these products outside the US. I have contacted Omron, but they said they could not help me.

    I left the states last year to live in Portugal and spend a lot of my time walking in the hills and countryside, like you I have been looking for these type of products for years.

    Oh well, try, try, try again, thanks again for the post info.

  47. Thanks Matt! The wifes birthday is coming up and this may be the ticket for at least one idea.

  48. That’s almost the motivation I need to get running again (want to train for a marathon). Do you know if there is a similar one that has GPS? I want VERY VERY accurate results, because my pace changes, especially when I run over 15km in one go.

  49. Dave (original)

    Dave,
    the only difference ins that Matt probably doesn’t read the web master forums

    As he has requested users use that link, I doubt he reads your questions regardless.

    It’s only common courtesy to do as he asks. Not so hard….is it?

  50. Chip

    [quote]How could you average almost 3 miles a day in 8 minutes of walking?[/quote]
    The 8 minutes is just referring to the aerobatic time (defined as minutes of constant walking at a pace > 60 steps/minute).

    I (obviously) own one now, it’s great and accurate I must say. I have a question maybe some one else can answer. During the initial setup, you have to set the time, but not the date? Does that mean I have to hookup the pedometer to the computer every night or it gets out of sync, or? I was kind of hoping I could just do it weekly or something.

    Thanks,

    Chip-

  51. Bruce,

    BEWARE – purchasing your wife a pedometer for her birthday could put you in the dog-house for weeks on end :-D

    Just a word of advice..

  52. Harith

    Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatt :)

    Where is the Happy Birthday GOOG post ?

  53. Wow, that looks pretty sweet!

  54. JLH

    DMOZ disagrees with you on the cause of their temporary deindexing.

    http://blog.dmoz.org/2007/09/26/the-search-for-dmoz/

    “We made some significant upgrades to our back-end systems to improve the stability of DMOZ. One of those changes required changing the root domain from dmoz.org to http://www.dmoz.org. What we all witnessed yesterday and what was reported by the great sites above was part of an index recognizing, adjusting and updating in real time. This was confirmed in discussions we had with Google and everything should be running smoothly now.”

  55. I’ve skimmed most of the comments and no one wrote anything about a web service.

    It should be a cool idea to create a site where all pedometer’s users can upload their stats and give/get advices or just make some running competition.

    I have free time, if someone is interested on this…
    :)

  56. What I would like to do is to configure and connect the pedometer to my car-engines CPU so that it tells me how many calories I would have burnt off if I had not been such a lazy slob for driving into work instead of walking/cycling. Also maybe an IE7-ometer that tells me how many calories I have lost through the stress of trying to get rid of all those ‘send error report’ pop-ups.

  57. Nice, nice, nice, usefull gadget :)

  58. Yeah , i want to buy this stuff too :)

  59. Tom

    Matt,
    Lots of steps – you may wish to slow down, God only gave you so many heart beats and it appears your wasting them! Get back in front of that computer, relax! :)

  60. Thank god I can still do math. Matt, is that you, buddy? Contact me via email if it is!

  61. Amazon not deliver things outside U.S ……

    I like this gadget very much…. i trying to buy this somewhere else….

  62. Keri Morgret

    Matt, thanks for sharing, and I might pick up one of those myself.

    I only wish my $900 computer for scuba diving had such a nice interface on the PC side of things. The user interface for the dive computer is great and easy to use, but the output to the computer is limited and looks like it was written for Windows 3.1. The cable and software to download costs $100, it’s not even included automatically, and I get something that has much less information than a $30 pedometer.

  63. These are fruits of the innovation !

    Soon, these stats would be found on our iGoogle gadgets or my Toolbar Widgets !

    It’s crazy, but it can be done !

    The Pedometer will use GPRS solutions to send data to web services !
    And Ajax will be teached with Medical Sciences !!!

  64. Dave (original)

    I’m with Tom. The human Heart only has so many beats before it packs up. I say, eat LOTS and do nothing. No use using those beats up :)

  65. Hi Matt

    As the Google doctor, it’s great to see you using this. Now if we can only increase those steps to 10k a day with a little more aerobic :)
    Time to switch from the old Omrons to these snazzy new ones. I agree with you that these are the best ones.

  66. Chip-no, it has an internal 41 day memory with a 7 day LCD display. Even though you’re only entering the time, it keeps track of days that have passed. You’re fine with a once a week hookup.

    Matt’s 8 minutes on the graph is aerobic steps time, not his full walking time. Aerobic steps are calculated at 60 steps per minute over a 10 minute period. Which in that context is suprising that 8 minutes are showing up in the graph as the minimum is supposed to be 10 minutes. He actually don’t have too bad a step count considering he probably spends a fair bit of time at his computer. Most people are horrified when they discover how sendentary they actually are, averaging 3-4,000 steps/day. Great job Matt, maybe set a goal for 7,000 and work up from there:)

  67. Brian

    Matt,

    I’ve heard some businesses are using tall desks that encourage you to stand instead of sit as well as some hooked up on a very slow treadmill so you’re walking while typing. Does Google have anything like that?

  68. Great device. I bet they are selling hundreds of these after this post!
    I’m going to get one. I have an old unit which I don’t think is very accurate.

  69. Dave (original)

    I bet they are selling hundreds of these after this post!

    Matt is banking on it via the affiliate link ;)

    Seriously though, I think Matt SHOULD get some kickback for such a great write-up!

  70. Sounds like a good one, shame Amazon won’t deliver it outside of the US.

    Might need to hunt for one.

  71. Harith

    Since we haven’t heard from Matt for around a week, I’m afraid he is preparing another iPnone post (:-(

  72. Apparently Omron do not want to sell this particular model to anyone outside the US. :/ I really do not appreciate the “Geographical problem” messages on Amazon.

  73. >Seriously though, I think Matt SHOULD get some kickback for such a great
    > write-up!

    Definitely agree – but people would prob raise conflict of interest questions.

    I think it would be cool if more of these ‘opinion leader’ bloggers with non-commercial / non-profit blogs could start adding aff codes and make their blogs ‘not-for-profit’ – funnel any income directly to supporting worthy causes (Darfur is one that the western world seems to be ignoring recently).

    I registered a domain name called affiliates4charity.com a couple years back to try and do this (one day) but time, (lack of) money and expertise has prevented it – Most of all I can’t find any existing open source software that would help me manage it – anyone got any ideas?

    Are you from Amazon, Google, Konterra etc? Are you a programmer with experience in affiliate program implementation? Think that this sounds like a good idea? Please feel free to drop me a line.

    Matt

  74. Harith

    Matt,

    Would you like to join the discussion on this thread?

    Jim Boykin’s & Aaron Wall’s Unethical Approach to Paid Links

  75. But does using this device promote more walking on your part. I am assuming that you wanted it so that you would be encouraged to get more exercise, go on more walks around your neighborhood and such, possibly loose weight, get into better shape?

  76. A quick warning for anyone in the UK searching for this on amazon.co.uk.. if you search for “HJ-720ITC” on there, it will give you one result to ” Omron Walking Style II Pro Pedometer” but that’s not the one that will connect to a PC..

    If anyone knows of a reputable UK source for this and the computer-linked blood pressure monitor, please let everyone know.. Omron is widely available but not the “IT” versions ;)

  77. Thanks Matt for the Hint. I purchased it from Amazon, had it shipped to Qatar, and started walking more. Great gadget. Wouldn’t have known about it without your post. Appreciated!

    Mohamad.

  78. With pedometer i hade some problems because of my conflict Vista – HDD -SATA II.

    Take care also if you have SCSI.

  79. If you like your tech gadgets and have as many dollars to burn as calories you could invest in a bodybugg (http://www.bodybugg.com/).

    They monitor your core temperature and metabolic rate so you get an idea if you aren’t sleeping enough. I’ve seen them used by pro athletes and sports scientists though I haven’t tried one myself. All the analysis you could wish for (suppose you’d want that for $400!)

  80. How accurate is it if you run with it? Do you need to re-calibrate it for runs?

  81. Just ordered two… been looking for something like this for my wife & I for months. Cheapy plastic ones don’t seem to compare to USB enabled, data overloaded ones :)

  82. Rebecca – yes, you would have to change your stride length in it before a run and then after your run, put it back to your walking stride. Because of variation in stride length, the distance is not 100% accurate, so it’s not really ideal for true runners. It is very motivating for walkers though.

  83. Matt,
    I know I jumped on you a few times about too many “gadgets” post but this time I have to say THANKS. My dad is 70yo and borderline diabetic, my sister and I encourage him to walk and exercise (he has an eliptical machine which is great). I just bought the Omron for dad. I’m a Linux devotee since 1992 and my pops runs a few of his websites on my server and has learned some basic Linux as well as html and php. We try to keep him active since mom passed away 9 years ago of diabetes. This device will be totally awesome as an ex-teacher he loves his laptop, loves software and he walks, and he loves tracking statistics (he’s a baseball fanatic). So this will be a perfect gift for him. Thanks Matt.
    Dave (The Other One)

    btw, if you read this… I haveone simple question… Is there a way I can restrict certain Adsense ads from appearing on my site? I keep getting this “Meet Hot Singles” ad on sites that are not appropriate. does Adsense allow you to filter advertisers on your site? A quick email would be much appreciated.

    Again, THANKS MATT… (and you can bust my chops, I got an iPhone)

  84. Hey Matt, you just love stats don’t you!

  85. Dave (The Other One) – it is pretty easy to filter out Adsense ads, you need to write down the domain of the ads you’d like to remove, then just click on “Adsense Setup” and visit the “Competitive Ad Filter” – enter the URLs you’d like to banish.

    Hey presto, they’re gone!

    OK, they may not be competitive ads, but that is how you tell Google what not to show. Correct me if there’s a better way please someone (I’m sure you will!!!).

  86. Ken

    Whoa, that is one cool machine…thanks for the great screen shot and for the review…you are always so informative.

  87. Thanks Rob Scott, the only problem is – I’m not worried about competitor ads, all is fair in business, but I don’t want dating or ponzi scheme ads on my sites. I keep getting these “Calculate the exact name of your perfect lover” ads and ads for “make a zillion dollars” ponzi or pyramid schemes (aka hyips) on my sites. The only way I can get the real URL would be to click on the ad, but I’m not about to *ever* click on an Adsense ad on my site for fear of getting banned.

    My other gripe as an Adsense publisher is that CJ, ADBrite, ie: othre inferior PPC programs all allow click to open in a new window. We’re talking about Google here, like they can’t use ( target=”_blank” )???

    Otherwise. back on topic, the Omron pedomoter arrived and my dad loves it. He likes it so much that he didn’t yeal at me for adding the Buzzcocks (2 cd set), Skyhooks, Stiff Little Fingers and Flaming Lips “At war with the mystics” extended CD/DVD and Futurama season 1 DVD’s ad Family Guy Season 1 DVD’s I added to the order. I just told him the second day shipping was $130. but, even though my pops is 70+ and goes to bed at 10pm, he never gets to see Family Guy or Futurama, so all is good.

    I just told my dad Matt Cutts from Google hacked my laptop and his amazon referral link added all the bonus products (I’m just kidding, I bought the stuff, but yeah, my dad is already sooooo interested in the Health Managment sorftware (now that baseball season his done for him), he can now be statistician of his health (instead of scoring the Atlanta Braves), and keep the diabetes in check.

    Well, watching the Phillies game, hoping they don’t get blanked like the Cubs did today… Matt’s probably a Giants fan… ;-)

    Peace out…

  88. Hate to make a second comment, but Matty, thanks, I owe you one, because of your article you made a very good human being (my dad) excited about tracking his stats walking our dogs… If you want to see what he walks…

    http://www.loldawgz.com/2007/10/05/lapful-of-weinerdogs/

    Matt, good karma +69 points for you !!!! God Bless

  89. 33 bucks are still a little too high for a simple device like this. Yet the software looks kinda cool but I am still a little skeptical about the accuracy of the measurements.

  90. I like the interface a lot, looks cool and only $33 bucks. Sounds like a great deal.

  91. Thank you for the information.

    I will buy one of these… :)

  92. You may want to check out the bodybugg.com or my.apexfitness.com for a product that helps you to measure your food intake verse your calories spent per day.

  93. Bill

    Wow, good analytics! I wish my website traffic looked as good as your daily steps!

  94. wow, thats one cool gizmo, i would want one of those :) thanks

  95. thank you
    I wish my website traffic looked as good as your daily steps!

  96. The Josher

    In response to the 15KPH “Original” Dave who posted above:
    One could make the argument that those who buy the gadgets are possibly the people that need motivation, and a gadget can provide motivation.
    However, I’d wager that there is no correlation, or at least no causal relationship from those who buy gadgets to those who make excuses for not going to the gym.

    By the way, just wanted to say that I own one of these, and I have not been let down by it. I actually accidentally put it through the wash, and it still works! GREAT! (though it’s not waterproof, so it didn’t work for a day or two while it dried out – I took the battery out as soon as I found it in the bottom of the washer)

  97. Kashmoney

    Matt – You are like the new Oprah/bookclub instant success of technology. You suggested pedometer, I was out on Amazon 5minutes later to buy myself one.

  98. Hill Hopper

    Has anyone used Windows Vista to download from this pedometer? I’m having no luck. Software seems to install ok, and connecting the pedometer to a USB port and clicking “download data” brings up a box that has text “transfer the data from pedometer” and has a “cancel” button. There is an initial period of disk activity then, but it ceases and even after several minutes, nothing is finished or otherwise changed. The cancel button does seem to cancel (another box comes up announcing “no data transferred, and there is no sign of any data downloaded from the pedometer. Thanks for any help.

  99. Craig

    I’ve had this pedometer since June.

    It’s size is slightly larger than a tradiional pager although slightly thinner. I haven’t had any concerns with its accuracy. It’s been comparable to many of the myriad other pedometers I’ve used since 2001.

    My main concerns with it are two. First, the ‘holster’ provided could be improved. For me, it rides too high on my belt and got knocked off too easily. I’ve switched to a cheap small cell phone holster that works real well. The other is the software. For a health management software, it seems poorly designed in that it doesn’t allow you to track weight, blood sugar, etc., etc. The workaround is to join a site like SparkPeople that lets you track weight and nutrional info.

    The data from the device appears (to me) to be saved as an Access data file, albeit password protected.

  100. Marc

    Hill Hopper said -
    “Has anyone used Windows Vista to download from this pedometer?”

    Better yet -
    Has anyone tried to run the pedometer’s app in Vista by making use of Windows Compatibility? Taken from howtogeek.com –

    To configure the compatibility mode for an application, just locate the installation directory and right click on the .exe, selecting Properties from the menu.

    Select the Compatibility tab…You can choose to run the program in Windows XP compatibility mode, or even all the way back to Windows 95 compatibility.

    Probably the most useful setting to start off with would be to disable the visual themes and desktop composition, if you can’t get things working. You’ll have to play around with it, but most likely you can get your application working this way.

  101. This looks like a cool device and cool software. Though still I enjoy my GPS enable tracker used when I cycle. Importing the route to Google Earth and then seeing the heart rate, slopes and calories burnt all at the same time was a whole new experience. Gadgets are cool, so is their software.

  102. Barb

    I purchased this model a couple of weeks ago after losing their more basic model, the HJ-112, in a snowy parking lot. I was pretty devastated when that happened, because I’d come to depend on that pedometer! The next day I purchased the HJ-720ITC from Amazon for about the same price I paid for the first one at Walgreen’s–somewhere around 33 bucks. I was thrilled when it arrived in only two days (not that I’m always thrilled with Amazon, but this time I was)–in the interim I’d purchased two cheap models from Target and Wal-mart respectively, and I swear those registered steps if you merely looked at them. Useless garbage.

    I absolutely love this pedometer. I immediately noticed that it was calculating calories differently than the HJ-112–it was registering a lot more than I was accustomed to. But there’s a chart in the instruction booklet that lets you convert what you see on the device to an average of how many calories you burn based on your age group. Still pretty broad, but it’s a nice feature, and they obviously made some improvements. I wonder if the device takes weight into account as well when it calculates calories burned. Even adjusting for my age group (pretty old!), it still seems to be calculating higher than the other model.

    The software is pretty neat too, and easy to use. I’ve been tracking my total steps for many months now at americaonthemove.org, which has been nice, but it’s great to see the whole range of stuff that the pedometer’s actually tracking. My husband thinks the whole thing is silly, but since I’ve started tracking my steps last April I’ve stopped gaining weight, which is really good for me, and I’ve even lost a few pounds. I set the bar pretty high for myself–my daily goal is now 12,000 steps–but this pedometer helps me do it.

    Sorry, long comment, but I’ve recommended this model to a number of people, and I’ve become a bit obsessed with it, I like it that much.

    My one problem with it is the plastic clip that is attached to the strap. After repeated use (about a year and a half) with my first model it broke, and I tried to find something to replace it but couldn’t find anything suitable. I still had the clip attachment and I of course used that, but it’s not perfect because the unit would still fall off occasionally– a few times this summer while doing yard work, and a couple weeks ago for the last time in that snowy parking lot. But that’s truly a minor drawback, and I guess if I hadn’t lost the first one it might have been awhile before I knew about the new model. If this one breaks, and since it’s no different than the old one it probably will, I may contact the company to try to replace it rather than risk losing the whole pedometer again.

  103. This looks like a cool device and cool software.

  104. Matt,

    I just posted about some domain issues I am having. The reason I am posting again is… I was wondering if I could personal train you online for free. Is that possible? I know you are extremely busy, but it would be really fun to create your exercise and nutrition program for you. Would you be interested? I have been personally training online for 7 years and would love to work with you. Please let me know if this would be possible. http://www.changingshape.com/programs/about.php

    Thanks,

    Matt Johnson

  105. Thanks for the review Matt. I to am a Mac User and though the Pedometer looks like a good model, not having a Mac Driver is unfortunate. Most people don’t know that the BMW and the Mac have one thing in common: They both have a 8 Percent Market share; so would you rather drive a Chevy or a BMW? Would you rather use a Windows Vista machine or a Mac? That’s not to hard to figure out!
    C’mon Omron- get with the program!
    Applguy!

  106. I’ve started a project on Google code to read and download the data on OSX… so far it can download raw data, and I’ve contacted Omron to see if they’ll release format info. Feel free to come by the project and contribute/suggest!

  107. Sorry, long comment, but I’ve recommended this model to a number of people, and I’ve become a bit obsessed with it, I like it that much.

    thanks you

  108. For a long time this pedometer didn’t work with Vista. That has changed! There is now a patch to get this working if you’re running Vista. Go here – http://www.quickmedical.com/omron/hj720itc_pedometer-hem790it_blood_pressure_monitor.html and click on the MORE INFO tab. The third link down provides the patch (in a zip file).

  109. I would really like to buy two of them but I can’t find a shop that delivers in in Italy.

    Has anyone been succesful with getting one in europe?

  110. Sorry for the double post but I found some information.
    The European version of the product has the code HJ-720IT-E2 and is named Walking Style Pro.
    I downloaded the manual of the US version and the one of the European version and the features seems to be identical. Also from technical data sheets the two products seems to be exactly the same.

    The only two differences are the units (inches and lbs or centimeters and Kilograms) and the price (30 USD against the 50 euros in Switzerland and 60-70 euros anywhere else)

    It is quite disappointing how they do charge three times the same price for what seems to be the same item.

  111. If I thought for one second that this gizmo would make me walk more, I’d buy a dozen of them! Maybe then I’d like doing dishes and laundry too, lol…

  112. Greyed Out

    I’m assuming you did actually pay full whack for the device? Given Google’s smack down on some instances of free products leading to reviews, I’m guessing this post has received a fair amount of traffic recently?

  113. Linda

    Hi there – I;m in the UK and I have one – had it for abou 2 months now. It replaced a normal one and I love it. Love that it resets itself and the feature of aerobic steps give you another target. I;ve lost over 3 stone (41) pounds since May just by eating sensibly and doing initially a target of 10,000 steps a day – now 15,000.

    However, I have a problem – my ped isnt’ downloading anymore – it gets to 60-69% and then tells me that transfer has failed. Omron have told me to swich off all my privacy / virus scan etc which I did but that didn’t solve it. (all switched back on now) or to unload the software and then reinstall but that didn’t work either and I have got all my data on a CSV file but can’t get it back in. They say I can phone them toll free and the service is good, but I am in the UK.

    Anyway, long story short – has anyone else had this problem and if so do you know of a fix – I’m running XP
    thanks
    Linda

  114. Yuri

    I have an Omron Walking Style Digital Pedometer HJ112 ( i think) and I can’t seem to find the little manual it came with, does anyone know how to program it so its in synch with my steps, I know you need to count a certain amount of steps in a given distance, but don’t know what that distance is or how to input it into the pedometer. I’d appreciate someone’s help with this. Happy Holidays. yurixsa@hotmail.com

  115. Art

    I saw this post a while back, and I bought my wife (a dietician) this pedometer for Christmas.

    She loves it… and I hope you’re getting a commission on this thing, because I wouldn’t have known about it if not for this post! Happy holidays!

  116. maston

    Paul, keep up the good work !! We can’t wait for our two pedometers to work with Mac OS X ! BR

  117. Emilio

    Can anybody send me or show me the Omron Pedometer .csv file format?

    Or send me a .csv file exported from their Omron. My wife bought me the Omron HT-112 model, which does not have a USB interfase, but I would like to feed my daily data to the software via a .csv file created with excel.

  118. Hi Emilio,

    Why do you want to complicate simple things :) All data are stored in omron.mdb file. The password to get access to it: Fk4+0fK[L9j

    It’s the password for my copy and I don’t know if it works for all. If not – get and run the file Czytaj2k.zip from http://www.access.vis.pl/zab001.htm. It will give you right password.

    If you do this you will be able to put all data directly to main database.

    Kind regards,
    Rafal

  119. I’ve had this one for a several months and love it. I only wished it would synchronize the time when I connect it with the computer. Its currently an hour behind. My MDB pw is also Fk4+0fK[L9j

    Does anyone know the available commands to talk with the device – say through VB or other programming language? I’m hoping to find a technical paper that describes it. I guess I could explore the DLLs and see what I can find.

  120. Hi! I’ve created libomron for the Omron 790IT Blood Pressure monitor. The code (I don’t quite have a usable application for it yet, so it’s just a library) is available at

    http://www.github.com/qdot/libomron

    I’d be happy to work on integrating the pedometer in the library, I just need someone to provide me with a dump of a transfer and a CSV file. Please contact me at if you’re interested (my email is available at my website, which should be linked from my name). :)

  121. I love this pedometer and will have my clients use it. The software is very easy for anyone to use and I love the fact it can have multiple users on one PC.

    Does anyone know how many users can download their information on a PC? I will have many clients and would like to have them download their info on the PC in my studio for a “rewards” program. Anyone have any idea? I’m afraid Omron’s customer service will get back to me in a couple of months from now.

    Thanks,
    MelPet

  122. Kath

    I’ve used this pedometer for ages and it is amazing – also have the blood pressure cuff which downloads data as well – your doctor will love you for bringing in these reports at your annual physical!

  123. Karo

    Hi Linda,
    I have a same problem as you had. Did you get your problem solved allready? If yes i’m verry thankful if you are able to share you lernings with me.

    Of course if somebody else can help me also please do it.

  124. Warren Ceglecki

    I love my Omron HJ-720ITC so much and have had so much success with it, I bought two more as back-ups for the future.

  125. Rant

    Damn it, Omron Asia (Singapore) does not have this product on their website, so I can’t buy it in Malaysia! So far only available model is HJ-113 which I previously bought. I don’t wish to buy online as I previously lost things that I paid to ship to me few times which is IMO once too many! Paying extra for more expensive shipping IMO isn’t worth the price.

    I have talked to various pharmacies & medical supply outlets seems its just not available even went as far as getting them to ask local distributors/suppliers.

    I wish to know why Omron thinks SE Asiann people needs only HJ-113 and thats enough for us? It only has 7 day memory! :(

  126. Rant

    I have contacted Omron Asia Pacific (Singapore) regarding either HJ-720ITC or the metric system model. They have no plans to distribute either of them in AP region and request that I purchase online but they will not cover for the warranty either! It will be very troublesome if there is anything wrong with it if I purchase online since I won’t have any warranty for the product.

    I don’t know why such a good product is not available here, maybe they think people in Asia don’t do walking excercise or something.

  127. CW

    I love this pedometer. How can I reset the steps to zero in case I let someone borrow it?

  128. Can the steps be zeroed out? I would like to share my pedometer but can’t figure out how to zero out the steps.

  129. Cheryl

    I bought one of the pedometers from Amazon. However, I do have a Mac. Now, what am I supposed to do?

  130. Johan du Bois

    I’ve received a branded Omron HJ-720ITC with custom software from my medical scheme. It’s part of an wellness incentive programme that allows one to earn a rebate on one’s scheme contribution by being active. Unfortunately, there is still no Mac client. :-(

    I fear Omron might get all tightlipped about the protocol for accessing the pedometer data and attempt security through obscurity as obviously medical scheme partners would not be impressed if it was widely known how to falsify pedometer data to maximise rebates.

  131. Marina

    I have a MAC too.

    Oh well.

  132. Viktar

    Any news regarding Linux interface?

  133. Thomas

    How often do you need to change battery?

  134. Jennifer

    i loved this pedometer when i first got it as a matter of fact i ordered two, one for me and one for my dad. After about 8 months i started having trouble with the unit it keeps reseting itself and does not keep count of my steps anymore, i contacted omron and for $5.00 the shipped me a refurbed one and after aobut 6 months that one started giving me trouble. need to search for a different one. thanks for letting me vent.

  135. Frank B.

    I have an OMRON HJ-720ITC and it’s really great product, but I have a little problem with it. For some reason the little BI at the bottom right is flashing but I really don’t know, the instruction manual says to download the unit cause its full. But when I do it only goes to 92% and then quits.
    The instruction manual doesn’t really do you any help into trying to resolve this little problem.
    I had this unit and it kept on reseting itself every time when I used it. I kept changing the battery every 2 days. I really don’t know what is wrong with this unit.
    I think that the instruction manual never dose explain anything at all.
    Can someone please help me with this unit?

  136. albert french

    this is going to sound pretty stupid, but, I just bought a omron pedometer modle #HJ-112, and have it all figured out except how to reset it. Some pictures online show the modle with a reset button, but this one doesn’t have one. Set,mode and memo. thats it. Can anyone help me?

  137. albert french

    ok on the reset question. it resets automaticly every 24 hrs.

  138. Manuel Soares

    I’m experiencing exactly the same difficulty that Frank B. reports. I used to be able to download the data, but now the computer cannot recognize that there is any data to transfer. I would appreciate that someone explain how to solve this problem.

  139. Hey Matt,

    I’ve been using one of these for a couple of years now, and uploading data to Microsoft HealthVault – http://bit.ly/WalkMe but I see Google are now opening up Google Health to more applications (I use CardioTrainer on my Android phone so it’s great to see that supported)

    Any plans to work with Omron to make GH a supported platform?

    Hopefully Omron are going to update their device to make it more on a par with the FitBit … not being rechargeable and not clearing old data unless you run their app are both a little lame. Maybe the answer is a kinetically recharged device (uses motion of walking to top up the battery) with a bluetooth connection to CardioTrainer so it can collate all day walking to active tracked walking/running/riding and upload it all to Google health…

  140. Rachel

    ‘I’m experiencing exactly the same difficulty that Frank B. reports. I used to be able to download the data, but now the computer cannot recognize that there is any data to transfer. I would appreciate that someone explain how to solve this problem.’

    Try setting the to just before midnight and letting the pedometer go to the next day. Then try downloading again. This may take a few goes but it works in the end.

  141. Thought readers might want to know that Walkingspree has developed a Mac OS version of software to upload to Walkingspree with the Omron HJ720ITC. It even works with the iPad 2.

  142. Congrats, Matt. I guess I should get off the couch more and test this gadget as well ….

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