Fitbit data may have helped catch one of its customer’s killers, and not for the first time.
According to numerous media reports, a 90-year-old visited his stepdaughter at her home in San Jose, Ca. earlier this month, where he says he brought her pizza and visited briefly. But according to data provided to authorities by Fitbit, data from the stepdaughter’s Fitbit Alta wristband device — which tracks one’s heart rate and the number of steps taken during the day — showed a “significant spike” in her heart rate during the man’s visit, followed by a “rapid slowing.” Eight minutes after her heart had risen so rapidly, and five minutes after her stepfather left her home, it stopped.
As the New York Times notes, if convicted, the man won’t be the first assailant whose crime may have been revealed in part by a Fitbit. Last year, a Connecticut woman’s dying moments were recorded by her Fitbit in a case that strongly suggests her husband murdered her. According to local media, her wristband showed that her last movements were at 10:05 a.m. the day she died, nearly an hour after her husband told police she had been killed. The husband, who was discovered by first responders on the kitchen floor, still half-tied to a metal chair, later told investigators he had a pregnant girlfriend and that the pregnancy was not planned. He’s still awaiting trial.