I actually find the accelerometer in my iPod to be very accurate as far as measuring distance. I have an older iPod Nano; I don't know if the new ones are as good, or whether various smart phones have accelerometers, but if you already own a phone, look into it. There are also inexpensive distance-measuring thingies you can put in your shoe that then communicate with your phone/MP3, like Nike+ (which I think costs around $35 or less.)
If you have a smart phone, there are tons of games and apps and podcasts that are helpful. I have several 5K and 10K training podcasts, for example; my favorite free one was done by the National Health in the UK. There's a game app called "Zombies! Run!" that motivates you by sending you on increasingly difficult walks and runs where you pretend you're avoiding zombies while delivering important communications to the anti-zombie resistance or scientists or something. That's on my wish list; it costs around $10 and I have yet to get into paying for apps-- but my brother keeps giving me app store gift cards, so I might as well get it!
In the end, it just depends on your personality and whether gadgets help you. Definitely you can lose weight and do well without any electronics, but if you like them and money isn't an issue or you're satisfied with less sophisticated free stuff, it's certainly worth trying.
By the way, I never had any sort of tracker or anything until after I had lost almost all of my weight. When I decided to start running, I wanted music so I carried a Walkman-type cassette tape player with a mix tape from college! It was only later, when I was working on the last few pounds, that I decided I needed the extra incentive (and I had a high-paying job at the time, so I could afford the "toys.")
| current weight: 132.0