Fitbit unveils new products, including Ionic, its first-ever smartwatch

By Jeff Lagasse
Share

Wearables brand Fitbit is introducing a new slate of tools and technologies focused on health and wellness, including a new smartwatch, a smart scale, fitness-centric headphones and a premium guidance and coaching offering.
 
The Fitbit Ionic represents the company’s first foray into smartwatches, and features a new relative SpO2 sensor, making it possible to track certain health insights like sleep apnea in the future, GPS tracking, on-device dynamic workouts, improved heart tracking and water resistance up to 50 meters. Smart features will also be available, such as contactless payments, on-board music, smart notifications and a cornucopia of apps and clock faces available in the Fitbit App Gallery.
 
Ionic also has all of the core features which have become staples of the Fitbit, including a battery life of four-plus days, automatic activity and sleep tracking and cross-platform compatibility. It’s available for pre-sale today on Fitbit.com and in retailers globally starting in October. The Fitbit app software development kit will be open to developers in September.
 
Ionic features include a personal trainer with Fitbit Coach, with Audio Coaching sessions available starting in 2018; a running companion utilizing the GPS feature; a new swim exercise mode with displays for lap count, exercise duration and calorie burn; and an enhanced PurePulse heart rate tracker, with greater accuracy during exercises like cycling, intervals and running.
 
The smartwatch runs on Fitbit OS, the company’s new operating system, which includes the launch of the Fitbit App Gallery, in which users can select the apps and clock faces they prefer.
 
With the launch of the Ionic comes the new Fitbit Flyer, a set of wireless headphones geared toward fitness and boasting a sweatproof design. Incorporating technology from Waves MaxxAudio, Flyer delivers two sound profiles so the user can personalize their listening experience. The headphones synch with the Ionic and can tap into the latter’s Audio Coaching sessions.
 
James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit, said in a statement that research shows 64 percent of fitness tracker owners are interested in purchasing wireless headphones, and that “it make sense for us to bring out unparalleled health and fitness expertise to this space to deliver what our customers are looking for most: great fit they can count on all day and for any workout, along with high quality sound to keep them motivated.”
 
The newly-launched Fitbit Coach app, meanwhile, essentially rebrands the current Fitstar Personal Trainer app and combines its video workouts with Audio coaching sessions, designed to increase endurance, speed and form. Fitbit is also introducing Guided Health Programs, which provide step-by-step guidance, personalized insights, educational tools and rewards to influence positive behavior change and health outcomes. A library of tools and programs in the new premium offering will continue to be rolled out in 2018 and beyond.
 
Finally, Fitbit has unveiled its new Fitbit Aria 2 Wi-Fi Smart Scale, which can be set up through a smartphone’s Bluetooth connection, helping users understand and track their body composition -- including weight, fat, body fat percentage, lean mass and BMI. By syncing the data from the Aria 2 with the Fitbit app, users can see their stats in one place.
 
Aria 2’s features include improved accuracy, a modern design, and support for up to eight users, with all of their fitness information kept private.
 
“Our users have great success when using our app, trackers and scale together to help achieve their health and fitness objectives, with 70 percent of daily Aria users losing weight in the first six months,” said Jon Oakes, vice president of product at Fitbit, in a statement. “With a simplified setup and best-in-class accuracy, Aria 2 is a compliment to the Fitbit portfolio of leading health and fitness products, giving you another tool to stay accountable and be empowered to achieve your goals.”