It's been a busy week for wearables and other digital health and fitness devices, with a plethora of announcements from major consumer electronics players. Sony, Samsung, and Huawei have all unveiled their next generation smartwatches or fitness trackers, as has GPS device maker TomTom. Smart thermometer company Kinsa began crowdfunding its second product, and Withings announced a new connected alarm clock as part of its Aura sleep system. Read on for seven health tracking device news bites.
According to Mashable, Sony's new wearable, slated at least initially for a Japan release only, is something of a "backwards" smartwatch. The watchface itself is just a normal, clockwork timepiece, but the smart guts are embedded in the back part of the watchband. That's where the smart wallet; app, call, and text vibrating notifications and, yes, activity tracker can be found. The device tracks steps and calculate calories burned. Those numbers can be accessed through a companion app.
Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch beat the Apple Watch to market, but in a post-Apple Watch world the company is looking to capture, and improve upon, Apple's smartwatch. The Gear S2 boasts a new circular screen and a turnable bezel that's somewhat reminiscent of the Apple Watch's control scheme. Not much word on the fitness capabilities of the Gear S2, but a short demo posted by TechCrunch showed a built-in widget for heart rate at-a-glance and another for tracking activity.
TomTom's fitness watch will include tracking for steps, active minutes, distance, calories burned and sleep duration. It will lean on GPS to track time, distance, speed and pace and an additional sensor to track heart rate. It will also be able to store three gigabytes of music inside the app and connect to Bluetooth wireless headphones to play that music. Due out October 15, the device connects to TomTom's MySports app, which in turn can send users' data to platforms like Runkeeper and Nike+. It will sell for $249.
Consumer electronics company Huawei unveiled two new wearables recently. Its high-end smartwatch, retailing for $349 and up, includes fitness tracking features: it tracks heart rate, tracks steps and calories, and can automatically discern between running, walking, and cycling. On the low end, Huawei subsidiary Honor is releasing its first wearable, provisionally called the Honor Band. The device, an updated version of Huawei's Talkband, includes activity and sleep tracking, call and text notifications, and a lightweight, waterproof touchscreen. It will sell for around $90.
New York City-based Kinsa, which sells an FDA-cleared smartphone-conn
Withings' Connected Alarm Clock isn't a new device per se, but in the past Withings has only sold it as part of the complete Aura sleep system, whcih also included a mattress sensor. Now consumers will have the option of purchasing just the smart alarm clock, which uses a combination of lights and sounds to both help users get to sleep at night and help them wake up in the morning. The company also announced a partnership with music streaming company Spotify that will let users of the alarm clock to wake up to Spotify tracks at no extra cost.