We knew it was coming. Wearable tech and health and fitness tracking has been picking up quickly, and CES was the venue for companies to push their way into the space this year. Among the ultra-HD 4K TVs, tablets, laptops, and quirky electronics, were the smart watches that track daily activity, each with its own unique features. If you’ve become lost in the inundation of device unveilings, and are curious to see the smart watches and wristbands only, Medgadget‘s compiled a list of them to track down easily. Read on!
Basis B1 Band (Carbon Steel Edition)
The new Basis B1 Band is revamped with a smooth metallic design. It packs some of the most features in a smartwatch to date, including heart rate, movement, activity-adjusted calorie burn with proprietary Body IQ technology (walking, jogging or biking), and even sweat output and skin temperature.
The corresponding iOS and Android app is also getting an upgrade to comprehensively track sleep and record time spent in REM, light sleep, deep sleep, as well as tossing/turning and any interruptions. The sleep mode is detected automatically with Body IQ, saving the user from pressing buttons to enter the mode manually, as with many other competing devices. Original B1 band owners will receive the sleep tracking software update. The B1 Band 2014 Carbon Steel Edition is priced at $199, and the original is dropped to $179.
The Wellograph is an e-paper smartwatch with a heart rate monitor, motion sensor and pedometer. It was created with visuals in mind and differentiates itself from other brands by displaying its measured data in graph form for quick interpretation. It’s set to run stand-alone, but has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity for syncing to its app on iOS and Android. It’s also equipped with a sapphire crystal front panel, for increased scratch resistance and strength. Such screens typically appear only on high-end watches, and the Wellograph is priced accordingly at approximately $300.
Garmin’s vívofit is a sporty tracker similar to the FitBit that monitors activity levels and learns to set personalized goals for you. It’s equipped with motion tracking, pedometer, and can be paired with a separate heart rate monitor. It touts a 1+ year battery life on a single charge, water resistance to 50m, and comes in five colors. Garmin’s elected to go its own route on connectivity, and the vívofit will have syncing to Garmin’s own fitness community, Garmin Connect. There are no plans for iOS or Android connectivity at the moment. It’s priced at $130, or $170 with the heart monitoring accessory.
Polar has added another fitness tracker to its long line of products. The Polar V800 is first and foremost an activity monitor and GPS tracker to record speed, route, and location of a run. It comes with various coaching software to provide personalized feedback on things like recovery time, running improvement, training status, and a calorie counter, OwnCal, that Polar advertises as the most accurate calorie counter on the market. It’s waterproof to 30m and lasts between 14 hours of training to 30 days as just a watch on a single charge. Its companion app, Polar Flow, is compatible with iOS and Android. The basic model costs $450, and for $500 the V800 comes with a built-in heart rate monitor.
Link: Polar V800…
Sony SmartBand + Core
The Sony SmartBand + Core is a wearable wrist “life tracker” that counts steps and tracks activity (walking, cycling, driving, sleeping). Its Android companion app, dubbed Lifelog, also tracks the photos taken, songs listened to, and games played on a smartphone, and it quantifies the amount of socializing you do with your friends. The Life Bookmark button on the SmartBand instantly records “everything going on at that moment.”
At the heart of the SmartBand is the waterproof Sony Core, where the sensors and circuitry reside (the SmartBand is really just a case). The small Core is detachable, allowing it to be worn elsewhere on the body, and also allowing for interchangeable SmartBand colors to fit the wearer’s mood and occasion. The Core also has vibrational notifications for calls and texts to the user’s phone. The Core is expected to sell for 99 Euros, according to TheVerge, and a 3-pack of colourful SmartBand cases are priced around 15 Euros.
Razer, a company known for its gaming devices, has unveiled the Nabu, a hybrid device worn for displaying iOS/Android smartphone notifications, activity tracking, and band-band communication. The activity tracking functions include a pedometer, motion tracking, altimeter, and basic sleep tracking.
The Nabu has two screens: at the top of the wrist is a small 32×32 pixel display that shows an icon describing the type of notification – email, call, text, etc. At the palm side of the wrist is a 128×32 pixel display that shows the details of the notification, as a means of giving privacy to the wearer’s incoming messages.
The Nabu also has band-to-band communication, allowing two wearers to connect to each other with the band. For example, a handshake between two people wearing them could exchange contact info, connect on LinkedIn, etc. The final price is expected to be under $100, and developers can pick it up for $50 at the end of the first quarter of 2014, according to Engadget.
Link: Razer Nabu…
Epson, maker of printers and imaging equipment, has also entered the wearable health arena with its Pulsense Watch and Band. These devices are equipped with technology for tracking heart rate, activity level, calorie burn and sleep patterns, as well as a golf swing analyzer (in development). The Watch is priced at $199, while the Band can be had for $129. More details can be found here in our earlier coverage.
The LG Lifeband activity tracker measures physical activity and calories burned. It has an OLED touchscreen for intuitive control, call/text display and has a companion set of heart rate-monitoring earbuds. More comprehensive info about the LG Lifeband can be found in our earlier coverage: Heart Rate Monitoring Earphones and Matching Activity Tracker Coming Soon from LG
The Jaybird Reign band is a waterproof display-less fitness wristband that tracks activity by type (walking, jogging, ball sports, biking, and swimming). It differentiates itself through its recommendation software.
It promises to learn and understand the wearer’s body and habits and to issue notifications when it detects that it’s time to work out. It also recommends the personalized daily amount of sleep the wearer should get for optimal performance the next day. It will have iOS and Android connectivity, and cost $199 at release.