CES 2014: Sorting Through the Latest Fitness Bands and and Fitness Watches
- By: Adam Balkin
LAS VEGAS – There really will be so, so many FitBit-type fitness bands in 2014, and so, so many of them will pretty much do the same thing.
For the most part, they all count your steps and measure your sleep. Many now have heart rate sensors, too. Plus, they have companion apps to motivate you and tell you how well you’re doing. So for you, choosing which one to get may come down to which one you think looks best, or finding one with a little extra feature that appeals to you.
For example, there’s Sony’s Core and Smartband. Developers say the accompanying app is designed to be an entire life log and not just a fitness log.
“You can see on the entertainment side, these are all the songs I listened to while I went on my run, so maybe because I ran my best time, it was because of the music I was listening to at the time as well,” says Rob Vongsay of Sony Electronics.
LG’s Lifeband Touch may appeal to the always-connected gym rat. A constant link to your phone means it offers not only fitness, but also messaging notifications like incoming calls and texts. Plus, it links with headphones that monitor your heart rate through your ears.
“It syncs wirelessly with your smartphone. So it’ll not only play your music, you can also take phone calls and monitor your heart rate at the same time,” says Tim Alessi of LG.
The Razer Nabu also offers up text alerts. Plus, Nabu bands can find and connect with each other to help with the game-ification and socialization of fitness.
Finally, if you are a numbers junkie, you just want to know as much as possible about your body. The BASIS band may be your best choice for two reasons: one, because of the number and types of sensors that are in it, and two, because the longer you have it, the more it’ll do.
“Most trackers on the market have a motion sensor, whereas we have a heart rate sensor, we have a motion sensor, and we can track perspiration and skin temperature,” says Tejash Unadkat of BASIS Science.
As developers come up with new ways to use the sensors, they push updates with new functionality to the watch and app.