Cheap and cheerful fitness tracker offers features for new and seasoned gym-goers alike
Fitness tracking is hip right now, which is probably one of the more beneficial things we've done as a species, as far as trends go. If you've not jumped on the bandwagon yet, you might be a little wary about dropping a significant amount of cash on something you're not sure you're going to utilize. But if you're interested in getting started, we'd like to introduce you to Misfit Flash, a budget-friendly, feature-packed fitness tracker.
The loneliness of the short-distance walker with an Apple Watch
What do we have to do? As we write this to you, we're collapsed on a couch having spent two days clearing a big living room of its installed book cases and heaving giant planks of wood around. We're panting after moving a thousand books that are all heavier than they look. Without looking at our Apple Watch heartrate monitor, we can tell you there's some serious pounding going on in our chest and we'd kill for a mug of tea. Yet open up the Watch's Activity app and it says zero minutes exercise. Zero.
Themes of music, fitness, travel highlight devices ease of use
Apple has now added three new TV spots to its collection of ads for the Apple Watch, each with an emphasis on showing what apps look like on the device, and each with a theme: music apps, travel apps, and fitness apps. The commercials showcase mostly third-party programs, and showcase the amount of clear, useful information that can be gleaned on the small screen. Shazam, Yelp, and Nike+ Running are among the apps featured.
New version of activity tracker adds more tracking data, better accuracy
Wearable company Polar has introduced the latest version of the Polar Loop activity tracker, the Polar Loop 2. Designed to be worn constantly, the Loop 2 tracks users' daily activity, workouts and sleep, and gently vibrates reminding the user to move if they have been sitting for too long. The latest activity tracker from Polar also displays and vibrates for incoming calls, messages, and calendar alerts.
Apple Stores to carry UP2 and UP3, other models in near future
Although Apple retail stores cleared out most fitness bands and similar health-related accessories in April in anticipation of the release of the Apple Watch, the company did continue to stock some basic bands such Jawbone's Up Move clip-on unit. On Thursday, a Jawbone senior executive revealed in Japan that the company's other models would be returning to the Apple Store in Japan and other regions, including the US, this summer.
Optical heart rate monitoring system from Mio built into latest Garmin running watch
Garmin has unveiled another GPS-equipped sports watch in its Forerunner range, but this time it includes a heart rate monitor. While other fitness-monitoring devices the company produces can connect to a separate heart rate-measuring unit, the Forerunner 225 is the first from Garmin to have an optical heart rate sensor developed by Mio built in, lowering the amount of electronics the user needs to wear.
Cook tweets photo of Burns running, Apple publishes last blog entry
Following a post on Monday by Apple CEO Tim Cook showing model, activist, and Apple Watch spokesperson Christy Turlington Burns running in the London Marathon -- training for which she has been blogging about on Apple's site, tying in her use the Apple Watch -- the company has released a video and audio podcast of Burns being interviewed by Apple Fitness and Health Director Jay Blahnik at the London Regent Street Apple Store. It also published her final blog entry for the series on Tuesday.
Women's fashion targeted in Australian magazine spread on Apple Watch
Following recent magazine features that focused on the fitness and athletic aspects of the Apple Watch, and a recent spread showcasing the Watch going with men's fashion, another recent foreign-magazine spread has returned the device back onto the wrists of female models, with suggestions on how to dress to best highlight the image the Apple Watch conveys. Elle Australia's fashion editor and editor-in-chief weigh in on the device.
Apple employees used as health, fitness test subjects for Watch, HealthKit
In an unusual move for the normally-secretive company, Apple has allowed ABC News crews access to a previously top-secret heath and fitness lab that was designed to test and improve the Apple Watch. A report on the facility, which aired on Nightline on Friday, showed the nondescript building where the company created its full gym and testing facility, centered around activity.
This paired down attractive fitness app is perfect for minimalists
Fitness apps are a great invention for anyone interested in keeping an exercise routine. They help us keep track of our endeavors as we strive to accomplish our goals. Some apps are so full of features that they're practically bursting; for a lot of users, that can be intimidating. If you're looking for a streamlined app that isn't going to bog you down, we might have just the app for you: Fitastic.
HTC fitness tracker has built-in GPS tracking, connects to heart rate monitors
HTC revealed a third device at its Utopia in Progress event, alongside the One M9 and the Vive VR headset, a rumored fitness tracker which marks the company's first foray into wearable devices. The HTC Grip has been designed in partnership with sports clothing manufacturer Under Armour, with the tracker sending data to Under Armour Record for monitoring the wearer's progress.
Cycling tile added to Microsoft band, more exercise tiles incoming
The first update for the Microsoft Band will introduce new tools for users and developers, as the company tries to improve its standing in the fitness-tracking market. A tile for monitoring cycling, improved communications between the band and mobile apps, and an on-screen keyboard are joined by Microsoft's preview release of an SDK, giving developers a hint at what they could do with the wearable device.
Seven minute workouts to save the world by the makers of Zombies Run
Six to Start was the creator behind one of this reviewer's favorite fitness apps, Zombies, Run! game. The 7-Minute Superhero Workout, by the same group, hopes to do for squats and planks what Zombies, Run! did for bursts of speed. First released last August, the user plays the pilot of the AGEIS One, a full suit of power armor that allows the user to fly around Earth's atmosphere, as well as the vacuum of space.
March issue of Self features supermodel Candice Swanepoel wearing device
Four months after the Apple Watch first appeared on a Vogue China magazine cover, the March issue of health and lifestyle magazine Self will feature the device on the arm of supermodel Candice Swanepoel just a few weeks before the expected debut of the device, which will start in the $349 range (presumably for the fitness-oriented version featured on the cover), moving into the multiple thousands of dollars for the 18kt solid gold version.
Renamed Nike+ FuelBand app uses M8 motion co-processor
Nike has made a major update to its free Nike+ FuelBand app on iOS, putting less of an emphasis on the fitness tracker of the same name. Echoing a similar update made to the Nike+ Running app in October last year, the renamed Nike+ Fuel app now uses the iPhone's M8 motion co-processor to track activities as part of its HealthKit integration, allowing users to collect the Fuel points by carrying the phone rather than wearing the FuelBand itself.
Fitness app acquisitions help bolster Under Armour platorm
Sports apparel brand Under Armour has made another set of acquisitions, buying two well-known fitness apps for over half a billion dollars. The company picked up MyFitnessPal and Endomondo, two cross-platform apps, which Under Armour will combine with its previous purchase of MapMyFitness to increase its holdings in the quantified self and fitness platform market.
Takes different approach to others by keeping watch part analog
The new Activite Pop watch and activity tracker from medical device equipment maker Withings is being demonstrated at CES this week, but it's also available starting today in the US through an online exclusive with Best Buy. The device doesn't quite fit the usual definition of "smartwatch" due to the fact that the watch portion of the device is a conventional analog watch, paired with a digital fitness and activity tracker. The unit is designed to rarely need to be taken off, and is water-resistant up to a depth of 30 meters (99 feet).
Keep belongings close at hand during workouts, jogs with FlipBelt
Often when a person is working out, they need to keep some of their personal items on hand. The armband solution works for phones and MP3 players, but other objects that don't have a market for special active-style containers like inhalers, protein bars, keys and medication are overlooked. Pockets aren't practical most of the time while working out, as items can bounce out, weigh too much, flop about or potentially cause wardrobe malfunctions. The FlipBelt, however, is a wearable pocket that sits around a wearer's midsection, tackling the need for a flexible carry-all while granting users easy access to anything one could need during a workout.
Calls, texts, appointments will appear on Basis Peak display
The Basis Peak, a fitness tracker launched in September, will soon gain some extra smartwatch-style functionality. The tracker from the Intel-owned company will be able to show notifications from a connected smartphone on its monochrome display, while another change will let the wearable device pass heart rate data to other fitness-related mobile apps.
Google Fit collects data from smartphone sensors, fitness apps
Google has released its fitness app, Google Fit. The Android competitor to Apple's HealthKit which was launched at Google I/O in June, Google Fit acts as a central health platform for fitness apps and wearable devices, gathering all related together to give the user a supposed clearer picture about their health and activities.
New Fitbit fitness trackers look similar to Force, adds heart rate monitoring
Fitbit is close to releasing two new models of fitness trackers, with one including a new function, a report suggests. Marketing materials for two wrist-based devices called the Fitbit Charge and the Charge HR has surfaced, and while one seems to be a remodeling of a previous device, the other appears to add the ability for the wearer to monitor their heart rate.
AT&T announces cost of second year of data plan for Timex Ironman One GPS+
AT&T has announced second-year data pricing for the Timex Ironman One GPS+ smartwatch. Originally announced in August, the Timex smartwatch offers stand-alone wireless connectivity without a phone, including fitness tracking, a "Find Me Mode" safety function, and more. After the initial year of included data service, AT&T smartwatch users will need to pay $40 for the second year of data and messaging. Pre-ordering for the Timex Ironman One GPS+ is available online for $400, with the product officially available this fall.
SMS Audio BioSport headphones feeds back heart rate to mobile app
Intel has partnered with SMS Audio, the headphone company by rapper 50 Cent, to develop headphones designed for fitness tracking. The BioSport In-Ear Headphones includes a built-in optical heart rate monitor, one which continuously collects data about the wearer's pulse as they go through intense exercise or a relaxation routine.
Fitness tracker from Toshiba uses small module with interchangeable wristband
Toshiba is joining the ranks of companies producing wearable devices, by creating its own fitness band. The WERAM1100 uses a simplistic design of a small sensor block embedded inside an interchangeable rubber wristband, similar to the Sony SmartBand's construction, with the device able to perform typical fitness tracker monitoring functions.
Nike's exit from wearables market turns into gain for 'iWatch' project
Two former Nike Fuelband engineers have jumped ship to join Apple, presumably to lend further support to the company's expected "iWatch" health and fitness device, according to discoveries made on the pair's LinkedIn profiles. Both hardware engineer Ryan Bailey and sensor software expert Jon Gale started with Apple last month, just two months after Nike gutted its own Fuelband team and essentially exited the wearables market.
Fitness apps to use Google Fit APIs to access health data from other apps, fitness trackers
Just as rumored, Google has launched its own health-related platform at Google I/O. Billed as an open platform and similar to efforts by Apple and Samsung, Google Fit will act as a central platform for an assortment of fitness and health apps, as well as wearable devices. Google Fit will collect data from all apps in one location, making it easier for app developers to not only store health data suitably, but also take advantage of other data stored on the service.
Free subscription to MapMyFitness MVP included with Galaxy S5 Sport
Sprint has unveiled its own version of Samsung's hard-wearing Galaxy S5 Active it launched last month. The Galaxy S5 Sport is an outdoor-friendly variant of the Galaxy S5, with a textured body to aid grip, hardware keys on the front, and IP67 water and dust resistance, with Sprint loading the Spark LTE-enabled smartphone with a number of apps aimed at helping the user keep fit.
Companion app for Nike FuelBand SE compatible with all Android 4.3 devices
Nike has finally released an Android version of the Nike+ FuelBand app, two years after it launched the iOS version, and far later than initially anticipated. The app works with the company's FuelBand SE wrist-based fitness tracker, allowing users to monitor their NikeFuel score and other functions the sports brand introduced in the original companion app.
OMsignal smart shirts now available for pre-order
Montreal-based company OMsignal has begun accepting orders from customers for its four models of smart shirts. Able to track the wearer's heart rate, breathing rate, breathing volume, movement, calories burned, overall movement intensity and heart rate information. A small module clips into the shirt to provide power for up to three days of normal use, which communicates wirelessly with the OMsignal app on one's smartphone. The shirts are intended to be worn under clothing for everyday activities, as well as using it explicitly for sport. Shipping this summer, OMSignal pre-order pricing starts at $200 for undershirt, sleeveless, t-shirt and long-sleeved shirt styles.
Event could relate to Samsung Gear Fit, S Health app
Samsung is planning to hold an event relating to healthcare, according to requests to the media to "save the date" on May 28th. The meeting, scheduled to take place in the morning somewhere in San Francisco, will apparently see "a new conversation around health" begin, though it is not entirely clear what Samsung could be launching or updating at the event.
Company to focus on software; surprise move may hint at Apple partnership?
In an unexpected move, Nike has opted to fire as many as 70 members of its Digital Sport division who were focused on hardware development and will not release a now-cancelled new version of the FuelBand fitness tracker that was expected this fall. The company will continue to support the existing FuelBand SE, but is otherwise planning to exit the wearables market just as it is gaining mainstream traction. The company plans to focus on software going forward -- possibly signalling a partnership with a hardware maker.
Razer Nabu hopes to avoid Fitbit Force skin irritation problems
Razer is delaying the release of its Nabu connected wristband, in order to make sure the device is safe to wear. In the wake of the Fitbit Force skin irritation fiasco, which saw users complain of rashes on their skin where the band was worn, the gaming peripheral manufacturer will be performing more medical testing on the fitness tracker, pushing the release back from the original first-quarter launch date until late May.
Wello smartphone case tracks blood pressure, ECG, heart rate
Azoi has entered the health tracker market, by announcing a fitness-tracking smartphone cover that works with both iOS and Android devices. Wello contains a number of sensors on the side and back that take a snapshot of the user's vital signs after a few seconds of being held, with the results transferred wirelessly over Bluetooth 4.0 LE and recorded in a companion app.
Fitness tracker filing suggests another Samsung wearable device on the way
Samsung could be preparing to launch a pared-down fitness tracker, following its launch of the Gear Fit last month. A filing on the FCC website for a device called the "S-Circle" comes months after the discovery of a similar filing at the Bluetooth SIG, and suggests the activity tracker could be similar to the S Band heart rate monitor that launched alongside the Galaxy S4.
Device aims to instruct on form, efficiency and help avoid injury
A new fitness device that acts more like a fitness coach and less like a tracker is looking to change how a workout is approached by offering more than just numbers. The Moov, created by a team that boasts a former Apple engineer and a pair of Microsoft researchers, uses a smartphone connection to instruct users on how to improve their workout rather than merely quantifying it.
Sony enters fitness tracker market with discrete wearable device
Sony initially unveiled its SmartBand wearable tracker at CES in January as the company's first foray into the fitness tracker market. Consisting of a rubberized band and a central and small Core sensor acting as the brain of the device, the tracker in theory performs all of the usual tracking functions of a fitness band, as well as handling other aspects of the wearer's life, such as music, when used with the accompanying Lifelog app. Electronista spent time at Sony's Mobile World Congress booth to try out the SmartBand.
Fitness tracker combines wrist-worn device with Bluetooth earpiece
Huawei has entered the wearable devices market with an accessory that provides users more options beyond just fitness tracking. The TalkBand B1 is a wearable fitness tracker that incorporates a detachable Bluetooth earpiece as part of the design, allowing the wearer to make and receive phone calls when not monitoring fitness. Electronista took a closer look at the device at the company's Mobile World Congress display.
Wearable fitness tracker could be purchased for under $100M
Fitness tracker producer Basis Science could be acquired by a major technology company in the near future, according to rumors. A report claims the wearable device manufacturer behind the Basis B1 fitness tracker is in talks with Apple and Google, with a further claim of discussions with Microsoft and Samsung over a possible sale, though not necessarily for a high price.
Earphones can sense pulse of wearer, pass data to smartphone app
Earbuds capable of sensing the wearer's heart rate from LG have passed through the FCC, ahead of a possible release in the United States later this year. The Heart Rate Earphones, audio devices that appeared at CES in January alongside the Lifeband Touch, are able to monitor the wearer's pulse and feed the data back to the wearer through an accompanying app.
API code hints at Google becoming central store for fitness data
Google is working to add some sort of fitness capability to Android in the future, according to leaked data. A new Fitness API will apparently collect data generated from various fitness tracker-related sensors and offer the results to fitness apps, potentially turning Google into a central store for all of the different health hardware and software on the market.
Fitness tracker causes rash of complaints over skin reaction
Fitbit is offering refunds to a number of customers suffering from an allergic reaction to one of its devices. A number of users claim to have suffered skin irritation when wearing the Fitbit Force, with separate reports and a large quantity of complaints on the Fitbit forums prompting the company to provide some users with an exchange or their money back.
Razer Nabu offers fitness band tracking with smartphone notifications
Razer has seemingly stepped outside its comfort zone and developed a life-tracking wristband, something a large number of other companies have also done at CES. The Nabu is a mix between a smartwatch and fitness tracker, combining the movement tracking elements of items such as the Fitbit Force with smartphone notifications and added social and gaming features.
Reign fitness band secured by magnets, coming this summer
Accessory producer JayBird is joining the fitness tracking market with its own wristband. The Reign is able to keep tabs on steps and general activity and synchronize over Bluetooth with an app on an iOS or Android device, much like other fitness trackers available today, except that it is also capable of suggesting to users whether they have a healthy lifestyle.
Core sensor to track movement, social activities
After releasing its own SmartWatch, Sony has decided to move into the wearable tracker market. The SmartWear initiative will be made up of a range of devices for tracking a variety of items, with the diminutive Core acting as the central point for all collection activity, as well as a more conventional SmartBand fitness tracker housing to hold the sensor itself.
LG fitness band could be accompanied by smart watch
One of two wearable devices from LG has surfaced, ahead of its expected reveal at CES. The LG Lifeband Touch, previously thought to be called the "G-Health" in an earlier rumor, appears to take much of its design from the Nike Fuelband SE, namely the unassuming black bracelet appearance, though it is thought to have a few notable differences.
Smart Home Tablet to act as central location for connected device interaction
Archos has outlined the range of devices it is preparing for CES next week, including a number of wearable items and some destined for use in the home. A smartwatch and a fitness tracker will be accompanied by a set of "connected objects" centered around home automation, and a separate 7-inch "Home Gateway" Android tablet that will act as a central hub for the collection.
Sports clothing company acquires fitness app, 20M user community
Sportswear brand Under Armour has acquired fitness technology company MapMyFitness. The purchase, worth $150 million, sees Under Armour take control of the MapMyFitness iOS and Android apps and platform, which is currently collecting fitness-related data on over 20 million users and from more than 400 different fitness trackers, sensors, and wearables.
Jawbone Up24 adds Bluetooth LE synchronization
Jawbone has updated its existing Up fitness tracker with a new wireless version. The Up24 is a wrist-based tracker that does the same job as the original Up, except that data is transferred over Bluetooth LE, rather than forcing the user to remove an end cap and to plug it into a smartphone's headphone socket for syncing.
Built-in spectrometer will monitor bloodstream to count calories
A new fitness monitor is attempting to trump offerings from Fitbit and Nike by automatically monitoring the quality of consumed food. The Airo wearable health monitor uses a built-in spectrometer to monitor the bloodstream using different wavelengths of light, with the wristband able to work out the calorific intake and the quality of the meal itself from this information.
Finding the right tech gifts for your fit friends
It used to be that holiday shopping season started the day after Thanksgiving, and one encountered Yuletide music only for just under a month. Halcyon days, those, but days gone by. Now, one is best served getting the jump on Christmas shopping early, and Electronista, as always, has your back. In the first installment of our Holiday Gadget Gift Guide, we're taking a look at the best fitness-oriented tech presents to keep hidden in the crawl space, because everyone already knows to look under your summer clothes in the closet.