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Fitbit Wants To Revolutionize Your Sleep With The New Alta HR Wearable
Sheena Lin | Jun 19, 2017
Title: Editor
Topic category: Sports & Fitness

Fitbit has unveiled a new wearable innovation called the Alta HR, which it claims is the “world’s slimmest fitness wristband with continuous heart-rate monitoring”.

The news confirms previous rumours and leaks that pointed towards the Alta HR as the next in Fitbit’s product line-up. Being an update to 2016’s Alta, the HR upgrade follows suit in Fitbit's previous device launches. Both the Charge range and the Flex range received sequels – so a follow up to makes sense.

Back view of Alta HR in black

Fitbit’s latest offering, however, welcomes some impressive updates, such as a much slimmer design. Fitbit said that when developing the Alta HR, Fitbit reduced the size and number of components needed to create the wearable by 25 percent when compared to those of the Fitbit Charge 2.

“The result is a stylish device that offers all-day, continuous heart rate tracking, making it easier for you to make more informed decisions about your health,” Fitbit said in its announcement, adding that this lets you better measure calorie burn throughout the day, including during non-step based exercise like yoga and spinning,

“This will help you stay on track toward your health and weight goals by tracking calories in versus those burned,” Fitbit added. “See real-time heart zones on your wrist and exercise summaries in the Fitbit app to work out at the right intensity for your health and fitness goals.”

But Alta HR isn’t just about measuring daily exercise like most of the company’s other products. Its primary focus is measuring and improving sleep, so as part of the announcement, Fitbit also revealed new innovations called Sleep Stages and Sleep Inslight, which the firm touts as “a new advance in sleep tracking tech”.

Developed with leading sleep experts from Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University and the University of Arizona, Sleep Stages is powered by Fitbit’s PurePulse heart rate technology, which analyses heart rate variability to estimate the amount of time you spend in light, deep and REM sleep, as well as time awake each night, to better understand your sleep quality. Sleep Insights then uses this data to provide personalized guidance on how to improve your sleep for better overall health.

“Alta HR and these powerful new sleep features demonstrate our continued focus on evolving our innovative technology to deliver deeper, more actionable insights to help our users improve their health,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

“The miniaturisation of our PurePulse heart rate technology opens up exciting opportunities for future generations of devices and new form factors. Our advances in sleep will provide millions of users around the globe accessibility to invaluable insights that previously could be obtained only through expensive lab tests.”

The Fitbit app for iOS showing the sleep stages with different functionality

The Fitbit app for iOS showing the sleep stages with different functionality

Alta HR is available now for presale, with retail availability from 13 March. It will cost $149 (£129) when it hits stores globally on 13 March. Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights will be available globally from 27 March 2017 and will work with Alta HR, Blaze and Charge 2 devices via the Fitbit app on Android, iOS and Windows.

We already know that Fitbit has ambitions outside the fitness tracker market as well. Park also recently said: "We believe we are uniquely positioned to succeed in delivering what consumers are looking for in a smartwatch: stylish, well-designed devices that combine the right general purpose functionality with a focus on health and fitness."

Fitbit has snapped up Pebble, Vector Watch and Coin in the past few months, and Park said this puts the company in a position for “long-term success”. However, you shouldn’t expect a Pebble watch with a Fitbit stamp on.

“Everyone on Reddit is saying they're going to make the uber Pebble Vector watch and it couldn't be further from the truth. They have zero interest in that," a Pebble source recently said regarding the Fitbit smartwatch. He also claimed he "highly, highly doubts that much of Pebble's DNA is going to come out in this product".

SOURCE:
Lee Bell |Mar 7, 2017
FROM: Forbes
Tags: fitbit, tech, wearabletech, health, sleep, techwear, app
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