The fitness tracker trend is in full swing, with tons of companies offering up their own option. And with rumors of one from Apple to go with the iHealth app in iOS 8, we don't expect that to change any time soon. New York City-based design company ActvContent wants in on the action with the Sync Smartband. But what sets this wrist accessory apart is that it offers a simple way to track a whole family's fitness, as long as you get more than one.
We got a chance to try out a prototype and were impressed with its comprehensive features and overall simplicity.
The Sync Smartband can act as a sleep tracker, health keeper, fitness tracker, locator or even digital sensor. It will track health indicators, including steps, REM sleep patterns and burned calories. The MySync smartphone app uses Bluetooth technology to track up to eight devices up to 150 feet away. Parents can set it so they will be alerted when a wearer leaves a designated "digital zone" or if the wearer gets lost.
During our time with the smartband, a Sync exec left the meeting room for a little stroll around our office and, within a minute, the linked phone buzzed and an alert popped up. We opened up the app to locate our missing rep with a somewhat rudimentary feature that tells you how close you are to your subject, but not what direction to look. It's a little like a modern twist on the "Hot or Cold" game.
The trackers are passcode-locked, which means that no one except the MySync owner will be able to track the smartbands.
The company, which is raising money via Indiegogo, claims the fitness band should get 3 months of battery life. The Sync smartband is water-resistant and is made of hypoallergenic TPU rubber. It will come in two sizes; a kid's size and an adult's size. The colorful designs are definitely appealing, and look like they'd be immediately kid-friendly.
Actvcontent is currently trying to raise $50,000. The first 500 backers can preorder one Sync Smartband for $69, and all other preorders will cost $89. Families can preorder two Syncs for $170, three for $240, four for $240, or for bigger groups, 10 for $750. Businesses can even preorder 100 Syncs for their employees if they desire, but who wants HR knowing how often you work out or if you sleep well? Sync expects to deliver all smartbands by February 2015.
This isn't the company to create a device that works for a whole family. Ibitz Unity is one such alternative, but it's a clip on and doesn't track REM sleep.