LAS VEGAS - As fitness trackers get more ubiquitous and sensors get smaller than ever, it was only a matter of time before the two ideas came together. AmpStrip, a band aid-like activity tracker that sticks to your torso, is a perfect example of where fitness tracking -- or life tracking -- can go as technology shrinks.
Just stick an adhesive on the back of the $150 AmpStrip, slap it on your side, and it immediately starts tracking steps, calories, distance and even advanced metrics like heart rate variability and intensity zones. Parent company FitLinxx is in the final stages of producing AmpStrip, and I had the chance to play with pieces of the final device at CES 2015.
It’s a thin and light oval strip of silicon, weighing less than 0.4 ounces. The prototype I saw featured a smaller oval cut out from the middle. When it’s completed, the sensors will be embedded into either side of the cut-out, which will be filled with a ECG monitor, a tri-axis accelerometer and a body temperature sensor.
That’s a lot to pack into such a small device, and that’s not all. Inside will be a 32-bit ARM MO processor and a 20-mAh rechargeable battery. I was almost surprised when AmpStrip felt like nothing in my hands, but I could see how this device would easily melt into your body once you stick it on.
AmpStrip will act like a general fitness tracker, monitoring steps, calories, distance and sleep, but it will also help you better understand how your body handles physical activity. The data mining starts by measuring your resting heart rate -- once AmpStrip has that reading, one of the data points it can track is “rest and recovery;” basically how long it takes your body to return to a resting heart rate after a workout.
One of the most intriguing things about AmpStrip is that once you stick it on your body, you only need to take it off or touch it to recharge, which is required about once a week. You also can replace the adhesive once every three to seven days. Thanks to multiple sensors, AmpStrip can automatically detect different activities, so there’s no switching in between modes. It’s also waterproof, so you can shower with it and take it swimming to track a few laps in the pool.
Despite its unique design, AmpStrip will connect to a companion app like most other fitness trackers. In the app you can see all your data, in real-time, and the device automatically syncs to the app whenever you open it on your smartphone.
AmpStrip will cost $150 for the device, a pack of 30 adhesives and its charging pack. Final beta testing is scheduled to begin in March, and will ship in May to the first Indiegogo backers.