With the wearable tech industry expected to rake in billions by 2018, it’s no wonder LG is the latest company to delve into the genre. Today, LG unveiled its first wearable device -- the fitness focused Lifeband Touch -- which is slated for a Q2 2014 U.S. launch.
As its name implies, the Lifeband Touch sports a tiny touchscreen display that wearers interact with. The iOS- and Android-compatible wristband features a smart UX OLED display that shows information, including your steps, the calories you’ve burned, the duration of your workout, the time and other details. The $129 Fitbit Flex, by comparison, only works with a select few Android devices.
LG's water-resistant wristband not only tracks the wearer's movement with its built-in accelerometer and altimeter, but is also capable of displaying texts and phone calls.
When we received an incoming call while wearing the band, we saw our caller's name appear on our wrist. When we didn't answer a call later that day, the caller's name appeared next to an envelope icon to alert us that we had missed his call.
The wristband itself features a durable yet lightweight design flexible enough to adjust as we fit the device around our wrist. LG will be offering its fitness band in three different sizes: medium, large and extra large.
Our favorite aspect of the Lifeband Touch was its simplicity. We primarily interacted with it by using two actions -- swiping and pressing. The singular button on the device allows the user to cycle through different menus; you can cycle through options within those menus by swiping back and forth.
For example, from the home screen that displays the time, we pressed the button to trigger a fitness menu. From there, we swiped forward to see different pieces of information, including burned calories, steps taken and more.
The Lifeband Touch works in conjunction with LG's fitness app, which is capable of syncing data from third-party apps such as Runkeeper, among others. The app is broken down into a few different sections including Home, Activity, Heart Rate and Workout. These sections provide more detailed feedback on your workout, such as how many calories you must burn before reaching your goal. The Lifeband Touch is also capable of communicating with LG’s new heart monitor headbuds to display your heart rate in real time on your wrist.
There's no word on how much the Lifeband Touch will cost when it launches, but we're interested in seeing how it fares against the competition. LG's device offers broader functionality and compatibility than rivals such as the Fitbit Force, but we'll have to wait on the price to know how it stacks up.