Fitness trackers now come in all shapes and sizes, and strap on almost every part of your body, literally from head to toe. Here are some of the newest health and fitness wearables, announced at CES, that could be making their way into your workouts this year.
There are plenty of wireless headphones, but Bodytrak stands out for an obvious reason. While users listen to music, the “hearables” can track a variety of vital signs, including temperature, heart rate, cadence, and VO2. (The ear is close to major blood vessels that connect to the brain, so it’s a good place to get accurate readings of vital signs.)
The earbuds sync with an analytics app that will help users monitor their performance with an eye toward preventing injuries. London-based Bodytrak is being tested by English Premier League teams and rugby clubs -- and the company says the earbuds could be useful for workers in the defense, energy, and healthcare industries who need both hands free while on the job.
Bodytrak will be available to consumers and sports teams this summer. Pricing has not been announced, but the company says it will be comparable to devices that range from $249 to $299.
Casio unveiled its first smartwatch at CES 2016, and what the device lacked in style it made up for in substance—it was the only Android Wear watch to come with a built-in GPS, barometer, altimeter, and compass. It was a niche watch, made specifically to withstand the rigors of outdoor use.
This year’s watch, the WSD-F20 ($500), is even more rugged, complete with button guards and a protective bezel surrounding the entire display. Mapping features have been updated as well; through a partnership with Mapbox, users can download full-color maps and view them while offline in the wilderness. Users can also write notes and place markers on a map. In another upgrade, the WSD-F20 also adds a low-power GPS mode.
Built on the new Android Wear 2.0 platform, the WSD-F20 will be available April 21. Casio also announced that the WSD-F10 will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 at the same time.
This maker of heated, connected, and activity-tracking shoe inserts has taken the next step and unveiled a prototype of a “smart shoe.” The Active Cushioning Run Profiler promises shock detection and can shift support (making the insole softer or harder) over the course of a run based on data collected from sensors at five pressure points along the foot. The shoe also tracks activity and connects to a mobile app using Bluetooth; the company says the app can help runners figure out if they are fatigued. The app also comes with an audio coaching feature that provides workout tips, much like fitness headphones. A hiking version of the shoes is heated, too.
Digitsole’s shoe will be available later this year. Pricing has not been announced, but a company spokesperson estimated that they would cost around $250.
Garmin skipped v4 of its fenix watch line and went straight to the fenix 5. The watches come with many of the same features of the fenix 3 line, and the features you now come to expect from rugged GPS watches—activity tracking, water resistance to 100m, optical heart rate monitor, barometric altimeter, compass, and so on. The biggest difference is the size. The fenix 5S ($599) has a diameter of 42mm, and the fenix 5 ($599) is 47mm. Both are more compact that the watches in the fenix 3 line, which are about 51mm. This mean the fenix 5 watches should appeal to users with smaller wrists, as well as anyone looking for a watch to wear continuously. The smaller size does impact the 5S’s battery life, though 13 hours in continuous GPS mode is still pretty good.
Both the 5S and 5 are available in stainless steel, WiFi-enabled Sapphire models for $100 more. The third watch in the fenix 5 line, the 51mm 5X, also checks in at $699. This watch also includes preloaded topographic maps and an Around Me feature that shows nearby points of interest. All fenix 5 watches will be available this spring.
The new InBody WATCH aims to be more than just an activity tracker. Using embedded PPG and ECG sensors, the watch can track heart rate as well as Pulse Wave Velocity, which measures how well blood pumps through the body’s arteries and is a potential predictor of cardiovascular disease. Data from the watch can also be used to perform InBody’s body composition analysis, which calculates metrics such as water weight, muscle mass, and BMI. The watch includes the same fitness-tracking features available in the company’s InBody BAND -- step counting, distance traveled, calories burned, sleep tracking, and activity tracking. An updated version of the band will be available this summer; the watch will be available this fall.
The LINX Smart Helmet ($200) from Coros appears at CES2017 after a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $300,000. The helmet lets riders listen to music, as well as hear mid-ride data or turn-by-turn directions, using bone-conduction technology. Two speakers are positioned over the cheekbone so that a rider’s ear canals remain open to listen for pedestrians, cars, or other hazards. A built-in microphone also allows for ear-free phone calls.
In addition, the helmet comes with a remote that attaches to the handlebars and sync with an Android or iOS app. The app syncs to Strava and MapMyRide and also lets users create, save, and share routes. The routes support waypoint, which can be helpful when mountain biking or riding in remote areas.
Nearly all fitness trackers measure steps taken, calories burned, and minutes of exercise. The Mio Slice ($129), a wristband from Mio Global, focuses on a different metric: Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI). The device uses a series of optical heart rate sensors to measure and display a user’s PAI. The higher the number, the better. Mio says the algorithms that calculate PAI are based on the results of a 25-year study that showed a correlation among low PAI, high resting heart rate, and increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease—which is the leading cause of death in the world but is highly preventable. Along with PAI, the face of the Mio Slice displays the user’s heart rate, activity, and sleep data. The device can also receive phone call and text message notifications.