FitBit has revealed their new smart watch named FitBit Sense. This new FitBit is said to be able to track our stress levels. FitBit made this announcement at a virtual press event on August 24th, and the device became available to pre-order on August 25th. FitBit has been a formidable forerunner and trendsetter in the realm of wearable technology since the inception of the wearable tech category. This has given their FitBit valuable brand equity and credibility, thereby remaining in high demand. No doubt, the FitBit track stress feature will only increase brand quality perception.
How does the FitBit Sense Function?
The new FitBit track stress feature is activated by stress sensors which are able to measure stress levels by tracking heart rate and skin temperature. These sensors are triggered by the user holding their palm over the screen and breathing for a few seconds, allowing the technology to capture heart rate and skin temperature. The device also includes an on-wrist EDA (electrodermal activity) scan app which receives the wearer’s electrodermal activity. This data is then collated to determine the body’s response to anxiety.
FitBit’s companion app will then allow uses to see in real time when their stress levels increase. In addition, it will display a graph showing trends over time as well as offer users some helpful tools. Overall, these features assist users in better understanding how their body reacts in certain situations and therefore helping users manage their stress in a more meaningful way. Along with the new FitBit track stress feature, the innovative Sense smartwatch will also use the skin temperature sensor to uncover other realities about the user’s body, such as a fever or ovulation. But that’s not all… FitBit Sense is also designed with an OLED touch screen, has a built-in GPS, and is water resistant up to 50 meters – comparable to that of the Apple Watch.
Why is FitBit releasing their new device now?
Sense was developed with one goal in mind – that of exceeding the Apple Watch, which has grown to be one of the world’s best devices for health monitoring. Since FitBit’s $2.1 billion acquisition by Google is under analysis in both the US and the EU for at least the rest of 2020, Google has already pledged not to use FitBit user health data in advertising.
That being said, FitBit is a trusted name in this space, and the new sensors on the FitBit Sense to track stress – whether accurate and useful in the short-term – should do a great job in establishing FitBit as the closest and most serious competitor to Apple’s ever-expanding health ecosystem.
Drawbacks of FitBit Sense Track Stress Feature
FitBit first started experimenting with stress tracking roughly four years ago, however tracking stress isn’t quite as clear-cut as the simplicity of tracking steps with a device. There are several complications in measuring, analyzing and presenting the applicable data, which gives us a better understanding of the fairly modest set of features that FitBit Sense owners are likely to experience when placing their palm over the device to take readings.
Problems can typically result from the collection of sensor data simply because the use of wearable biosensors in the real-world poses some challenges in terms of dependable and useful measurements for emotion detection. These include operators in motion (something FitBit has recently improved on its heart rate monitoring module on the FitBitSense), technical interferences in the signal, and noise from inappropriate placements or poses when taking readings – although these issues can be offset via filtering procedures for noise and linear interruption for missed values.
Eric Friedman, co-founder and CTO of FitBit is more concerned with the analysis and presentation of the stress and emotional data. Friedman said, “Unfortunately, happy stress responses like ‘I just got engaged’ and the really negative stress responses like ‘I’m watching a really terrifying movie’ can actually generate similar physiological reactions.”. That’s where FitBit’s algorithms come in, and this is in fact what FitBit’s stress tracking feature will heavily rely on.
At first glance, the FitBit Sense seems like a worthy opponent to its Apple Watch rival with a full suite of metrics. However, it is important to note that users must also prepared to pay for a FitBit Premium subscription in order to access the app and all its data. FitBit is set to start shipping its new wearable tech device on September 25th (cost per piece is $329.95), and it is available on pre-order.