Lately the technology companies have wanted our wrists and for more than just watches. Along side the “smart watch” movement there has also been another category of wrist-device: the activity tracker. These devices work in conjunction with your smart phone to provide real time feedback on your steps or distance or elevation or even sleep, all in a effort to make you more healthy (or at least more health conscious).
These devices have similar functions and similar looks as well: simple, rubber based bands that display little or no information. The Jawbone Up and Fitbit Flex are two popular examples of this category. Some devices can also act as a watch, of sorts, like the (now recalled) Fitbit Force and the Withings Pulse. Timekeeping or not, none of these devices are the most attractive thing to wear on your wrist. Withings wants to change that.
On Monday Withings announced the Withings Activité which takes their activity tracking technology and places it inside a traditional looking wristwatch. No more clunky plastic cases or funky smelling bands (trust me on this one), those who want to track their various activities throughout the day now have a way to do so and have an attractively designed watch as well. The watch is actually a Swiss Made timepiece and its design hails from Paris. There are a lot of interesting things going on with the Activité.
First there is no crown or stem for the setting the time. The Activité takes the correct time from your connected phone so there is no need to have to set the time manually. Unlike many existing smart watches or fitness trackers the Activité uses a traditional CR2025 batery that should last a year and will cost you about $3.00 to replace. The sapphire crystal is reactive and will display information by tapping on the glass, such as your set alarm time.
As far as tracking your activities it has the features we have come to expect from these devices, albiet in a more attractive package. The Activité will track steps, distance even swimming (50M water resistance) and calories burned, all of which it shows you via the accompanying Health Mate phone app. The watch will also track your sleep so you can see your sleep habits in the phone app, and it will wake you with a “gentle wakeup vibration”. The large sub-dial on the watch is used to track your goal progress throughout the day. If you have a goal of 10,000 steps the hand will give you an indication of how far you have gone and how much further you need to go. You can set the goal you wish to track on the watch via the Health Mate app.
The Activité will come with either a black or white dial and ships with both leather and rubber straps with quick change spring bars. The overall look of the watch is reminiscent of the Junghans Max Bill school of design and is definitely kept simple and clean.
The Withings Activité will be available in Fall 2014 for $390 USD. You cannot order just yet, but if interested you can sign-up to stay informed on the Activité website.