If you want a wearable that doesn’t look like a wearable, it can actually be quite hard to find what you’re after. Fortunately though, there are some companies catering to just that kind of tech-early-adopter, like Withings. It’s newly released Activité fitness tracker is designed to look and operate just like a traditional watch, whilst still bundling in some of the exciting new, connected features that we’ve come to expect from contemporary wearables.
One of the big features of the Withings Activité is that it doesn’t look like your average fitness tracker. In fact, it looks very much like a traditional watch. It has the usual strap, mount and face of a watch, with ticking hands and not a hint of a digital display. The only real indicator that it’s anything but a dull old watch, is that it has a small per cent gauge on it, which is used to tell you how far along on your daily goal for activity you are.
Everything else is handled in the smartphone application, whether it’s your regular run, counting your daily steps, your calories etc. The fitness tracker hooks up to the Healthmate app via bluetooth 4.0 LTE like most other wearables and comes with two straps in the box: a leather one and a rubber sports one. It’s also waterproof and can track swimming just as much as it can running or jogging.
Other features include the ability to set a custom alarm to wake you at your lightest moment of sleep and it has plenty of battery life due to using a standard CR202 button battery. It should last around six months before needing replacement, which is longer than most people seem to use wearables for anyway.
The Withings Activité is not a cheap wearable by any means, coming in at £290 for the standard version, or £120 for the “pop,” which has reduced features and looks more like a sports watch than a traditional watch.
Cost is going to be a bit of an issue here and it seems like those with money to burn might be more likely to buy a smartwatch for a similar price. However, one thing that should be factored in is buying this as a gift for someone. It could be perfect for older people who don’t want to be too technologically concious.
The Withings Activité may find a market, but due to its cost and limited features, it will likely be a small one. Still, it could fill a niche and that’s often enough to make a product successful.