Wearables Week In Review

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Week In Review

Snore On

Fitbit looks set to be adding a new feature to its wearables: the ability to track snoring. That’s bad news for those of us who like to pretend we don’t snore, but there are logical reasons for the enhancement, beyond just helping spouses all over the world put a metric to their annoyance. First of all, snoring is somewhat related to weight: lose more, snore less apparently. What’s more, snoring can be a sign of poor sleep as it can disrupt your sleep patterns. So it’s less a metric of direct use, perhaps, and more an indicator of why you slept poorly. Or, you can embrace it, and share your stats with friends and family to claim the title of Snore King. Just a thought…

The NPD Take:

  • Snore tracking is not yet available, but has been spotted in the app by 9to5Google. But it’s a logical enhancement for a device that is best known for tracking steps and zzzzs. Of course, it is far from perfect: what it really does is track the noise in your room, so if you and your partner snore it may be counting the wrong thing.
  • It’s a good move for Fitbit which needs to protect its activity tracker base, and build its smartwatch following. Fitbit loses a lot of its base as they transition from a tracker to a smartwatch and the company needs to defend against that with new, innovative features.

Garmin Adds LTE Support

Garmin has launched a new Forerunner, the 945 LTE, which – as the name suggests – comes with LTE support. But before all you exercise fanatics rush out to buy it, there’s a caveat. The LTE is for safety and tracking features, including the ability for your friends and family to send you messages of support as you toil through a marathon. What it does NOT support is… well, everything else that you would expect from LTE, such as sending messages or making/receiving calls. And even without that anticipated functionality, you still – of course – need to pay for monthly service fee for the LTE support.

The NPD Take:

  • This is either a very clever, or fairly dumb, idea. Garmin does, after all, have a niche with the relatively hardcore athletic community and I’m sure they don’t want to be bothered with phone calls mid-triathlon. But… for the rest of us, the ability to get calls and messages would mean we could leave our phone behind and still be a little connected. Full functionality should have been provided, with a simple interface to change the settings to a wearer’s requirements.
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