Fitbit announced their most advanced health smartwatch, the Fitbit Sense, with a focus on stress management. It is a timely launch, given that it is safe to say that stress levels are at an all time high in 2020 and no one is immune from it.
James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit says, “Our mission to make everyone in the world healthier has never been more important than it is today. COVID-19 has shown us all how critical it is to take care of both our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Our new products and services are our most innovative yet, coupling our most advanced sensor technology and algorithms to unlock more information about our bodies and our health so you can be in control. We are breaking new ground with our wearables, helping you better understand and manage your stress and heart health, and pulling your key health metrics together in a simple and digestible way to track things like skin temperature, heart rate variability and SpO2 so you can see how it’s all connected. Most importantly, we are making health accessible, surfacing new data that you may only get once or twice a year at the doctor’s office that you can use to focus on your holistic health and wellness, at a time when it’s needed most.”
Stress is a global issue, with one in three people experiencing a lot of worry or stress, as well as psychological and physiological symptoms caused by stress. Over time, the physical strain from stress can contribute to a variety of health problems if left unmanaged, such as an increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and mental health disorders like anxiety or depression.
Fitbit’s new Stress Management Score calculates how your body is responding to stress based on your heart rate, sleep and activity level data. Available with Fitbit Sense, it can be found in the new stress management tile in the Fitbit app. Ranging from 1-100, with a higher score indicating your body is showing fewer physical signs of stress, the score is coupled with recommendations to better manage stress, like breathing exercises and other mindfulness tools. Fitbit Premium members will get a detailed breakdown on how the score is calculated, which consists of over 10 biometric inputs, including exertion balance (impact of activity), responsiveness (heart rate, heart rate variability and electrodermal activity from the EDA Scan app), and sleep patterns (sleep quality).
All Fitbit users will have access to the new mindfulness tile in the Fitbit app (coming September 2020). Here, you can set a weekly mindfulness goal and reminders, reflect on your stress, log your mood after sessions, and meditate as a part of your mindfulness practice. Premium members can choose from more than 100 meditation sessions from popular brands like Aaptiv, Aura, Breethe and Ten Percent Happier, 12 listen to a variety of relaxing sounds from Fitbit, and see how your practice correlates with your mood over time.
“A regular meditation practice has both physical and emotional benefits, from reducing stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression, to helping cardiovascular health such as improving blood pressure and heart rate,” said Dr. Helen Weng, Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. “Meditation is exercise for your mind. Just like physical exercise, you need a consistent practice to cultivate your mental capacity for it. Finding a meditation practice that works for you is important for building long-term health and wellness benefits. Fitbit can help you achieve this through its mindfulness and measurement tools, including the new Stress Management Score and EDA Scan app, so that you can see your progress and build a personalised meditation practice that is impactful and sustainable.”
The Fitbit Sense brings together innovative sensor and software technology, including the world’s first electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor on a smartwatch to help manage stress, along with advanced heart rate tracking technology, new ECG app and an on-wrist skin temperature sensor, all powered by 6+ days’ battery life.
The new EDA sensor on Fitbit Sense measures electrodermal activity responses. Using the EDA Scan app, place your palm over the face of the device to detect small electrical changes in the sweat level of your skin. Measuring your EDA responses can help you understand your body’s response to stressors and help you manage your stress. You can do a quick EDA Scan session on device to see your responses, or pair it with guided mindfulness sessions in the Fitbit app to see how your body responds during meditation or relaxation. At the end of your session, you will see an EDA response graph on-device and in the mobile app to gauge your progress over time and reflect on how you feel emotionally.
Fitbit Sense also ushers in the company’s next era of heart health innovation, a space Fitbit pioneered by offering the first 24/7 wrist-based heart rate tracking in 2014, through the launch of Active Zone Minutes TM earlier this year. Fitbit Sense is the company’s first device with an ECG app, to assess your heart rhythm for signs of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition that affects more than 33.5 million people globally. Simply hold your fingers on the corners of the stainless steel ring around the watch while being still for 30 seconds to receive a reading that can be downloaded to share with your doctor.
Fitbit’s new PurePulse 2.0 technology, with an all-new multi-path heart rate sensor and updated algorithm, delivers the company’s most advanced heart rate technology yet. It also powers another critical heart health feature – personalised, on-device high and low heart rate notifications. With 24/7 continuous heart rate tracking, Fitbit Sense can detect and send a notification if your heart rate is outside your thresholds. While many factors can affect your heart rate, like stress or temperature, a high or low heart rate may be an indication of a heart condition that requires medical attention, such as bradycardia (heart rate that is too slow) and tachycardia (heart rate that is too fast).
Fitbit Sense also combines all of the key health, fitness and smart features found on Fitbit’s other smartwatches, including on-board GPS, 20+ on-device exercise modes, SmartTrack® automatic activity tracking, Cardio Fitness Level and Score, and advanced sleep tools. Stay connected with a range of smart features for added convenience, including a built-in speaker and microphone to take calls and reply to texts with voice commands, choice of Amazon Alexa or Google voice assistants, 6 contactless payments, thousands of apps and clock faces and more, while still maintaining an impressive 6+ days’ battery life.
Fitbit Sense was created through a series of unique and innovative design processes, including miniaturised nano-moulding and laser bonding technology to create Fitbit’s most powerful and intelligent device to date. Fitbit Sense features a new design language that is inspired by the human body, combining friendly silhouettes and a graceful form with purposeful materials. Finishes are physically and visually lightweight, premium and built to last, with aerospace grade aluminium and stainless steel for a polished, high-tech look. New infinity bands are flexible and comfortable, while the quick-release attachment makes it easier to swap looks from day to night. The robotically-crafted body features a fusion of glass and metal, and the watch is water-resistant up to 50M. The biosensor core within has been configured to house the most sensors of any Fitbit device, while maintaining a sleek aesthetic and long battery life.
The larger AMOLED display features an integrated ambient light sensor to automatically dim the screen for easier viewing, along with an optional always-on display mode. 20 The near edge-to-edge display is more responsive, with increased resolution. The user interface and faster processor has been completely redesigned, delivering our most intuitive, focused on-screen navigation. This includes the introduction of new customisable widgets, redesigned notifications and on-screen apps for a cleaner look, while letting you customise your favourite tools and shortcuts to feature more personalised information for a seamless smartwatch experience.
The combined on-device and in-app experience with Fitbit Sense gives you insights into your body’s response to stress with tools to help you manage both your physical and mental stress. This innovative stress management experience was built by Fitbit’s team of behavioural health experts, with decades of expertise in diagnosing and treating mental health, along with guidance from medical experts at leading academic institutions.
Fitbit Versa 3
Fitbit is also launching Fitbit Versa 3, an update to the company’s most popular smartwatch family, adding new health, fitness and convenience features. On-device GPS, in-app workout intensity map, enhanced PurePulse 2.0 technology, and Active Zone Minutes make it easier than ever to stay on top of your fitness goals, beyond tracking your daily steps. Fitbit Versa 3 has even more smart features to add convenience to your day, including a built-in speaker and microphone to take quick phone calls, send calls to voicemail and adjust call volume – all from the wrist.
You also have a choice of voice assistants with the addition of Google Assistant alongside Amazon Alexa built-in, so you can set reminders for your workout, mindfulness practice or bedtime, check the weather, add hand sanitiser to your shopping list, control your smart home devices and more just by speaking to your watch. Use Fitbit Pay TM to make quick, secure payments while avoiding public surfaces, and get access to thousands of apps and clock faces. New curated playlists from music partners Deezer, Pandora and Spotify, make it easy to pick the right music for your workout intensity level.
Its updated design and interface take a cue from Fitbit Sense, including softer lines, increased comfort, greater responsiveness, and faster, more effortless interactions. All Fitbit Versa 3 features are also available on Fitbit Sense.
In an welcomed change, both Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense will utilise the same magnetic charger for the first time. With an already long battery life of 6+ days on each device, if you find yourself running low, a 12-minute quick charge provides one full day of use. Cross-compatible accessories feature an easy, quick-release band attachment and come in a wide variety of colours and styles, including designer partnerships with Pendleton® and Victor Glemaud. Pendleton™ bands reflect the brand’s ties to nature and iconic designs with a patterned woven aesthetic, while the Victor Glemaud collection channels the Haitian-American designer’s joyful, gender-neutral, body positive approach in bold, sustainable knits.
Fitbit Inspire 2
Building on the success of the company’s stylish yet affordable Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR trackers, Fitbit Inspire 2 adds advanced features like Active Zone Minutes, an enhanced stylish, slim design, and a brighter, more vibrant screen with the longest battery life of any Fitbit device at 10 days. 4 The easy-to- use fitness tracker helps you build healthy habits with motivating features like 20+ goal-based exercise modes, advanced sleep tools, 24/7 heart rate tracking, menstrual health tracking, and see your food and hydration intake, along with your weight, all with daily encouragement right on your wrist. The addition of a one-year free trial of Fitbit Premium provides incredible value to Fitbit Inspire 2, giving you added guidance and motivation to reach your wellness goals.
Fitbit Premium – Get More from your Fitbit Device
Fitbit Premium boosts your Fitbit experience when paired with any Fitbit device, unlocking deeper analysis of your data and more personalised insights that connect the dots across your activity, sleep and heart rate. It delivers advanced sleep tools, hundreds of workouts from popular brands like Aaptiv, barre3, Daily Burn, Down Dog, obé, Physique 57, POPSUGAR and Yoga Studio by Gaiam, as well as celebrities, trainers and influencers like Ayesha Curry, Charlee Atkins and Harley Pasternak. You’ll also get mindfulness content from Aaptiv, Aura, Breethe and Ten Percent Happier, motivating games and challenges, guided programs for activity, sleep and nutrition, and a wellness report to share with your care team – all in the Fitbit app.
Fitbit Premium continues to build on its offerings and broaden its reach. With over 500,000 paid members less than a year after it was introduced, Premium will expand to Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish by the end of September, increasing the potential for even more Fitbit users around the world to benefit from its service.
Fitbit Premium is normally available as a 90-day trial, however with Fitbit Sense it will be a free six-month trial, and one-year for Fitbit Inspire 2.
Fitbit Sense is available for $499.95 (AUD) in carbon/graphite stainless steel and lunar white/soft gold stainless steel. Fitbit Versa 3 is available for $399.95 (AUD) in black/black aluminium, pink clay/soft gold aluminium and midnight/soft gold aluminium. Sold separately, Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 accessories are available in a range of styles, including REPREVE® recycled woven bands in camo, charcoal, coral and rainbow, sport bands in black/lunar white, evergreen/lunar white, grey/mint, melon/rose and sapphire/fog grey, infinity bands in black, lunar white, midnight and pink clay, starting at $49.95 (AUD).
Also available are Pendleton® for Fitbit REPREVE® woven bands in blue/grey Canyonlands and blue/pink Basket Maker, and Victor Glemaud for Fitbit REPREVE® knit bands in chevron red/gold, layered black/red and metallic gold/black, 25 starting at $49.95 (AUD).
Fitbit Inspire 2 is available for $179.95 (AUD) in black, lunar white and desert rose. Sold separately, accessories are available in premium Horween® leather bands in midnight blue or black double wrap, mesh bands in silver and rose gold stainless steel, printed silicon band in bloom, classic silicone bands in black, lunar white and desert rose, and a new clip band in black, starting at $29.95 (AUD).
Fitbit Premium is available for $14.99 per month or $129.99 per year (AUD). For more information or to sign up for either membership service, visit the Fitbit app or Fitbit.com.
Stay tuned as DRN will be reviewing one of these new shiny units soon.
Note: Calls, texts and notifications available when phone is nearby. Google Assistant and Bluetooth® calls coming late 2020. Third-party app may be required for Amazon Alexa. Amazon Alexa not available in all countries