Fitbit today officially announced the Fitbit Force, its latest wearable fitness device that straps around your wrist, much like the Fitbit Flex, but adds some more features like an altimeter and incoming call notifications.
The Fitbit Force builds upon the Flex’s design but has a wider strap, a larger OLED display and a physical button. There’s a new in-built altimeter that will record how many steps you’ve climbed each day, a new “Active Minutes” feature that keeps track of moderate or high-intensity exercise and a new kind of “Silent Wake” alarm that wakes you up using vibrations rather than sound.
What’s however more interesting is how Fitbit is trying to bring some smartwatch features into the Force. Its OLED display doubles up as a watch and also notifies you of incoming calls with the name and number if the device is paired with an iPhone running iOS 7. Fitbit says that this feature is an experiment to gauge users’ interest for such alerts on a fitness device, and, based on the feedback, the alerts could be expanded to include messages and email too.
All data is synced to your computer or a companion app on your phone via Bluetooth 4.0, but you can view some stats from the Force’s OLED screen itself. Fitbit claims the Force can work for 10 days on a single charge. The device is available in two colors, black and slate, and can be preordered from the Fitbit store for $129.95, with shipping times ranging from 3 to 4 weeks.
Apple’s rumored to introduce its own smartwatch, dubbed the iWatch sometime in the future. The company already ships a dedicated M7 motion coprocessor with the iPhone 5s with a focus on health-related apps, which is seen as a precursor to Apple’s full-fledged entry into the fitness and wearables market.
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