Fitbit adds heart rate monitoring to Alta tracker - Mobile World Live

Fitbit adds heart rate monitoring to Alta tracker

07 MAR 2017

Fitbit unveiled its latest fitness tracker, an expansion of its Alta line which adds heart rate tracking functionality.

The company said Alta HR is “the world’s slimmest wrist-based, continuous heart rate tracking device”, and includes automatic exercise recognition, sleep tracking, battery life of up to seven days and smart notifications.

Fitbit said it is also introducing two dynamic sleep tools – sleep stages and sleep insights – which it said provide deep details regarding sleep quality and guidance on how to improve.

Sleep stages monitors how long a user spends in the various stages of sleep (light, deep, REM, awake periods), while sleep insights is designed to deliver “actionable guidance and coaching to help you improve the quality of sleep and, in turn, overall health”.

The new sleep technologies will also be supported by other Fitbit devices, with availability later this year.

James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit, said: “The miniaturisation of our PurePulse heart rate technology opens up exciting opportunities for future generations of devices and new form factors.”

Alta HR is available for presale, with retail availability in April. Pricing is $149.95.

Management shake-up
Separately, Fitbit announced several changes to its management team, including a pair of high-profile departures, following “previously announced efforts to reorganise its business to reignite growth and return to profitability”.

Heading for the out door are Woody Scal, chief business officer, and Tim Roberts, EVP, interactive. Park said the executives were “two of Fitbit’s first employees”.

Joining is Jeff Devine as EVP of operations, who brings “more than 25 years of operating experience scaling global technology brands including Cisco, Nokia and HP”. He will be responsible for operations, customer service and quality.

Also, VP of engineering Samir Kapoor was elevated to SVP of device engineering.

Fitbit is focusing on two areas: consumer health and fitness, and enterprise health. The former includes “delivering a streamlined set of health and fitness devices, entering new markets such as the smart watch category and offering premium software and services”, while the latter will focus on work with insurance companies, employers, health systems and other healthcare partners.

Park said: “2017 is a transition year and while we continue to lead the connected health and fitness market, we must take important steps to chart our return to profitability and growth. It is essential that we are organized properly so that we can successfully execute our strategy.”

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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