Fitbit announced its anticipated crack at the smartwatch market, alongside new connected health products, reinvigorating its portfolio ahead of the lucrative Christmas holiday sales period.

The company described its watch – tagged Ionic – as its first smartwatch, and as a “health and fitness first platform”. But it is not its first watch: Blaze, announced at CES 2016, was a “smart fitness watch”.

Fitbit is launching the device at a critical time: the company lost the top-spot in the wearables market for the first time, as its core fitness tracker business struggled. It made acquisitions to bolster its smartwatch proposition, buying Pebble and Vector Watch.

Ionic includes a new relative oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensor, which in future will make it possible to track deeper health insights like sleep apnea. The watch also features GPS tracking, on-device dynamic workouts, improved heart rate tracking and water resistance up to 50 metres.

The company is clearly looking to benefit from its existing position in health and fitness rather than launching with a more nebulous smartwatch proposition.

However, it also supports “smart features” including contactless payments, on-board music, smart notifications, and “a variety of popular apps and clock faces available in the Fitbit App Gallery”.

An app software development kit will be available to developers imminently.

“With Ionic, we will deliver what consumers have not yet seen in a smartwatch – a health and fitness first platform that combines the power of personalisation and deeper insights with our most advanced technology to date, unlocking opportunities for unprecedented health tracking capabilities in the future,” James Park, Fitbit CEO, asserted.

Fitbit Ionic is available to order via the Fitbit website, and will be available via retailers globally from October. A special Adidas version is scheduled to launch in 2018.

Beyond bands
Also unveiled was Fitbit Flyer, described as “the ultimate wireless headphones for fitness” and “a natural extension of our product offerings”. The headphones offer two sound profiles and have a “hydrophobic nano-coating that is rain, splash and sweatproof”.

Its Aria smart scales have also been updated, with the company touting simplified set-up and “best in class accuracy”.

Fitbit also introduced new premium guidance and paid coaching products, designed to offer workouts, programmes, content and other tools tailored to specific goals.

The vendor said “through 2018 and beyond”, its portfolio will grow to include advanced coaching tools with a library of programmes and workouts developed with Fitbit’s advisory panel.