With smartwatches, as with other technologies, you expect them to get more advanced with each iteration. The Apple Watch Series 4 introduced ECG measurements right onto the wrist. Since its Ionic smartwatch, Fitbit added red LED Sp02 sensors to each of its devices for some future sleep apnea-related feature that it hasn’t revealed. Samsung brought longer lasting battery to its Galaxy Watch, and then quietly added beta testing for blood pressure measurements to the Galaxy Watch Active.
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Another day, another company snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. This time it's Nokia, as the company has decided to sell its health division - formerly known as Withings - which it purchased for $US191 million in 2016. The sale itself seemed inevitable, and its price undisclosed, but its buyer is a huge surprise: the original co-founder of Withings, Éric Carreel. Nokia expects the deal to close in "late Q2 2018." While I respect the hustle, the sale of Withings and its host of incredible health products leaves me feeling more nervous than ever.
There was a time when Nokia was the undisputed king of mobile phones, with quarterly sales of over 120 million units as recently as 2010. But after a failed partnership ended with Nokia selling its handset division to Microsoft, the company tried reinventing itself by pivoting to wearables, a move capped off when Nokia bought Withings, a French health tracker company, for $US190 million ($241 million) in June of 2016.
The most accurate way to take an infant's temperature -- a rectal thermometer -- is also one of the most unpleasant. But infants the world over will wail a sigh of relief now that Withings' new Thermo, which requires just a forehead sweep to detect a fever, is finally available.
There's never been a better time to utilise technology for health and fitness purposes. Fitness trackers are, by far, the most common piece of wearable tech available, letting you track your movement and activity as you go about your business – and all you have to do is remember to charge it and put it on in the morning.
But the fact that they're so common is somewhat of a downside, since, as a consumer, it can be difficult sorting the good from the bad. How do you know which ones are actually worth going out and buying? That's why we took a look a seven of the latest trackers from big-name companies to work out which ones are worth getting your hands on.
Despite the name, smartwatches can be kind of dumb. Sure, they can do cool things, like control your music and put notifications on your wrist. But battery life woes and underwhelming platforms leave you questioning the real IQ of these supposedly "smart" devices. However, there is a road less travelled: an area unexplored by big tech giants, where people can revel in functioning wristputers without being stuck in a technological mire.
Fitness trackers that hang off your wrist are useful for accurate step counting, but if you also like to wear a watch, they can get in the way. Every bit as accurate and significantly more convenient is a clip-on tracker that you can hook around a belt loop or bra strap. The only problem? Most don't really tell you how you're doing with your fitness goals. The Withings Go is a small, clip-on fitness tracker that'll show your daily step progress, and double as an analog watch, with an 88-segment always-on circular e-ink display.
If the thought of sticking a thermometer where the sun don't shine to get an accurate reading disgusts you, Withings new Thermo provides a far less awkward, but equally accurate way to measure someone's body temperature with just a simple tap on their forehead.
At this year's CES, we found out that one of the most attractive (and expensive) fitness trackers out there was going to come in an affordable form: the Withings Activité Pop. The catch? It was iOS only. But no more! Withings has announced both the $US400 and $US150 versions (there is no word on local availability just yet, but those prices translate to $515 and $193 in Aussie dollars) of its watch-based fitness tracker are coming to Android.
Last year, Withings' Pulse fitness monitor impressed us with the plethora of data it collects -- including, as the name suggests, your pulse. This year's update adds yet one more handy feature: a blood oxygen monitor. Mountain climbers, now you can breathe easy.