Under Armour, the US giant in sports apparel, has been quietly laying the ground work to become a leading technology player. On Tuesday at CES 2016, it launched a family of fitness devices with partner HTC, a product called HealthBox.
HealthBox combines a fitness tracker with a heart-rate strap and a smart scale. All of these are intended to be used with the updated Record smartphone app, which can also work with other fitness trackers.
The UA fitness band is essentially the 2015 HTC Grip, a $199 sleep and step-tracker with touch display, that never actually made it to the market. It is now called UA Band and is capable of all the usual activity tracking features we’ve seen before, including step counting and sleep monitoring, along with a heart rate monitor which was originally left off the Grip.
The company also refined the build quality of the UA Band to make it something you’d want to wear outside of the gym. It features a rubber, matte black finish with a dimpled and bright red underside. The fitness band looks very unobtrusive, so much so that you’ll soon forget it’s even there. It’s more like the Nike Fuelband than, say, a Fitbit Charge HR.
Other features include a silent alarm to wake you up in the morning along with inactivity alerts to remind you to get moving. The band can hold a charge for up to 5 days and will recharge itself in only about 15 minutes. The device will use Bluetooth Smart to connect to other devices as well as the completely redesigned Record app.
Alongside the Band is the UA Scale which joins an increasingly crowded market of connected scales – the most recent addition, also announced at CES, is the Polar Balance scale. The UA Scale is a sleek, glass-covered device that is able to recognise up to 8 users, and also syncs information back to the UA Record app. In addition to weight, it can monitor body fat. Interestingly, the scale has speaker notifications to give you audible updates on progress and a welcome in the morning.
Finally, also announced is the UA Heart Rate chest strap. This will provide you with more precise heart rate measurements than the band, and will let you track workout intensity and heart rate zones.
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