Polaroid prepares to launch its own line of wearables

Polaroid is branching out into fitness tracking. The company that many of us still associate with instant photography, made the announcement at CES 2017.

Celebrating 80 years since it was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Polaroid is planning to launch the new smartwatch and fitness tracker series in a few months time. The devices come in a variety of designs and colors and are compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones.

“Over the last 80 years, Polaroid has a history of making the latest advances in technology accessible to the everyday consumer,” said Polaroid President and CEO, Scott W. Hardy.

“As we continue to grow our product offering, we recognize the need for fun and easy-to-use wearable technology that is accessible to consumers at any price point. With the new range of Polaroid smartwatches and fitness trackers, consumers have the ability to integrate their technology into their lifestyle in a way that fits their needs and style.”

The two activity trackers come with very similar technical specs. Both the Polaroid B502 and B521 feature a heart rate monitor, calorie tracker, sleeping monitor, sedentary reminder and pedometer. They also dish out smartphone notifications and allow for remote camera control.

The main difference is in the design. The B521 looks like a bit like the Microsoft Band fitness tracker or Gear Fit 2. The B502 reminds us of the Misfit Shine.

Its fair to say, both devices cover the basics in terms of fitness tracking, but its difficult to see what, if anything new, Polaroid is bringing to the table. In essence, it really comes down to whether you are a fan of the design, and we suspect more importantly, the brand.

Polaroid is also launching four new smartwatches – the SW1502, SW1505, 1506S, SW1507.

The first two come with a square 1.54-inch screen and 240×240-pixel resolution. They feature integrated fitness tracking (no heart rate sensor though), notifications and expandable memory with a microSD card at a max of 32GB. The SW1502 sports a minimalist, contemporary design, while the SW1505 comes in a sleek, modern look.

The SW1506S and SW1507 resemble more traditional timepieces. Both feature a 1.22-inch circular screen with 240×204-pixel resolution.

You still get the fitness tracking and notifications, but this time with the inclusion of a heart rate sensor. The SW1506 is a more run-of-the-mill smartwatch, while the SW1507 sports an analog-style clock with high tech smarts hidden under the hood.

We thought the fitness tracking and smartwatch space was crowded enough as it is, but Polaroid obviously begs to differ. Long gone are the days when the company exclusively focused on instant photography. These days, Polaroid sells instant print cameras, action sports cameras, smartphones and even flat-screen TVs.

The new range of smartwatches and fitness trackers will be available in the Spring at select retailers across the US. The fitness trackers will retail for around $130, the SW1502 for $80 and the remaining smartwatches for $199 each.

For more information, head over to Polaroid.com.

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