Vela Smartwatch is a Versa lookalike that sells for about a half its price. The, specs, however go further than Fitbit’s wearable in many aspects.
Indiegogo is a lottery but you do occasionally stumble across the odd gem. We’re not sure if Vela Smartwatch is one of them, but on paper it certainly looks interesting.
There’s no getting around it. In terms of design, the wearable comes across like an identical twin to the Versa. Everything, from the default watch face, to the case and straps, even to the name is similar. The main difference seems to be that at 5 ATM Versa has better water-resistance, versus Vela’s IP68 rating.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
But under the hood, Vela packs more. In addition to basic fitness stats, multiple exercise modes, Connected-GPS, female health tracking, notifications and alarms, you also get advanced heart rate variability (HRV) analytics. This includes a heart health index to determine your body’s readiness for fitness and optimize your training intensity. The timepiece is even able to use this data to quantify your risk of having sinus heart rate, arrhythmias or risk of other heart diseases.
You also get stress management, something we’ve seen on Garmin wearables but not on Fitbit’s. Presumably Vela is using your HRV data to arrive at this metric. Furthermore, the watch spits out measurements of your SpO2 level together with cardiac load, respiratory rate and hypoxia time. This could benefit in the early prevention of OSAHS, suffocation, pneumonia, emphysema, lung cancer, heart failure, or a history of general anesthesia sleep apnea.
In a sense, all this sounds too good to be true. But the startup is confident it can deliver, and expects to ship to device to backers in December. In our view building a smartwatch with the necessary hardware is the easier part of the equation. They will need to accompany this with equally good algorithms and software.
Nevertheless, this is certainly a campaign we’ll keep a close watch on. Usual warnings about crowdfunded projects apply.
Price: $79 and up
$25,246 raised out of $10,000 goal
24 days to go
Estimated delivery: December 2018
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