Image source: Masimo

Masimo announces Freedom smartwatch & band amidst Apple clash

Masimo, a company known for its medical technology, is making a foray into the consumer tech market with the introduction of the Freedom Smartwatch and the Freedom Band. This move comes against the backdrop of the company’s legal dispute with Apple.

The Apple dispute: A catalyst for innovation

Masimo’s recent headlines have been dominated by its legal battle with Apple. The core of the argument revolves around patent infringement claims by Masimo against Apple.

The conflict is centred around the blood oxygen monitoring technology used in Apple’s Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra. Masimo accused Apple of proprietary infringement, a claim that led to a legal victory for Masimo and a subsequent ban on certain Apple Watch models in the US. Apple has, in the past few days, continued selling the models in question. However, they no longer include the blood oxygen feature as this has been switched off.

This legal triumph not only bolstered Masimo’s position in the technology domain but also set the stage for its expansion into consumer-friendly gadgets.

Masimo Freedom Smart Health Watch

The first of these offerings is the upcoming Freedom smartwatch. This timepiece stands out with its distinctive round display, a departure from the more common rectangular smartwatch screens. This design choice is complemented by a navigation touchbar and a selection button, offering a user-friendly interface. The watch’s design looks to be a deliberate effort to differentiating Massimo’s offering from Apple’s.

Massimo Freedom smartwatch
Masimo Freedom Smart Health Watch

At its core, the Freedom smartwatch is a testament to Masimo’s commitment to health monitoring accuracy. The watch offers a comprehensive suite of features including:

  • Hydration Index: Tracks relative hydration levels.
  • Oxygen Saturation: Monitors blood oxygen levels.
  • Respiration Rate: Measures the rate of breathing.
  • Pulse Rate Variability: Analyzes the variability in heart rate.
  • Pulse Rate: Tracks the heart rate.
  • Steps: Counts daily steps for activity tracking.
  • Fall Detection: Provides added safety by detecting falls.
  • Privacy Mode: Allows users to control the sharing of their personal data.
  • Recovery and Sleep Indexes: Offers insights into sleep patterns and recovery metrics.

Masimo Freedom Band: A complement to the smartwatch

In addition to this, the company is working on the Masimo Freedom Band. It utilises the same patented sensor technology as the Freedom Smartwatch so offers many of the same features. The Band is a perfect complement to the smartwatch, providing health monitoring in a different form factor. Prototypes of both devices were showcased at CES 2024.

Masimo Freedom band
Masimo Freedom band

Accuracy and reliability: The Masimo edge

What sets the Freedom line apart is its claim of unparalleled accuracy in health monitoring. Masimo asserts that its blood oxygen monitoring technology is superior to its competition, accounting for factors like skin pigmentation, motion, and blood flow. This level of precision is rooted in Masimo’s long-standing expertise in medical-grade health monitoring.

Essential readingBest fitness trackers and health gadgets

What also sounds interesting is the Hydration Index. The company doesn’t reveal much about the feature apart from saying it provides relative hydration values. Presumably, once the wearable establishes your hydration baseline, it will estimate how much you deviate from that. This suggests that the Hydration Index is designed to provide users with actionable health insights regarding their hydration status. If it is something that truly is accurate, it will be an excellent feature – something that no other wearable on the market really provides.

A pricey watch, release date later this year

Mind you, this is not the first offering by the company. But its Masimo W1 Sport is primarily health-focused, while the Freedom smartwatch and band aim to reach a wider consumer base.

Masimo Freedom Health Watch is projected to be priced at $999, positioning it in the premium segment of the wearable market. It is available for reservation on the company’s website with a $100 deposit. The website states that final specs may differ from the prototype, and FDA approval for the health features is pending. The final pricing details of the Freedom Band are yet to be announced.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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