Fitbit launches subscription coaching app with new hardware

Would you pay Dh30 a month for personalised virtual coaching? Fitbit is betting you will


Fitbit and its variety of wearable devices has always been about pushing people towards healthier, more active lives. Here at #GNTECH, we were impressed by the Charge 2 HR’s comprehensive analysis of sports performance, while its little sister model, the Alta HR, retained most of its features in a nicer package. On Monday, the brand announced a slew of new products: its first (proper) smartwatch, a pair of wireless headphones (which have a wire), an updated Aria 2 Smart Scale and a premium paid smart coaching app.

Ionic: The fitness smartwatch

As the company’s first smartwatch, the Ionic builds on Fitbit’s exercise-tracking expertise with the aid of a new blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensor, which the company says will be able to track conditions such as sleep apnoea following a future update. Ionic also comes with GPS tracking, an improved heart rate monitor, water resistance to 50 metres, and on-board dynamic workout guidance. It also retains core features from previous models such as four-day battery life, sleep and activity tracking as well as cross-platform compatibility.

The Ionic also features an on-board music player, and allows for contactless payments. The Ionic runs on Fitbit OS, the company’s new operating system. Fitbit says that it will update the app to add new experiences regularly. The OS comes with Fitbit App Gallery, which offers various watch faces and commonly used apps. The apps on offer now are Exercise, Fitbit Coach, Relax and Timer.

The Fitbit Ionic can be pre-ordered from the main Fitbit page and select online retailers. The smartwatch retails for $299.95 (Dh1,100) and will be available in actual stores worldwide from October. The colours available are silver gray with a blue gray band, smoke gray with a charcoal band and burnt orange with a slate blue band.

Flyer: Wireless fitness headphones

Flyer is the first pair of Bluetooth headphones by Fitbit. It comes in what looks to be a durable and sweat-proof design. These headphones are the first to use technology from Waves MaxxAudio. Flyer is also seamlessly compatible with the Ionic.

Flyer comes with a hydrophobic nano-coating that is rain-, splash- and sweat-proof. In the box is a variety of interchangeable ear tips, wings and fins that let you customise as you see fit. The earphones promise up to six hours of play time. If you need to work out for that extra hour, a 15-minute quick charge will do the job.

There are two different sound settings on the device: Signature and Power Boost. Power Boost is for that amplified bass sound that gets you pumped up during your session. Thankfully, the Fitbit Flyer can connect to multiple devices at once, so you can even receive your calls in between. A dual microphone array also lets you chat with your digital assistant, be it Google Assistant, Cortana or Siri.

Flyer will be available at Fitbit and other online retailers. It will be available in physical stores come October and retails for $129.95. The wireless earphones come in two colours: lunar grey and nightfall blue.

Aria 2: An upgraded Wi-Fi scale

The fitness wearable company revealed the sequel to its popular Wi-Fi-connected weighing scale Aria. The new model, Aria 2, has been re-engineered to help users track and understand their weight and body composition better than before. It provides information such as weight, body fat percentage, lean mass and even BMI.

Most crucially, Aria 2 syncs with the Fitbit app to provide a far more accurate picture of its owner’s health: You can work out all you like, but weight really matters too. The scale has a sleek design and comes with a bright display for easy reading of stats. The smart scale comes in black and white and will retail for $129.95.

Fitbit fitness coaching

The new Fitness Coach app is designed to analyse and deliver a custom coaching programme based on the data it collects over time. This can then be catered towards specific goals by telling you the best way to achieve them.

It combines dynamic video workouts with audio coaching sessions, to help users increase the endurance, speed and form of their workout. The program also introduces Guided Health Programs, which provide step-by-step guidance, personalised insights, educational tools and rewards to influence positive behavior change and health outcomes.

The new coaching services will be made available on Android, iOS and Windows devices from October on a monthly subscription of $7.99 a month or $39.99 a year.


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