(CNN) — The covid-19 pandemic threw daily routines out the window; sleep schedules changed, as did diets, exercise regimens, even hygiene. Stress levels reached higher levels than ever.
Fitbit CEO James Park says the past 18 months have inspired the company to take a closer look at how its fitness tracking devices can improve mental health and stress management.
Their solution: a next-generation physical activity tracking device that rates users’ mental and physical readiness to meet the challenges of each morning and provides personalized suggestions to better plan their day.
“We realized (during the pandemic) that we were capable of more than we thought and that what it means to be strong took on a new meaning – maybe it’s not about being in the best physical shape,” Park said at a wheel. press.
“It’s about controlling your body and balancing activity with rest. It’s about finding time for your mental and physical health and managing your stress. It’s about taking a break today,” he added.
The Fitbit Charge 5 and its daily grooming feature
The Charge 5 ($ 179.95) comes with all the features you’d expect from a fitness tracker: it’s slim and stylish, has a bright AMOLED screen, and has built-in GPS.
But its new daily prep feature is the big point of interest. Fitbit says it uses an algorithm to generate a score each morning that takes into account the level of activity or effort the day before; how well you’ve slept in the last few days; and heart rate variability during deep sleep, which helps measure the body’s responses to stressors such as illness and emotional stress.
These benchmarks are compared on a personal basis. When a user scores low, the app will suggest that they prioritize recovery and recommend activities such as yoga, stretching, or a mindfulness session. When you get a high score, it will suggest one of your hundreds of workouts.
New feature, included in the Fitbit Premium service
The feature is available through Fitbit’s Premium service, which costs $ 10 a month (or $ 80 a year) for advanced health information, sleep tools, games, and guided programs. Charge 5 includes six free months of this service.
The feature will also be available as an update for other Fitbit devices, including the Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Luxe, and Inspire 2. The company said it has around 1 million Premium subscribers.
Fitbit also incorporated several tools that were already present in its Sense line of smartwatches, such as an EDA sensor that measures the body’s response to stress by monitoring changes in the sweat glands, and an ECG sensor that monitors the heart rate and potentially points out abnormalities that could help prevent blood clots, strokes, and other risks.
Fitbit is in a unique position to offer a feature like the daily readiness score, as it tracks both sleep and heart rate, and learns more about the user over time.
Pre-sale starts on Wednesday
“The preparation of the body is smart because excessive exercise can be a problem and lead to injuries in the future, and lack of exercise leads to being out of shape,” said Ramón Llamas, research director of the analysis firm of IDC market.
“This provides the user with proof of what their body is ready or what they need, taking the guesswork out of the user as to how their body is doing. It uses the user’s own data to get a score instead of comparing it to a set of information. vague and sometimes inaccurate. “
IDC reported that Fitbit shipped 15.1 million units worldwide in the one-year period that began in January 2020. That put it behind Apple (44 million), Xiaomi (43.6 million) and Huawei (29 ,4 millions).
Fitbit isn’t the only one offering wellness features. Samsung offers a stress management tool on its Galaxy Watch that allows users to check their heart rate and oxygen saturation to determine their stress level. It also offers breathing exercises, a practice that is also available on the Apple Watch.
The Fitbit Charge 5 pre-sale begins Wednesday and will begin shipping this fall.