Once the preserve of triathletes and gym junkies, fitness trackers and heart rate monitors have made their way into the mainstream. It's easier than ever to measure the metrics that matter with a raft of smartphone-connected scales, watches and wristbands. Philips is the latest to join the game, with its new suite of health and fitness monitoring devices.
Body analysis scale
As if stepping onto the scales wasn't scary enough, the new Philips scale provides information about body fat and BMI as well. Using a bio-impedance analysis system, the scale runs a small current through the user's body to work out body fat percentage, and combines the user's weight readings with information about their height to calculate and track the BMI.
All this information is tracked using the Philips HealthSuite app available for iOS and Android, which keeps track of the user's progress and graphs it in the app. Up to eight people can create a profile and use the scale at the same time. Well, not exactly the same time, but you get the idea...
The scale costs US$100.
Although Philips is marketing the Health Watch as a medical device, its feature set is almost identical to what you'd find in the latest Fitbit or Garmin, offering activity tracking, sleep tracking and constant heart rate monitoring through the inbuilt optical sensor.
Once it's connected via Bluetooth to the HealthSuite app, data about steps taken, calories burned and active time is all graphed out for easy monitoring. It can also give users a nudge if they've been sitting down too long.
Instead of running with a touchscreen, users interact with the watch using a touch ring around the outside of the monochrome Gorilla Glass display. There are two straps included in the box, and the stainless steel body is water-resistant up to 1 ATM.
The four-day lithium-ion battery is charged using a USB cradle, and there's enough memory inside for seven days worth of data. Obviously, data can be logged over a much longer period by syncing with the HealthSuite app.
The Health Watch is priced at $250, which seems expensive for a compact monochrome device when you consider the Samsung Gear Fit 2's smartphone features, attractive design and $180 price tag.
Blood pressure monitors
Things get a bit more serious with two Bluetooth blood pressure monitors. Like the other connected devices, both link up with the HealthSuite application to graph results.
The first monitor is a full-featured upper-arm unit, which measures systolic (pressure in the arteries during contraction of the heart muscle) and diastolic pressure (pressure between heart beats), and classifies your measurement based on the World Health Organization and International Society for Hypertension's scale for normal blood pressure. Two different users can track their data side-by-side, and the unit is charged using a DC wall plug.
Philips' second offering is a smaller, wrist-mounted unit. Like its bigger brother, it measures systolic and diastolic pressure, and the results are classified using the same system. Unlike the upper-arm unit, it's charged using a regular MicroUSB cable, and is designed to be a smaller, more portable option.
You'll pay $90 for the wrist monitor, and $100 for the upper-arm unit
As you might have gathered by looking at it, the ear thermometer will, well, take your temperature. Philips says it takes just two seconds to accurately take a reading, and the data is synced with the HealthSuite app for easy long-term tracking. Pricing starts at $60.
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