Even without any smart features, the belt is often the first piece of clothing to deliver the bad news that you might be packing on the pounds. Now a Samsung spinoff company has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Welt, a fitness tracker that gives the humble belt a little more tact in its health warnings, by monitoring the wearer's steps, sitting time, and waist size.

Samsung originally unveiled the Welt at CES back in January as part of a lineup of prototypes born from its Creative Lab, alongside what we now know as the Sgnl smart watch strap. Back then, it wasn't clear if any of those ideas would make it beyond prototyping, but both the Sgnl and the Welt belt have launched on Kickstarter to fund production.

Waist circumference is a key indicator of a person's health, and the Welt would seem to be in a better position to measure that than wearable fitness trackers located elsewhere on the body. So in addition to the usual tracking of steps taken and time spent sitting, the belt measures the wearer's waist size over time. Long term, it can tell you if you're on the right path to your set goals. Short term, it can monitor variations in how your belly expands when you eat, to form a wider picture of your eating habits and warn you if you binge too regularly.

Syncing via Bluetooth 4.1 to an iOS or Android device, the Welt companion app will then present that information to the wearer. But rather than bombarding them with all the nitty-gritty details, the company has made an effort to trim the fat from the data, combining waist size, steps taken and hours spent sitting into a color-coded score, which can be displayed on a daily, weekly or monthly graph.

Battery-wise, Welt claims that a single charge can power the belt for up to 20 days, depending on usage. Once it's depleted, it can be charged with a micro USB, through a port tucked away at the bottom of the buckle.

Since it's a device that works best if worn every day, the team has spent a fair amount of time on developing the Welt's sense of style. The result is something that doesn't scream "fitness tracker," but comes in a variety of subtle blacks, browns and blues to blend in with your wardrobe as a regular-looking belt. It will be available for both men and women, and in formal and casual designs.

The Welt project team is looking to raise US$30,000 to take the design into production, and is close to reaching that goal at the time of writing, with over 30 days remaining on the campaign. Pledges start at $69 for a Welt Casual, $99 for the Classic or $129 for the Premium. Kickstarter Special Editions of each come engraved with the backer's name or a message.

If all goes to plan, the smart belts are estimated to ship in January 2017. The team demonstrates the Welt in the video below.

Source: Welt Corp

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