Fitbit is adding menstrual cycle tracking to its smartwatches

Mar 14, 2018, 00:58
Fitbit is adding menstrual cycle tracking to its smartwatches

The Fitbit Ace, the new fitness-tracking device, is specially designed for children ages eight and up.

Fitbit's been marketing FitbitOS (the operating system that powers the Versa and Ionic) as an easy-to-use platform for creating apps/watch faces, and to its credit, it's already one of the simplest systems out there. Fitbit's sleep-tracking dashboard is the most accurate and insightful of any fitness tracker I've tested, and putting that tech in a stylish device that only needs to be charged twice a week could make Versa more competitive with Apple Watch than the Ionic was.

The waterproof Versa comes with a heart rate monitor, and a steps and workout tracker. After missing out on the most popular music services, including Apple Music and Spotify, by only offering a Pandora (p) app on its watch past year, Fitbit is adding only one new music app from Deezer, a service mainly popular in Europe, for now. Although Apple declines to share exact sales figures (Watch is listed under its Other category during its quarterly reports), analysts claim it is the industry's best-selling smartwatch. The Versa is much slimmer and more lightweight than my Series 3.

Fitbit is probably the most well-known company in the fitness tracker world, but smartwatches are new territory. This is probably going to be turn off for serious athletes, but Fitbit is branding this for the masses. That means if you were holding out for the long-rumored Fitbit Blaze 2 you may want to take a look at this watch from the company instead as we may never get one under that name. It's worth noting that these will become available across all Fitbit devices, but with a custom experience for Versa and Ionic owners.

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One new feature on the watch is specifically for women to help in tracking their menstrual cycle.

According to Fitbit, the Fitbit Ace fitness tracker will cost $99.95 and will be available sometime this spring.

It comes in a choice of finishes: black, silver or rose gold.

Female users can use the Fitbit app and the Versa to keep track of periods and record symptoms.

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Functionality is also pretty similar to the company's existing trackers, offering step counting, sleep tracking and move reminders (which can be muted during the school day). If the kid has a phone, the Ace will also display call notifications.

"The challenge of inactivity with our children is not going away and is only estimated to get worse as they get older, dropping nearly 40 minutes per year from ages 9 to 15", said Chris Watts, executive director of the National Fitness Foundation.

The Fitbit Ace is basically an adapted version of the Fitbit Alta, with a smaller, adjustable band to fit tinier wrists and a revised software to remove data that may not be as relevant to younger users, such as calories burned. Through the Fitbit app parents can check their child's activity, progress on activity goals and even approve friend requests from family members - that way the whole family can stay in healthy competition.

Populations of Hispanic and black children have higher obesity rates than do those of white children. The Fitbit Ace comes in purple and blue and is also available for pre-order today from Fitbit.

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