The wearable tech company Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT) is releasing two new wristbands, the Charge 2 and Flex 2. The bands will offer a cardio-fitness test for the first time in the wrist. The test will be in the form of a quick snapshot and is based on VO2 max metrics.
James Park, CEO, and founder of the world’s biggest maker of fit trackers said the bands would give a deeper insight into the user’s health and physiology data. Monday on “CBS This Morning,” Park explained the wearables will the new feature of cardio-fitness level, based on VO2 max.
VO2 max measures aerobic capacity, how well the body uses oxygen while doing exercise; cardiovascular fitness is the ability of the lungs and blood cells to supply blood rich in oxygen to the muscles that are working out, as well as the ability of said muscles to use that oxygen.
Previously, people could only do a cardio fitness test in a performance lab, typically on a running treadmill with an oxygen mask. Now it’s available on a wearable tech band.
There is also the novelty of a “Relax” feature, where the wearable device can detect the breathing rate of the user and guide personalized breathing exercises. Additionally, Flex 2 will count the swimming laps.
Besides the releases, Fitbit launched a new update for their iOS and Android apps with new features.
Fitbit’s app update is introducing a new feature called Adventure
‘Adventure’ is a motivational add-on for the app that will take hiking routines outside the same old neighborhood and into famous hiking trails.
The program tracks the distance the user runs or walks and maps it out with professional and famous trails like one at Yosemite National Park in California or the New York City Marathon.
The app will keep one of its most famous features, the ability to compare to compare steps taken during the day with friends and family. Fitbit says the people who use the tech tend to take 30 percent more steps each day.
The company adds Adventures will offer a similar challenge even if people don’t have anyone to compete with in real life.
Individuals who keep using the company’s tech will probably tell their friends about it and upgrade to more advanced models, analysts say. And the market leader in wearable devices in updating two older devices: 2013’s Flex and 2014’s Charge.
Fitbit has sold over 48 million devices in 64 countries. According to IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, the company holds 24.5 percent of the market for wearable tech and more than 80 percent of the fitness tracker market.