Health Applications Boost Interest in Smart Bracelets

Wearable appliances should be very successful selling in the weeks leading up to Christmas, thanks to a great leap in the public interest about fitness wristbands and smart watches.

In recent days, news has surfaced that Microsoft, Fitbit and Jawbone have announced new fitness wristbands, hoping to take advantage of that potential.

According to market research group NPD, about two-thirds of consumers in the United States were informed about fitness wristbands and smart watches in July, about twice the level recorded a year ago.

The number should have increased even more since Apple showed its iWatch watch in September.

Sales of fitness wristbands have doubled over the same period, and the product already reaches 10% of US consumers, while 25% have tracking apps on their smartphones.

“Activity trackers will be a hot item this holiday season,” said Eddie Hold, vice president of NPD’s Connected Intelligence division.

Sales of these devices will be boosted by the growing use of health apps.Smart watches, however, have been a more difficult sales proposition.Only 3% of US consumers own the wearable devices produced by companies such as Samsung and Motorola, and the percentage is not growing for the time being.

Apple’s smart watch, which will sell for more than $ 350, will not be available until early next year.That may mean that potential buyers of smart watches are putting off buying decisions, analysts said.

Fitbit, seen as the market leader in wearable fitness appliances, also delayed by 2015 the launch of two of the three new products it recently announced.

This created an opportunity for rivals like Jawbone and Microsoft in the holiday season.”We think of the smart clock as a daytime phone, as an extension of what we do with the phone,” said Hosain Rahman, chief executive of Jawbone.

As Apple and its rivals prepare for battle, smaller companies enter the market with the hope of driving the wearers into new directions.

OnBeep, a San Francisco start-up, unveiled Onyx, a $ 99 walkie-talkie-like gadget that can be tied to clothing.

Onyx uses the wireless connections of a smartphone to allow users to send short voice messages to a small group of friends by pressing a large button.

This simple “real-time” voice system was “actually designed to allow people to keep their eyes on the world without being distracted by a device close to the face,” said Jesse Robbins, chief executive of the company. And you can get what you want from IAMACCEPTED.COM.

“Our inspiration was the ‘Star Trek’ communicator,” he adds.

Moto 360
The watch has interesting functions when paired with the phone, although the Android Wear system does not pair with iPhones. Battery life lasts only one day and voice commands can cause confusion
FUNCTIONS accompanies heartbeats and footsteps, responds to voice commands, reports weather forecasts, soccer match results, receives notifications of incoming or outgoing calls, text messages and emails
MEMORY 512 Mbytes
STORAGE 4 Gbytes
HOW MUCH from R $ 759

Samsung Gear Fit
It stands out by the number of functions, much higher than those of competitors, but only if you have one of Samsung’s handsets compatible with the application. The battery lasts little, between two and three days, and recharge is messed up. The cardiac monitor is inaccurate
FUNCTIONS time, notifications of apps and calls, allows to respond to messages, heart rate meter and steps, sleep monitor and ‘personal trainer’ to run
COMPATIBLE with only a few Samsung handsets (
HOW MUCH R $ 699

Sony Smartband
The bracelet combines aesthetics and capabilities, though it does not have a watch. The app is restricted to Android 4.4 users
FUNCTIONS Monitora sleep, intelligent alarm, which wakes you up in the lighter phase of sleep, media control, pedometer and built-in speakers and microphone, which allow you to talk on the phone if your Android smartphone is connected.
Compatible with Android
HOW MUCH R $ 399

Jawbone Up24
Good in packaging and content: with modern design, easy to put on and take off, and the UP application is didactic and integrates with other services such as Runkeeper and MyFitnessPal. The battery lasts for seven days
FUNCTIONS Monitors sleep, controls your diet, silent and intelligent alarm clock, which wakes you up at the right stage of your sleep cycle, timer and idle alert – which tells you when you have been standing for a long time
Compatible with Android and iOS
HOW MUCH R $ 809

Samsung Gear S
The watch connects to the 3G internet without needing a smartphone, which allows you to make and receive calls and messages. However, the task of writing an email on a 2-inch screen can be tricky
FUNCTIONS With chip input, it allows for phone calls, messages, notifications, and e-mails. It has weather forecast, GPS, contact list, calendar, heart rate control and steps
MEMORY 512 Mbytes
STORAGE 4 Gbytes
HOW MUCH R $ 1,499

Garmin Vivofit
The bracelet does not have GPS, but it has fitness features like calorie expenditure monitor and physical exercise goals. The application is confusing but has a computer version. The battery lasts for one year without needing to recharge
FUNCTIONS Time, ANT + connection, monitors sleep, heart rate, steps, calendar with caloric expenditure and daily movement goals
Compatible with Android and iOS
HOW MUCH R $ 499

From the Well Machine
The silicone bracelet, slightly wider than the competitors, has black and brown options. The battery lasts a week. The app, exclusive to iPhone users, is intuitive but offers few capabilities. Does not have an alarm clock
FUNCTIONS Monitors sleep, idle alert, step measurement, spent calories and distance traveled
Compatible with iOS
How much $ 229