Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Analogue watch shines in wearables bonanza at CES

Steve Rogerson
January 7, 2015
An analogue watch with an activity and sleep tracker is breaking new ground in the wearable health monitoring market. Launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Withings Activité Pop is said to converge fashion and mobile technology.

The watch was just one of a plethora of wearable devices launched at the show. These ranged from Melomind – a digital meditation aid from MyBrain Technologies that is worn on the head – to Blue Maestro’s Pacif-I, that measures a baby’s temperature and displays the results on a smartphone. Baby lovers were also heading to Slow Control’s stand to see Baby GlGl, a smart baby bottle that monitors how much milk is being drunk and shows the optimum angle to feed the child.

The idea of Melomind is that the user wears it for 15 minutes a day and it plays music. It links to a smartphone sending information on the user’s brainwaves. The music changes in response to the brainwaves, helping the wearer relax.

The motion trackers in the Withings watch integrate sensor and connectivity technology. This is contained in a watch that is lightweight and has what is claimed to be a “fun to wear” design with its PVD-coated case and smooth silicone strap. It comes in three colours – azure, shark grey and sand – and a range of playful wristbands.

“We’ve paired Activité’s elegant Parisian design with fun-to-wear materials and pop colours to create a very personal device that people would want to wear and never take off,” said Cédric Hutchings, CEO of Withings. “It is time wearables step up to what they claim to be.”

The watch has two hand dials, one showing the time and a sub dial showing percentage progress of specific activity goals. The objective – for example, 10,000 steps – is set within the application and throughout the day the user knows where he or she stands at a glance. When the goal is achieved, the watch vibrates.

It also automatically recognises and tracks swimming and running. And if worn at night, it monitors sleep quality and wakes the user up with a gentle vibration.

The watch syncs automatically with the free Withings Health Mate app on Apple devices. The app acts as a coach to help use achieve personal goals and is integrated with more than 100 partners. An Android version is in development.

Other features of the watch include hands that move automatically when it crosses time zones or the clock changes. It is powered by a standard watch battery that lasts up to eight months and it is water resistant up to 30 metres.

“The activity tracker category has a huge problem with abandonment, and so consumers don’t really get to see the benefit of long term data and the impact it can have on their health,” said Hutchings. “Activité Pop’s fashion-forward styling, price point and ease of use combine for the most accessible activity tracker that we’ve ever seen.”