Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Fitbit ups health and fitness features on Charge 4

Steve Rogerson
April 7, 2020



Fitbit says its latest Charge 4 tracker contain its most advanced health and fitness features so far including a personalised heart rate metric that tracks physical activity beyond steps to help wearers improve their overall health.
 
And Fitbit Premium delivers more programmes, challenges, workouts and mindfulness tools.
 
Featuring Fitbit’s most advanced combination of sensors and features, now with built-in GPS and Spotify, the Charge 4 is paired with smart features and up to seven days of battery life in a sleek, swimproof design.
 
Charge 4 includes Fitbit’s latest innovation, Active Zone Minutes, a personalised standard based on resting heart rate and age that tracks any workout that gets the heart pumping, from indoor biking to yoga, measuring the time wearers spend in each heart rate zone towards a weekly goal of 150 minutes.
 
Content has been added to Fitbit Premium, including programmes, workouts from brands such as Barre 3, Down Dog and Physique 57, mindfulness tools, and challenges. Fitbit is offering a free 90-day trial for new Premium users.
 
“Our mission has always been to help people around the world get healthier,” said James Park, Fitbit CEO and co-founder. “In today’s extraordinary times, that mission is more important than ever, but we realise how hard it is to focus on your health and wellness. However, staying active, eating well and getting enough sleep can help reduce stress and boost immunity. To help support our users, we’re offering a free trial of Fitbit Premium and added content so our users have the right tools at home to help them stay healthy. And with Active Zone Minutes, we are giving users a new personalised standard for health and fitness so they can get the most out of any activity that works for them and help to keep them motivated.”
 
Active Zone Minutes will launch first with Charge 4, with a design made to optimise GPS performance and other sensors and capabilities while maintaining a slim, lightweight tracker for the same price and battery life. Its lightweight, swimproof design is comfortable for all-day and night wear, featuring an inductive button, a scratch-resistant screen and a crisp touchscreen display that is easy to view in natural light.
 
As the first Fitbit tracker with built-in GPS, users can leave their phones at home and get performance data for activities such as running, walking and other outdoor excursions. Now with the ability to track pace and distance in real time, in addition to the more than 20 goal-based exercise modes, wearers can access seven GPS-enabled exercise modes, including a new outdoor workout mode for any outdoor activity such as hiking, running or a brisk walk.
 
After completing a GPS-enabled workout, users can sync theirs device for a GPS-powered heat map in the Fitbit app where they can see their workout intensity based on different heart rate zones along the route to help them visualise and improve how they are performing against different terrain.
 
With Fitbit’s PurePulse round-the-clock heart rate tracking, Active Zone Minutes uses personalised heart rate zones to track effort for any energising activity, whether doing a workout, power yoga or taking a vigorous walk outside. Users earn credit for each minute of moderate activity in fat burn zone and double the credit for vigorous activity in cardio and peak zones.
 
Active Zone Minutes is based on recommendations from health organisations, including the World Health Organisation and the American Heart Association, who recommend getting 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week, which has been linked to better overall health and well-being, disease prevention, improved cognitive function, less anxiety and better sleep.
 
Sleep is a critical component to maintaining overall health and wellness, and boosting immunity. As such, Fitbit’s sleep features are included with Charge 4 to help wearers understand and improve their sleep. Previously only available on Fitbit smartwatches, smart wake (coming soon) uses machine learning to wake the wearer at the optimal time. Sleep Score provides deeper insights into sleep with a daily look at the quality of sleep, now available on-wrist for Charge 4. Other sleep features on Charge 4 make it easy to improve sleep, all from the wrist.
 
Charge 4 also has a relative SpO2 sensor, which powers Fitbit’s estimated oxygen variation graph in the Fitbit app. With the graph, users can see an estimate of the oxygen level variability in their bloodstream, which may indicate variations in breathing during sleep.
 
In addition, Charge 4 comes standard with SmartTrack automatic exercise tracking, cardio fitness level and score, floors climbed, reminders to move every hour, female health tracking, food, water and weight logging, motivation from the global social fitness network of nearly 30 million like-minded individuals around the world, and free educational insights about activity and sleep in the Fitbit app to understand how health and wellness tie together.
 
Other features include on-screen call, text, agenda and app notifications, and a keep in touch with family and friends app with quick replies on Android to respond on-the-go or mute alerts with do-not-disturb mode.
 
Now standard on all Charge 4 devices, users can make secure payments from their wrist with Fitbit Pay with nearly 500 issuers at retailers in 44 countries and ten transit systems worldwide, including New York MTA.
 
To support users and help people stay active at home during today’s difficult times, Fitbit is offering 40 new pieces of Premium content free in the Fitbit app. In addition, anyone new to Fitbit Premium can get a 90-day free trial of this paid subscription, which includes personalised health insights, guidance, sleep tools, customised programmes and more than 200 workouts.
 
Fitbit now has 16 programmes available to Premium users. New guided programmes include strength training, gym cardio and mindful eating, tailored based on goals, fitness level, schedule and preferences. In addition to a range of workouts categorised by time, activity and fitness level, Premium members have access to new mindfulness content from brands such as Ten Percent Happier.
 
Three customisable challenges are also available to Premium members, including Get Fit Bingo, where users can compete with family and friends on a health and fitness bingo board with different activities such as meeting step or Active Zone Minutes goals for the day.
 
“Since launching Fitbit Premium last year, consumer retention and engagement results are improving, and we’re seeing positive health and wellness benefits for our users,” said Jonathan Oakes, executive vice president at Fitbit. “For example, users who took less than 5000 steps per day before trying Premium took 16,000 more steps per week during the first two weeks of joining, a testament to the power of our Premium experience in improving users’ health and fitness.”