Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Huami health band screens heart rhythm in background

Steve Rogerson
October 2, 2018



Chinese wearables company Huami has released two smart wearables and a custom-designed chipset: the redesigned Amazfit Health Band 1S; the Amazfit Verge smartwatch; and the low-power MHS001 wearables artificial intelligence (AI) chip.
 
Closely following the company’s strong second quarter earnings, the company says the product announcements represent its commitment to delivering AI development, smartwatch functionality, smart home integration and medical-grade wearables.
 
Building on its April 2017 debut of the first wrist-worn ECG measuring device sold directly to consumers, the second edition Amazfit Health Band 1S can screen the heart rhythm in the background round the clock and sends an alert if it detects irregularities that appear to be atrial fibrillation (AFib).
 
This is then followed by a suggestion on the wristband to start a 30 to 120s electrocardiography (ECG) recording process to provide an even more detailed heart health analysis. The user can also request a personal analysis of their ECG data conducted by Huami-certificated medical experts via a subscription fee.
 
Amazfit Verge is Huami’s latest flagship smartwatch featuring Xiao AI voice assistance, the ability to make phone calls through the watch via Bluetooth connection to a mobile phone, a bright 3.3cm amo-LED display, five days of battery life, GPS plus Glonass, the ability to track more than ten different sports including running, cycling, tennis, football and skiing, as well as daily activity – steps, calories, distance – and detailed sleep tracking including light sleep, deep sleep, awake phases and total sleep duration.
 
Other features and apps are smart home controls, a five-day weather forecast, on-board music for phone-free exercise, smart notifications for emails, text messages, calendar alerts and other apps, a timer, stopwatch, alarms and compass. An integrated NFC chip allows for payments via AliPay and UnionPay and bus ticket capability in more than 165 cities.
 
Huami also announced a wearables processor that comes integrated with an AI neural network with four core artificial intelligence engines — a cardiac biometrics engine named Heart ID, plus ECG, ECG Pro and a heart rhythm abnormality monitoring engine (arrhythmia). The Risc-V wearable processor with always-on module has an open source instruction set and was designed for low power consumption.
 
“The past three years have ushered incredible growth not only for the Amazfit brand but the wearables market as a whole,” said Frederik Hermann, head of US marketing and sales for Huami. “Wearable technology promises infinite benefits, but widespread consumer adoption is often limited by expense. We are making clinical-grade technology and personalised health data more accessible so people are empowered to take control of their wellbeing and establish life-changing health habits.”
 
As of second quarter 2018, the company grew 54.8 per cent year-over-year. Strong top and bottom line results were driven by robust sales of Amazfit products including Amazfit Bip, which it says has become the third most popular smartwatch worldwide. In the first half of 2018, Huami sold approximately 1.4 million Amazfit products, and revenue generated from Amazfit products and other value added services was US$76.5m.
 
“The launch of our new smartwatches and medical-grade health devices for consumers is another significant milestone for Huami in 2018 and largely confirms what users and reviewers worldwide have been touting from the beginning – that Amazfit offers the best low-key casual smartwatches around at a remarkable bargain, just like the Casio of the 21st century,” said Hermann.
 
The new products were available in China last month and will roll out internationally later in 2018 and early 2019.
 
Huami is the sole partner of Xiaomi, a mobile internet company and consumer electronics brand, to design and manufacture Xiaomi-branded smart bands, watches, scales and associated accessories.