Sony SmartBand Fitness Tracker Slated for March Release

Following the recent wave of wearable fitness-tracking technology, the Sony SmartBand will be released worldwide later this month. The SmartBand, the first device to be powered by Sony’s new Core fitness tracker, was initially unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show back in January as part of what Sony claims will be a long campaign of fitness-related wearable technology. But Sony is looking to take the Core’s functionality further than existing fitness trackers, and it’s going about that in some fairly exciting ways.

About the Band

Sony’s new fitness campaign focuses on giving wearable fitness-tracking technology a whole new spectrum of capabilities compared to current products on the market. “Sony isn’t marketing this strictly as a fitness accessory,” The Verge points out. While wearing the band, data will be stored and updated between the device and Lifelog, a phone app that will organize and display the wearer’s daily and weekly routines along with suggestions and recommendations for optimizing daily habits.

The collected data provides more than just average running speeds and favorite routes: it includes recent music the user has listened to, sleep patterns, favorite books, places visited, games played, and more. Lifelog takes this information, analyzes it, and then transmits it back to the Sony SmartBand.

Because the band itself doesn’t feature a display, it will rely on the Lifelog app to truly reach its potential. Even without the display, the SmartBand will still be useful: for example, the Core in the SmartBand considers analyzed sleep patterns to generate an automatic alarm that will vibrate when it is time to go to bed and again when it is time to wake up to help the user to maintain an optimal sleep cycle.

Powered by Core

The Sony SmartBand itself acts solely as a holder for the Core fitness tracker, a small chip that serves as the “brain” for the tracking process. The SmartBand wrist strap is the first holder to be released for the Core, but more are soon to follow—in addition to what is sure to be an army of third-party offerings.

Currently, the Core is estimated to have a week of battery life. It has one USB port and is waterproof, as fitness trackers must be. But along with the vibrating alarms, Sony has found other ways to make interacting with the device easy. While the Core automatically syncs with the Lifelog app, the chip alone has no way of knowing when a user wants to mark a special occasion or something memorable in their log. Instead of opening up the app, all the user has to do is tap the Core on the wrist strap. This places a bookmark in the Lifelog app indicating that something special happened, which is just one more way the Sony SmartBand slogan of “log your day, every day” rings true.

The Core will be a fresh release this month, meaning that upgrades and additional features are sure to come in the months following its debut roll-out. According to SlashGear, Sony is even toying with the idea of combining a camera with the Core, which means the best could be yet to come with this little gadget.

What features would you like to see added to this new fitness tracker?

Image courtesy of Flickr