Fitbit denies Project Higgs smartwatch development issues

Two months ago details regarding Fitbit’s rumoured smartwatch has leaked via Yahoo Finance. Codenamed Project Higgs, the device, which has been delayed due to issues with making it fully waterproof and improving its GPS antenna, has been pushed back till later this year.

Now Bloomberg reports that even after that delay the smartwatch is still experiencing development issues.

In November last year, Fitbit acquired Pebble, with that OS forming the centre of their own smartwatch.  Bloomberg now reports that the majority of the California-based Pebble employees have left the company and the problems do not stop there. Together with this, the Javascript-based app store platform it also believed to be compromised, and may not be ready for when the device is expected to ship in the fall.

Apparently, Fitbit’s attempted deal with Spotify has fallen through, and many of Fitbit’s own employees are sceptical of the project and are rather focussing on a new sleeker Charge HR and Bluetooth-based Fitbit Scale.

In  statement  Fitbit for their part denied any issues, saying:

“We can confirm that development of our smartwatch and our 3rd party apps are on track. Any claims that the developer program is struggling are false. We look forward to working with the developer community to offer users the opportunity to curate their own Fitbit experience and, with our broad cross-platform compatibility and expertise in health and fitness, are well positioned to succeed. “

Still, with Fitbit facing increasing pressure from the Apple Watch, which finally overtook it in terms of shipments, the $300 Fitbit Smartwatch is becoming increasingly important for the company, who’s share price fell 55% in the last 12 months.

According to the leak it features:

  • A refined version of the Blaze aluminium unibody design with accents with swappable bands.
  • 1000 nits of brightness colour screen for easy outdoor visibility.
  • GPS
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Wireless payments
  • Offline Music from Pandora
  • 4-day battery life between charges

Fitbit is also set to deliver a set of wireless headphones code-named “Parkside” presumably compatible with Project Higgs and designed to hang around your neck.   Available in “Nightfall Blue” and “Lunar Gray,” they are set to cost around $150.

Fitbit has shown good support for Windows phones and PCs over the years, and with the demise of the Microsoft Band, the Project Higgs looks like a good replacement going forward. Hopefully, when it is delivered it will be worth the wait.