Leaked Fitbit smartwatch renders may have revealed Fitbit’s secret weapon against Apple

When we last wrote about the newly leaked renders of Fitbit’s Project Higgs smartwatch we concentrated more on the appearance of the device and rumours around its app store, but ReadWrite.com notes that they reveal something much more important, at least when it comes to Fitbit’s future in the wearables market place.

Fitbit used to dominate the wearables market, but Apple’s increasing focus on fitness and built-in ecosystem have seen the earlier market leader slip to 3rd place according to the IDC.

Fitbit’s Project Higgs smartwatch is their attempt to get back on an even playing field with Apple, but given Apple’s advantage with iPhone owners, this may not be enough. That is where the new sensor revealed in the recently leaked renders may come in.

As can be seen in the cropped images above, the Fitbit Blaze sensor on the left uses two green LEDs, while the Project Higgs LEDs are red.

ReadWrite notes that red light offers better tissue penetration and may allow Fitbit to measure all kinds of new data besides just heart rate, such as blood oxygen content (as seen in hospital pulse oximeters)  and even hydration levels, and generally simply offer more accurate readings.

David Carr, associate strategy director at design and strategy firm Frog and previously research associate at MIT, told Wearables:

“The red light technology enables optical sensing, particularly for heart rate that’s vastly more accurate than anything else on the market today. That’s one of the biggest complaints about the green light technology. That’s really just scratching the surface of what the red technology can do. Using the longer wavelengths, we can move the signals much deeper inside of the body and we can see more interesting signals.”

According to earlier leaks, the smartwatch would also feature:

  • 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
  • 3rd party Applications
  • 4-day battery life between charges
  • $300 price point

Fitbit has made it clear on a number of occasions that their new wearable is on track for release this Holiday season and for Windows, users offer integration such as Cortana support and a native UWP Windows Store app which is regularly updated.  Will our readers be picking one up? Let us know below.

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