HEALTHY INNOVATION: Runtastic Announce New Wearable
Today Runtastic have announced their first venture into the world of 24/7 health tracking wearables in the form of the Runtastic Orbit. This doesn’t come as a major surprise as over the past year they have been increasing their portfolio of fitness hardware to support their plethora of mobile fitness apps, in particular Runtastic Pro. The difference this time is that the Runtastic Orbit is not just for when you are working out, but all day and night instead.
When asked about the new device Florian Gschwandtner (CEO and Co-Founder of Runtastic) said:
Orbit was crafted with a diverse audience of users in mind. We see a market with pent-up demand and a desire for an easy-to-use, reliable tracking product. So whether people simply want to become more familiar with their daily habits, track their sleep patterns and cycles, or achieve specific goals, such as burning more calories or completing a certain number of steps each day, Orbit is the perfect tool to help users improve their lives.
As the Runtastic Orbit is a tracker unit, it is designed to be worn either on a wrist strap or clip and has a lot of competition out there from the Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex and Polar Loop as well as wearables from Nike, Samsung and Sony to name a few. Gschwandtner’s response to this was:
We recognize consumers have a lot of choices when it comes to wearables. For that reason, our team was especially meticulous about putting together a unique feature set that brings together the ‘best of the best.’ Our goal is to provide users with tracking data plus context in order to inspire them to optimize their behaviours and overall lifestyles.
Runtastic Orbit Features & Functionality
The Runtastic Orbit is packaged with two wrist straps (blue and black) and a clip (black) and it’s OLED display makes it a best of both worlds when compared with the Fitbit Flex (packaged with a wrist strap only), Fitbit One (OLED screen and is packaged with clip and sleep band) and Polar Loop (OLED screen and worn as a wrist strap).
- Active Minutes
- Calories Burned
- Sleep Cycles
Like the Fitbit One the Runtastic Orbit displays the time and has the ability to provide silent, vibration based, alarms and uses Bluetooth Smart Technology to wirelessly sync with mobile phones running Runtastic apps, but this is where the similarities end.
In addition to the above, the Runtastic Orbit senses Ambient Lighting, although we are not completely sure how this functionality will be utilised. Whereas the Fitbit product range is splash proof the Runtastic Orbit is waterproof up to 300 feet.
What makes the Runtastic Orbit really interesting is that it is capable of using it’s Bluetooth Smart technology to display information from the Runtastic Pro mobile app on it’s OLED screen via Orbit Connect letting you see workout information without having to look at your phone. In time other Runtastic mobile apps will be updated to make use of Obit Connect as well.
Runtastic Me App
To accompany the release of the Runtastic Orbit there is also a new companion mobile app ‘Runtastic Me’. Information tracked by the Runtastic Orbit syncs wirelessly with the Runtastic Me mobile app, allowing users to view tracked data from the Runtastic Orbit, within the Runtastic Me mobile app and on the Runtastic.com website. As with the Runtastic Orbit, the Runtastic Me mobile app displays detailed statistics, including Steps, Distance, Active Minutes and Calories Burned.
As you can probably imagine, this is an extremely useful thing for any runner to have, especially if they have a specific program that they’re working on. If you were training for a marathon for example, this would be a great way to keep track of how you’re progressing. Such a massive undertaking requires you to dedicate hours and hours of work towards getting yourself and you pretty much have to alter your lifestyle for a few months. Having a detailed breakdown, such as the one offered by runtastic, available on your phone would be massively beneficial.
Based on the information available from Runtastic, the Runtastic Orbit looks like it will go straight to the top of the fitness wearables wish list as it provides the functionality already offered by the Fitbit and Polar along with new and welcomed features like displaying fitness mobile app information on the Runtastic Orbit akin to the functionality offered by Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Fit. Finally, the price mark of 118 EUROS puts the Runtastic Orbit more expensive than the Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One and Polar Loop, but cheaper than the Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Fit.