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Wearable Tech

TomTom's new fitness tracker can measure body fat

The TomTom Touch is one of the first fitness trackers that can measure body fat and muscle mass.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

TomTom is doubling down on fitness. The navigation company on Thursday introduced its first dedicated fitness tracker, the TomTom Touch.

It's a slim band with a touchscreen display and five days of battery life that can measure steps, distance, calories burned, sleep and heart rate. The tracker can also display notifications when connected to an iPhone or Android smartphone, and carries a water-resistance rating of IPX7.

On the surface, the Touch sounds like every other fitness tracker on the market, but that's not the case. The device can also measure body composition (things like body fat and muscle mass). This is done through bioelectrical impedance, which is the same technology used by smart scales like the Fitbit Aria and Withings Body Cardio.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

But it's not perfect or automatic, and the entire process still seems a bit clunky. You are required to place your finger on a small sensor below the display. A second sensor on the back of the tracker is pushed against your wrist and after a few seconds information on your body fat and muscle mass will be displayed onscreen. I didn't get to try it out for myself, and it remains unclear just how accurate these readings will be.

Bioimpedance isn't a new technology. The Jawbone Up3 used it for measuring heart rate, but few trackers offer body composition analysis like TomTom is promising.

The TomTom Touch will be available in blue, red and purple for $130 in October. That price converts to about £100 in the UK and AU$170 in Australia.