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Wearable Tech

Lumafit: Fitness tracker and heart-rate monitor for your ear

Is there life in fitness trackers beyond the wrist? Lumafit hones in on the ear.

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Scott Stein/CNET

The era of the wrist-worn fitness band seems to have hit a peak, or at least a glut. So what about the ear?

Lumafit, a heart-rate monitoring fitness tracker that's launched its Kickstarter campaign today, is designed to fit over the ear. Actually, the plastic top piece just rests on top of the ear, while a clip that attaches to an earlobe has the LED and measurement sensor to check heart rate, like finger-worn pulse oximeter at a hospital.

The Lumafit does continuous heart-rate tracking, and it also has a three-axis accelerometer for measuring movement and head motion. When worn, it'll sense various activities and can be used, according to the company, for a wide range of exercises beyond just running, including sit-ups, weight machines, stationary cycles, ellipticals, and other situations that usually give wrist-worn trackers fits.

lumafit2.jpg
Scott Stein/CNET

The Lumafit previously existed as the Zinc Zen sensor, which was intended to focus on relaxation via biofeedback. The core technologies are now aimed at fitness, and a companion app for Android and iOS works wirelessly over Bluetooth 2.1 with Lumafit to give an exercise experience similar to workout games. The Lumafit charges via Micro-USB, and lasts six hours on a charge.

The launch price is $99, and it'll be available by "Q3 2014." I didn't get a chance to use one personally, but I saw it demoed and it does indeed track heart rate. As for its loftier promises of total workout tracking, well, stay tuned for a future review.