Let's make sense of Fitbit Sense's three new sensors: First look
The fitbit sense is a totally new sensor studied fitness watch.
Temperature, stress sensing and ECG.
I've got it on my wrist.
I just haven't been able to set it up with fitbits app yet.
That's because it's strange times normally I'd be in an event looking at a demo.
Instead, Fitbit sent me the watch, but they haven't connected me yet.
With the Fitbit app that would allow me to use this still I got to talk to Fitbit about the sensors and there was a lot to talk about.
The Fitbit sense is fifth its newest top end smartwatch going alongside the Fitbit Versa three and its various other trackers.
The sensors on here add to what Fitbit already had.
Adding temperature sensing to check your skin temperature on your wrist.
EDA will just electro [UNKNOWN] activity that looks t your galvanic skin response to check how stressed you are.
And it adds ECG which is to look at heart [UNKNOWN] much like the Apple Watch and a lot of other fitness watches out there.
Samsung's recent watches have it too Fitbit tries to blend all these together with also a few improvements on some of the other sensor tech.
The heart rate optical setup here now has multiple optical channels which Fitbit says will give a more accurate heart rate on more people's wrists.
That's interesting because not only should it provide less flanking out but it could provide a richer flow of heart rate data.
Why that's interesting?
I'll get into that in a second.
But the design of the watch it feels a lot like a Fibit Versa.
I mean, it basically is an enhanced nicer Fibit Versa.
But the feel of it is slicker, there's more metal and glass.
It feels really sharply designed.
I can already feel that comparing it to the Fitbit Versa two, which I've been wearing for a while the buttons have changed.
There really is no button at all.
It's a haptic depression here that you can feel it doesn't click Click you can press and get a little vibration.
That's like what you have on the Fitbit Charge three and four.
So it's come over here as well but no buttons at all the way the straps attach is much better.
The Fitbit Versa two got really weird and it was Hard to get those straps hooked in.
These have a much easier release mechanism here that you can click and you can just pull it right out and it pops out and then you can put it right back on super simple.
The feel of the charger is also a lot nicer.
Fitbit has a million different chargers and there's a new one for this but this one just snaps on.
And that's it.
It's a lot better than that weird alligator clip thing that was on the Fitbit Versa models.
So what does all this stuff mean?
All of these sensors going on at the same time.
I mean, some of them I've seen before, the idea of trying to sense your stress level through galvanic skin response has been around and Fitbit is going to be using it in a breakout app.
It's going to get your stress level.
When you put your palm right over this to get the electrical conductivity, this whole thing here is metal.
And not only does the EDTA stuff, but will do ECG when you put your fingers on the edges to complete the circuit.
Temperature is the sort of thing that we have not seen in a lot of other wearables, but it's super interesting.
I've been wearing an aura ring.
For the last few months, this ray has temperature and is a sign of where a lot of other wearables I think are going to go.
Get can't tell your actual 98.6 skin temperature, but it will tell you the relative temperature on your finger.
Same thing with Fitbit sense.
And you'll get a graph of that, or has been researching for a while how temperature could be a forecast for potential signs of COVID.
That's something down the road that could be interesting.
Right now Fitbit is taking temperature and all these other variables and bringing it together into a kind of daily stress score that you're gonna get in the morning.
Similar to what Aurora are Already has an inner readiness score.
That score is new for Fitbit.
Maybe it's like the daytime version of your sleep score.
So you wake up and kind of get a little bit of a sense of where you're at for the day.
Maybe it helps you get a sense of you know.
If you're not feeling so well maybe it's noticing that I'm curious to check that out.
Now the weirdest thing is that while this as temperature sensing, this actually isn't the only Fitbit that's going to have temperature sensing, it turns out that Fitbit Versa devices for the past few years.
Have had some sort of temperature sensing baked in that was meant for the internal system.
And now they're unlocking that through software to use that to help sensor skin temperature as well.
That's pretty insane.
The third part ECG is pretty familiar already.
You know, any watch that has ECG already, like the Apple Watch is using a one lead ECG electrocardiogram.
To complete a circuit to scan your heart for 30 seconds to see if you've got any signs of atrial fibrillation.
Now that's serious and then you go to a doctor, you go to a cardiologist, and it's not a replacement for a deeper ECG that you can get at a cardiologist.
For instance, these types of ecgs won't look for signs of a heart attack.
Now Fitbit is not FDA cleared yet For the Fitbit, since it's pending, that's also not new in wearables Samsung's watch active two took a long time to get FDA clearance for ECG.
And a lot of devices are seeing hold ups that I've seen in that landscape.
So hopefully that's gonna hit in the fall, but we just don't know when.
And it means that at launch, you may not be able to use the ECG feature.
Again, how did these all intersect fits during a lot of sensors here, and one thing we haven't even gotten into is the Google acquisition that's pending.
But I did talk with fitbits heads of research to talk about what they see on these sensors and what they could possibly mean.
To date, our focus has been on trying to increase the accuracy of the heart rate.
And we're quite proud in the improvement that we're getting there.
One can envision that there'd be more information associated with this.
They could help with other types of sensing opportunities right now and the app was called eta scanner.
We're gonna count up the number of spikes that we see every 30 seconds and report that back to you as a user.
So you can get a very, very approximate measure of the overall state of engagement of your body.
I just by taking a sort of snapshot in time of the number of these responses.
We continue to add more and more of these things where I think you wouldn't necessarily, if you were just the average person, you might think that's not what my wearable should do.
But I think we we take a view that more information is better for you.
We want to give you and empower you as much information as you can.
So you can choose to do what you want with your health.
I think that is an ongoing thing.
You know, as we add more hardware sensors as we add more features, we're always trying to think about how we can consolidate these things and get people actions and guidance to Improve their stress levels, increase their activity and make their activity more efficient towards their heart health, etc.
Give them general awareness of conditions that they might be unknowingly susceptible to.
Pose a lot to take in and peoples' ideas of where these sensors can be applied for research show potentially a long road ahead.
That doesn't mean you're going to be seeing all that right now, on your wrist.
there gonna be a couple of key parts, but not necessarily all that deeper stuff.
Now, we also don't know anything about the impending Google acquisition and how that will impact Fitbit.
Will these be the last Fitbit devices that we see?
Will they be folded into a new generation of Google ones?
And how will Google's ecosystem work with fitbits.
And Fitbit premium.
These are unknowns that Fitbit did not answer.
But I do know that these types of sensors open up new doors that aren't on a lot of other smartwatches.
And I think that new sensor tech is gonna be showing up on a lot more wearable soon.
What we don't know yet is how all these sensors combined on an everyday wrist experience, but we will soon when we get set up to actually use this thing.
I'm super curious and I'll share my thoughts as soon as I can.
I feel like all these things are fascinating for where health tech is going.
Maybe you feel the same way.
There's gonna be a lot of changes in wearable tech over the next few years.
And Fitbit sense seems like the beginning of it.
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