A lot of people have become health nuts. When I look around at my friends, more than half of them have more well-defined abs than I do life goals.
To fulfill this desire to track health and fitness, tech companies have launched a myriad of fitness bands, trackers and applications designed to keep you as well informed about your body as possible. But while most of those devices existed as individual elements, none were truly unified.
At least, that’s what HTC and Under Armour said when they launched their brand new ‘fitness system’ that costs USD400 (around RM1751).
You must be thinking, you’d get a lot of gear right? Well, that depends on your definition of ‘a lot’. What we do know is that with the UA HealthBox, you will be receiving three devices — a fitness band, a smart scale and a heart-rate monitor.
Dubbed the UA Band, this fitness band is designed to be worn all-day every day because it tracks daily activities, workout and sleep. Under the band’s “seamless exterior shell” is a display which is “discreetly hidden” allowing it to disappear when not in use. While we don’t know how hidden they wanted the screen to be, from the pictures (even their product shots) it certainly looks like it’s well hidden enough to be a nightmare to view under sunlight.
The UA Band also features an advanced workout mode with a display that stays on during the workout as well as an LED that indicates heart rate zone when paired with the heart rate monitor. Wow, a screen that stays on!
Next, we have the UA Heart Rate — a compact heart rate monitor that is designed to be undetectable during workouts. It is also supposed to help individuals monitor intensity and train smarter while providing an accurate calculation of calories burned. How refreshing, a heart rate monitor that actually does all this accurately!
Finally, we have the UA Scale. It’s a smart scale that is “beautifully crafted” and WiFi enabled in an “iconic circular design”. This scale also has a hidden LED display that makes the technology invisible when not in use. It also looks like there is a “nifty” feature where they show you a bunch of logos, greet you and only after they’ve done all that do they show you your weight. Perfect for when you’re in a hurry!
According to them, these three devices are perfectly synced to provide the user with a “customised experience”, but they fail to mention exactly what that customised experience is. Based on the video, it looks like it’s just a personalised profile on your “dashboard” in the UA Record app.
Speaking of the app, UA and HTC have made it available in both the App Store and Google Play as a free download. The application shows you the results of your daily health and fitness tracking plus a “How do you feel?” scale.
That said, there is some benefit to having all of these devices connected. Like they highlighted in their video, there is a lot of potential for growth into an actual ecosystem (via smart shoes, headphones, etc.). Plus there is the benefit of it being simple to use and understand.
For now though, this “system” seems more like your paying a lot for a brand to be plastered onto existing technology and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, look at Beats by Dre, they’re selling like hot cakes.
This fitness system will be available on January 22 in the US, retailing for USD400 (around RM1751), with pre-orders beginning today on HTC, UA and at Under Armour Brand House locations. The HealthBox will eventually roll out internationally throughout this year.