FitBit is no longer satisfied with making the best fitness trackers around. The company is now looking to enter the smartwatch market and challenge the major stakeholders in the segment, now populated by companies such as Apple and Garmin.
The FitBit Ionic will be the company’s second coming in the smartwatch market, with its first attempt having been the Blaze, which did not see much mainstream success. But the Ionic will be FitBit’s first true smartwatch, characterized by its ability to support numerous third-party apps. The smartwatch is about to hit stores sometime in October and will have to meet exceedingly high expectations if it is going to compete with the competition. FitBit will be playing it safe. With a body made of light-weight aluminium and features that include Wi-Fi and GPS on-board, the device will seem like a promising prospect for those looking to get a quality product.
The device is designed to be an everyday wearable, with conservative looks. What the company has running for itself is its exclusive app that will offer unique benefits to those who will be part of the company’s long-standing fan base. The FitBit Ionic will still remain a fitness device at its core, with its smartwatch abilities serving as a complementing feature set for an already capable device.
Many smartwatches today offer either fitness or smart-functions, so FitBit has an opportunity here to truly carve a niche for itself. The company will be using its Pebble acquisition as the foundation upon which its smartphone empire will be built. Some of the exclusives that the device will offer, are Pandora and Spotify, along with Starbucks and a few other apps that will highlight mobile payment.
New apps created via the SDK will be available through the platform’s own App Gallery. The Ionic also comes with the device’s proprietary PurePulse heart rate monitor as well as infrared optical sensors that will be able to measure the oxygenation in the blood. The watch will also come with 2.5GB of on-board storage and on a single charge, will be able to run for four days straight. When the device goes on sale in October, it will cost $300 and will also feature optional sport or Horween leather bands.