Withings New Fitbit-Like Activity Tracker is Also a Pulse Meter


At this point, Withings has to be the most complete biometric suite in existence outside of a hospital or Langley. The outfit began with a scale (which also measures body-fat percentage), added a separate blood pressure cuff and then snuck an air-quality sensor and a pulse meter into their scale.

The latest addition is the a wearable activity tracker that adds a feature unique, at this point, to activity trackers: a pulse meter (which explains why they’ve named it the Pulse).

Withings packed a peloton’s worth of tech into the Pulse. As with other activity trackers like the Fitbit or Fitbug, the Pulse uses accelerometers to track steps and climbed elevation, so it can spit out metrics like distance travelled and calories burned. The Pulse can also track sleep patterns by recording how much you move at night, a feature also common to its peers.

All this data can be viewed through the Pulse’s OLED touch-sensitive screen. Flip the Pulse over and you’ll the pulse meter, which uses an optical sensor to measure blood flowing through your fingertip. Withings says the Pulse is the smallest device able to measure pulse rate.

All this is great; but Pulse theoretically also sees a big advantage in that it can share and combine its data — via the Withings Health Mate app — with measurements taken from other Withings devices, like the scale, making the data more meaningful. Or at least, that’s the idea.

The only downside is that the Pulse is that at $100, the Pulse is just about as expensive as it gets for an activity monitor.

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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