Manage your stress with Smartwatch; Meet Fitbit Sense

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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FitBit Sense
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American consumer electronics and fitness company, Fitbit has unveiled a fitness tracker and two smartwatches, one of which could help monitor users’ stress levels. 

The Fitbit Sense is the first to measure electrodermal activity, or how well skin conducts electricity, which varies with sweating and can indicate stress. The feature is pending approval from health regulators. Priced at $329, the device replaces the 13-year-old Ionic, as the company’s most expensive general category smartwatch.

Samy Abdel-Ghaffar, Fitbit’s research scientist said a new stress score would help users decide whether to take on a fresh project or instead take a break, sleep early or meditate.

Priced at $229, Versa 3 smartwatch, is an upgrade from its predecessor to include a GPS sensor and phone-calling functionality. Fitbit also has the $100 Inspire 2 activity tracker with a tweaked design.

The devices are expected to ship in late September, with pre-orders available immediately.

The company has lost wearables market share to Apple Inc and others since going public five years ago. Fitbit announced last week that a new content subscription to stoke revenue growth has 500,000 paying users, but shares barely moved.

About 5% of wearables shipped last year globally came from Fitbit, behind leader Apple’s 32% share, according to tracker IDC.

Aiming to challenge Apple together, Google agreed to buy Fitbit for $2.1 billion last November. But competition regulators in the UK, United States and many other jurisdictions are weighing whether the acquisition would unfairly deepen Google’s data about users’ habits. Fitbit said the reviews may delay closing the deal to 2021.

Meanwhile, Google and Fitbit are partnering. Sense and Versa 3 by late this year will allow users to communicate with the Google Assistant helper, similar to Fitbit’s existing integration with Inc’s Alexa.