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Automatic exercise recognition and new software features from Fitbit

Fitbit Surge

Leading digital health and wearables specialist, Fitbit, has announced new features to platform users globally that ‘make exercise tracking smarter and easier than ever’. Fitbit is introducing SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition alongside to enhancements to its PurePulse heart rate tracking in Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge devices. These are respectively billed as, ‘the #1 selling fitness tracker and wearable, and GPS watch in the US.’

In addition, Fitbit is launching Exercise Goals within the free Fitbit app to help users find the routine that is right for them, and serve as daily motivation to hit their personalised goals.

“At Fitbit we’re always working on innovative features that are easy to use and make tracking health and fitness a fun, motivational experience,” said Tim Roberts, VP of Interactive at Fitbit.

“Our users find exercise in all parts of their day, including activities like short walks with the dog or a bike commute to work. These new features allow them to focus on their exercise, giving them credit for their most active moments and letting the technology do the work to automatically track progress toward their fitness goals.”

Record workouts automatically with SmartTrack
SmartTrack aims to provide a smarter, easier way to track workouts and see how efforts accumulate to reaching fitness goals. SmartTrack automatically recognises select exercises and records them in the Fitbit app, giving users credit for their most active moments, so they are more informed to be able to reach their goals:

  • Automatic exercise recognition – SmartTrack automatically recognises continuous movement when wearing Fitbit Charge HR or Fitbit Surge. It identifies the type of activity and records it in the Fitbit app along with an exercise summary, including duration, calories burned and heart rate stats. SmartTrack is capable of identifying a wide variety of activities, including elliptical, outdoor biking, running, walking, and general categories of aerobic workouts (i.e., Zumba, cardio-kickboxing and other dance classes) and sports (i.e., tennis, basketball and soccer).
  • Personalised settings – Fitbit notes that because everyone’s definition of exercise is different, users can select the types of activities they want recognised as exercise and adjust how long they must be moving before an activity is recorded in the Fitbit app. By default, activities are automatically recognised when users have been active for at least 15 minutes.

Enhanced real-time heart rate tracking during workouts
Fitbit’s proprietary PurePulse heart rate technology has been updated to provide users with an improved heart rate tracking experience during and after high-intensity workouts such as boot camp and Zumba. The update is activated when using Exercise Mode on Fitbit Charge HR and multi-sport modes on Fitbit Surge.

PurePulse optical technology provides users with continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking including resting heart rate and heart rate trends over time – ‘without the need for an uncomfortable chest strap.’

Fitbit notes that it is dedicated to developing the most consistently accurate wrist-based activity trackers on the market. ‘This software update improves upon an already positive heart rate tracking offering.’

Staying motivated with weekly exercise goals
Fitbit cites the American Heart Association and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommend an average of 30 minutes of exercise each day, five days per week to improve health. ‘While most people are aware of the benefits of being more active and exercising more, these activities can be time consuming and difficult to achieve.’

Available for free to all Fitbit device and app users, exercise goals are tracked on a daily basis with a weekly goal set for the number of days they plan to exercise. Exercise goals encourage people to embrace a more consistent workout routine in order to achieve their fitness goals. Fitbit Exercise Goals can be personalised by choosing the number of target exercise days per week and the types of activities that will count toward their goals. Progress toward goals is displayed within the Fitbit app.

To receive credit toward an exercise goal, Fitbit device users can:

  • Use SmartTrack or track an activity using Exercise Mode (Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge)
  • Track an activity using Exercise Mode, MobileRun, or log an exercise in the Fitbit app (Fitbit Charge)
  • Track an activity using MobileRun or log an exercise in the Fitbit app (Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One, Fitbit Zip)

The SmartTrack and PurePulse software updates are free and now available globally to all Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge users. Exercise Goals are also available globally to all users of the free Fitbit app for iOS and Windows, with Android coming soon. These features will also be available on all new Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge trackers.




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