There were many people who predicted this year's CES would bring a multitude of new wearable products to market and so far, that has definitely proven to be the case. From LG's Lifeband to Sony's SmartWear, it seems like every company wants to get into the wearable fitness tracking market. And now it's Epson's turn.
Epson announced two products today, the Pulsense Watch and the Pulsense Band. Both are identical in function, but one offers a digital display and one simply displays progress in tiny LEDs, similar to the Fitbit. As the name suggests, the Pulsense wearable devices are able to track heart rate along with other usual fitness tracking. Heart rate tracking is still fairly unusual in the fitness wearable market as it requires extra sensors and the band must be worn tightly enough to detect a pulse.
The Pulsense Watch will cost $199, while the smaller Pulsense Band will be $129. Both devices should go on sale this summer, and if you're interested, you can sign up for updates on Epson's site. The devices will track steps, calories, heart rate, sleep, etc. and Epson even says that a future update will offer the ability to track location and golf swing.
On the surface, these devices look very similar to other fitness trackers on the market. The Pulsense Watch has the benefit of the LCD display which also displays the time. What really sets them apart is the heart rate monitoring. Epson claims these devices offer 24/7 heart rate detection, that even works while exercising.
Both devices have low power Bluetooth 4.0 on board and can sync with smartphones and tablets. Epson will also include sync cables to connect the devices to a traditional computer for those without smartphones. There's no mention of battery life here, so we'll have to wait and see if these offer the 5-7 day battery of the Fitbit, or if they have the more impressive 1 year battery of the LG Lifeband.
At $129, the Pulsense Band is priced right in line with the Fitbit Force, Jawbone Up, and other fitness trackers but has the advantage of heart rate monitoring. Will that be enough to get consumers to notice the Pulsense in the already crowded fitness tracking market?
Limited quantities of both devices are available for pre-order. What do you think? Are you interested in what Epson is bringing to the table? Check out Epson's promo video below: