Intel's Basis have announced a new health-tracking wristwatch called the Peak, which aims to cross the divide between traditional health tracker bands and smartwatches. Basis' previous model is the B1 Band and the Peak represents quite an upgrade to this. However, compared with most of the established smartwatches, the Basis Peak looks rather stylish. Not as stylish as some of Intel's other wearable products, I'd add. The Peak is constructed from anodised aluminum and Gorilla Glass 3, available either as matt black or brushed silver. It has a touchscreen, too, which is an upgrade over the B1 Band. The new product has a faster onboard processor and Basis report that the optical heart rate sensor is as good as a chest strap.
In terms of functionality, the Peak has what we've come to expect from health-monitoring wearables. It has a plethora of sensors onboard to allow it to measure steps, skin temperature, heart rate and skin conductance (also known as galvanic skin response, which is a way of measuring the amount of perspiration on our skin). The design is water resistant up to five atmospheres, offers battery life of up to four days and requires either an iOS or Android device to function, via Bluetooth Smart. Basis' technology enables the Peak to automatically determine what activities we are doing including walking, running and bike riding plus sleeping. When it comes to our sleep, the Peak can measure the quality of said shut-eye using its combination of sensors. After observing our habits, the Peak software will be able to make suggestions to help us improve our sleep and activity levels. Check out the video clip below:
The Peak will also be able to display notifications from a smartwatch including calls, text messages, email, calendar events and application updates, although these functions are not available at launch and will be rolled out via a free software update. The price for this functionality when it's launched in November? $200 in the US and it's listed as arriving later in the year to both Canada and the United Kingdom. As far as the design, Basis' combination of comprehensive health wearable and smartwatch is encouraging. The Peak looks less chunky than many other smartwatch designs and whilst it doesn't offer the same colour screen and voice control, the payback is in a four day battery life. Indeed, it looks like the Peak is heading to the market before the Apple iWatch STRIKEOUT Watch hits the market and to my eyes, it looks like a better product. Longer battery life, works with both iOS and Android devices and cheaper, too.