In short: Bellabeat unveiled a new fashion-forward fitness wearable embedded with 'healing crystals,' set to be sold under the Leaf Chakra branding for $139, beginning on September 20. The product is billed as both a way to balance or enhance the user's "chakra" while also serving to track sleep, activity, and even reproductive health metrics. Meditation and breathing exercise recommendations included in-app, configured based on algorithms that Bellabeat says gauge a wearer's stress. Meanwhile, worn as either a necklace or as a clip-on accessory, Chakra has a claimed six-month battery life and is available in two designs. Chakra Love features a silver lining made of hypoallergenic stainless steel in a leaf shape around a grey sensor housing comprised of wood composites and backed by the same steel. A rose quartz crystal is placed as a centerpiece to the design. Chakra Power swaps in a black onyx crystal and gold-colored surround, instead. The company hasn't specified sales regions but a recent FCC filing for the product suggests that it will be sold in the US. A signup form can be filled out at the Bellabeat website for placement on a waiting list for pre-orders and more information.
Background: The original Bellabeat Leaf design launched in 2015 as a way to bring fitness and health measuring found in modern wearables to women rather than following the trends of a wearable market that's primarily saturated with wristbands and smartwatches. A key focus of that effort was implementing those in a fashion-friendly way without any screens or notification lights to get in the way. The Leaf Chakra doesn't appear to deviate much from that underlying goal but does build on its predecessors' successes with a new design, possibly new features, and changes in how it can be worn. There may also be some further changes to the internal components but Bellabeat hasn't revealed that information yet.
Impact: In the meantime, the company seems to be breaking with tradition and has expressly stated that the device and app are intended as a "his or her" health tracking system in the announcement. While the design is decidedly feminine, that could indicate the beginnings of a shift in favor of a wider audience from the brand's wearable efforts moving forward. The move would make sense in light of expected downturns in the traditional side of the wearables market.