Fitbit introduces smartwatch with ‘stress sensor’

Fitbit has announced a new wearable in the form of the Sense, a smartwatch focused on health applications that, among other things, has a sensor that could give an indication of the wearer’s stress level.

The sensor of the Sense can detect electrodermal activity, or the variation in the electrical properties of the skin. According to Fitbit, the user must use the EDA Scan app and hold the palm above the device. According to the manufacturer, the measurement helps to ‘understand your body’s response to stressors and to manage your stress’.

For example, the app can create a edaresponse graph to illustrate the influence of meditation or relaxation. The electrodermal response is more often used as an indication for stress, but a study into the use of a so-called E4 wristband by the Brain and Technology research group of the Applied Psychology study at Saxion University of Applied Sciences, pointed out the risks of false positives or – negatives.

Fitbit also takes measurements about heart rhythm, responsiveness, sleep and activity into account in its Stress Management Score of the Sense. The scores range from 1 to 100, with a higher score indicating that your body is showing fewer physical signs of stress. The smartwatch can provide recommendations on how to better manage your stress, such as breathing exercises and other mindfulness tools.

The Fitbit Sense can also measure the temperature of the skin and give an indication of the amount of oxygen in the blood. The device also has GPS, and users can receive notifications and calls from their smartphone via Bluetooth, and also send messages back via Android. The Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa can also be used via the built-in microphone.

According to the maker, the wearable has a battery life of six days and in twelve minutes it would be enough to last another day. The screen is of the amoled type and when using the always-on functionality, the battery life is lower. The Sense also offers water resistance to a depth of fifty meters.

The Fitbit Sense is available from the end of September for 330 euros

Fitbit also announced the Versa 3. This differs little from its predecessor, but has, for example, GPS, a speaker, Google Assistant support and bluetooth 5.0. The design is in line with that of the Sense. In addition, the Inspire 2 has appeared, an activity tracker with a claimed battery life of up to ten days. The Fitbit Versa 3 will be available at the end of September for 230 euros, the Inspire 2 for 100 euros.