Fitbit's new watch measures your stress levels

Feeling stressed? Given the way 2020 has gone so far, we don’t blame you.

Perhaps picking up on our global consternation, fitness tech brand Fitbit has unleashed a new smartwatch that counts among its features the ability to pick up on stress levels.

It does this through an electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor that measures your skin’s temperature. The idea is that when you want to take a stress reading, you hold your palm over the face of the watch and breathe.

By combining your heart rate with your skin temperature, the new Fitbit Sense will get an idea of how stressed you are and give you a score on the accompanying Fitbit app.

That may be the USP of the new watch, but it’s far from the only feature. An on-board electrocardiogram app (still pending FDA approval in the US, so probably not available at launch) promises accurate heart-rate monitoring on a par with the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.

Alongside that is GPS tracking for runs and cycles in the great outdoors and 50 meters of water resistance if you want to take it for a swim. There’s also a microphone on board the Sense for talking to Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant.

The hardware touts six days of battery life on a single charge and is supported nicely by Fitbit’s excellent app. Although most of the content can be accessed for free, the company also has a Premium tier that unlocks more functionality for £9.99 per month.

‘Our mission to make everyone in the world healthier has never been more important than it is today. Covid-19 has shown us all how critical it is to take care of both our physical and mental health and wellbeing,’ said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

‘Our new products and services are our most innovative yet, coupling our most advanced sensor technology and algorithms to unlock more information about our bodies and our health so you can be in control.

‘We are breaking new ground with our wearables, helping you better understand and manage your stress and heart health, and pulling your key health metrics together in a simple and digestible way to track things like skin temperature, heart rate variability, and SpO2 so you can see how it’s all connected.

‘Most importantly, we are making health accessible, surfacing new data that you may only get once or twice a year at the doctor’s office that you can use to focus on your holistic health and wellness, at a time when it’s needed most.’

The Sense is available to pre-order now for £299 and will be out in late September.

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