Epson has announced two new ranges of watches, aimed at runners and those who want to lead a healthier lifestyle.
The new ranges – each consisting of multiple models – are the company’s first foray into the fitness market, although not its first wearable tech effort. It has previously launched the Moverio smartglasses – a competitor to Google Glass.
Essential reading: Best GPS running watches
The Runsense watch is a GPS enabled running tracker, which will offer a host of analytics about your training via an app on iOS and Android devices.
As well as tracking distance, pace and time spent, the Epson Runsense will also use smart technology to track other metrics such as stride length and foot pitch.
GPS is an essential ingredient for a quality running watch – and one that’s all too often overlooked by manufacturers – so Epson’s off to a strong start. We’re also pleased to see plenty of extra information beyond the standard distance and it looks as if Epson is serious about appealing to serious runners.
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There’s no built-in heart rate tracking here – which is odd given that optical sensing of pulse rate is the selling point of Epson's activity monitor (read on for details), but the Runsense is compatible with heart rate monitors, and will merge this data in with its own stats.
The range comes in three models, all with mind-numbingly dull and confusing names: The entry level SF-310 (£149.99) offers basic fitness tracking, the SF-510 (£189) incorporates tap the smart stride sensor technology. The SF-710 (£229) features highly customisable interval, pace and lap training features, and a load more data.
Epson also boasts that the Runsense will last 30 hours of continuous GPS tracking – seriously envious longevity.
Unlike other bands, however, the Pulsense uses an optical sensor to monitor the blood pumping around your body to keep tabs on your wellbeing.
It will record your daily activity and sleep using that data, just like a fitness band. What’s more, the device acts as a smart alarm. This will wake you up in lighter parts of your sleep cycle, which should leave you feeling more refreshed in the morning.
Again, there are two models of Pulsense: The PS-100 is £130 and seems critically hobbled with a simple screen that shows little of the relevant data without connecting to the app. That makes the obvious choice the more expensive PS-500, which comes in at £170.
The new Epson wearables are due in shops in November.
Check our IFA hub for more news as it happens, and look back for full reviews as soon as we can get them out on the roads.