Startup Aura Devices has unveiled an Apple Watch smart strap that it claims adds the ability to measure body composition, track hydration levels and evaluate the risk of heart failure risk - all from one smartwatch band.
It's doing all of this using bioimpedance technology with a 4-point electrode system to track weight loss and changes in your body to promise a more accurate breakdown of body fat and muscle mass percentage. We've seen a similar feature crop up in the TomTom Touch fitness tracker that launched a couple of years ago, but here's hoping Aura has done a better job than TomTom on the accuracy front.
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In addition to those features, Aura Devices says its band will also be able to supplement the atrial fibrillation detection feature available on the Apple Watch by adding BIA-retrieved biomarkers that can assess risks for heart failure. It's using that same bioimpedance tech to make this possible, tracking lungs and breathing changes and comparing them with pulse data to offer the insights.
To take measurements, users will need to open up the Aura app on their Watch, push the button on the strap and hold the electrodes for five seconds. Data can be synced with Apple HealthKit and the data can be reviewed to help uncover insights and better evaluate your current health status.
The casing housing the tech is made from stainless steel and is waterproof up to 50 metres. It's compatible with the Apple Watch Series 1 and later running iOS 7 and above. It's powered by a replaceable battery that lasts for up to nine months.
On the fitness side, it's including social features letting you set duels with other uses to see who can gain more muscle and lose more fat. It also offering an Aura Coins reward program to let users unlock benefits from partners.
Aura Devices says its smart strap will be available in the second quarter of 2019 for $89 in a host of different colors. This isn't the first time the startup has packed this tech into a wearable device. The $179 Aura Band enjoyed a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2018 and after a bit of delay is now ready to purchase.
The Aura smart strap promises a lot and if it really can deliver on all of these things with reliable accuracy, this could well be worth adding it to your collection of Apple Watch bands.