Artificial IntelligenceCryptocurrencyMetaverseCybersecurityTech Forward

Fitbit introduces ‘fashion forward’ fitness tracker that emphasizes stress management

April 19, 2021, 5:00 PM UTC

Our mission to make business better is fueled by readers like you. To enjoy unlimited access to our journalism, subscribe today.

At its first event since being acquired by Google earlier this year, Fitbit unveiled a $150 fitness-tracking wristband called the Luxe that can monitor exercise, sleep, and stress levels.

With a shiny metal body, the Luxe offers a more refined—or, as Fitbit calls it, “fashion forward”—design than do many of Fitbit’s simpler trackers. The new wristband, which has a five-day battery life on a single charge, also has a small, rectangular color touch screen that can show the time, the wearer’s heart rate, and other metrics.

“The idea of versatility is incredibly important to Luxe,” Lisa Swift, Fitbit vice president of brand and marketing, said at Monday’s online event.

But the band is not a smartwatch, the more capable and expensive category where Fitbit has struggled to compete against Apple, Samsung, and a host of Chinese gadget manufacturers.

The Luxe doesn’t include many of Google’s services, as the integration of the two companies efforts is still in the “early phases,” said James Park, Fitbit’s cofounder, who continues to run the unit post-acquisition.

Fitbit officials said the market for fitness trackers was previously missing more stylish options available with smartwatches. The Luxe was inspired by jewelry designs, Fitbit director of industrial design Irina Kozlovskaya said. “Just like a fine bracelet, Luxe shines with elevated materials and finishes.”

The stainless steel Luxe comes in three colors: gold, platinum, and graphite. In a collaboration with jewelry maker Gorjana, a $200 special edition will include a gold- or silver-colored metal link bracelet.

Fitbit also emphasized the stress management features of the Luxe and its mobile apps, as the topic has become a priority for customers during the pandemic. Last year, Fitbit users increased their use of meditation features by 30-fold from 2019, Fitbit said. “It’s become top of mind for everyone,” Park noted.

In conjunction with a Fitbit app on a user’s phone, the Luxe will calculate a stress score and measure sleep patterns, suggesting stress management strategies like short meditations. As part of Monday’s media event, Deepak Chopra led a short five-minute meditative exercise to defuse stress. “This is the sort of practice you can easily incorporate into your day,” he said.

Google completed its $2 billion acquisition of Fitbit in January. The only product the company has released since, via press release, was the Ace 3 wristband aimed at kids.