Fitbit’s next smartwatch is “on track” to launch at the end of this year, according to chief executive James Park, who denied the multiple rumors of delays.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Park said the smartwatch will be the company’s best yet, sporting “industry leading” GPS performance, a music player, and new biometric sensors that may find use in the medical industry, if Fitbit receives FDA approval.
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One thing that won’t be in the next Fitbit is cellular options, which Park says requires too many tradeoffs, the most important being battery life.
Even though Fitbit has one of the better records for accuracy, in a report last year the Apple Watch was deemed far more accurate when it came to heart-rate and high-intensity exercise. The improved GPS may help reduce inaccuracies, alongside the new sensors.
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The company has also been hounded by customers that want to control music through the fitness tracker. The acquisition of Pebble late last year has helped them add third-party applications to the new wearable, according to Park.
Entering into the medical market has been rumored for a few months, and Park confirmed the company’s intentions: “Getting approved by the FDA and going down that pathway is something we wholeheartedly embrace. The exciting thing about larger form-factor devices is it allows us to have those capabilities and unlock them over time.”
Fitbit is in a tricky situation, if the FDA approval doesn’t come in and the smartwatch doesn’t work wonders, it could be seen as same old to Wall Street. The company’s stock has halved in the past year, and it recently lost its position as the most popular wearable manufacturer, now third behind Apple and Xiaomi.
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