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New Fitbit Wearables and Female Health Tracking

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Fitbit has added two new wearables and female health tracking to its ecosystem.

Fitbit Versa

The lightest smartwatch in Fitbit’s lineup – Versa ships with a new a new simplified dashboard. It has 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts, and automatic sleep stages tracking meet smart features like quick replies on Android, wallet-free payments, and on-device music – all with 4+ days battery life. The touch screen generates up to 1000 nits brightness.

Classic accessories:

Featuring new stain-resistant materials, these sleek, swim-ready bands are available in peach, grey, black, periwinkle and white.

Horween leather accessories:

Using renowned and respected tannery Horween Leather, these handcrafted bands offer a cool, casual look in cognac brown, midnight blue, lavender, and saddle with artisan-inspired tan stitching.

Stainless steel accessories:

Stainless steel links are available in black, silver or tapered silver; metal mesh bands are available in black or silver.

Designer collection:

Fitbit and The Council of Fashion Designers of America invited select designers to submit accessory designs for Versa that showcased their vision for fashion wearables. Emerging designer PH5 was selected to create a new Versa accessory line, available exclusively at Fitbit.com later this year.

Fitbit Versa Special Edition:

Offering two looks in one with exclusive woven bands inspired by athleisure trends in lavender with a rose gold aluminium case or charcoal with a graphite aluminium case, as well as a black Classic accessory band in box

● Notifications and quick replies:

View app, call, calendar, and text notifications from your smartphone, right on your wrist. Android phone users can send quick pre-populated or customisable replies to text messages and messenger apps (coming soon).

● Music on your device:

Listen to phone-free music anywhere using Bluetooth headphones like Fitbit Flyer™, including 300+ songs from your personal music collection and now your own or curated playlists as well as Flow from Deezer.

● Pay from your wrist:

Leave your wallet at home and easily pay in any store where contactless payments are accepted with Fitbit Pay, supported by nearly 40 banks in 14 countries including Australia and Singapore, through American Express, Mastercard and Visa networks, with more countries and banks rolling out in 2018.

● Apps and clock faces you want:

Personalise your device by choosing from a wide range of apps and clock faces in the Fitbit App Gallery, including those from Fitbit, Fitbit Labs, and popular apps like Strava and Weather. The Fitbit App Gallery has more than 550 apps and clock faces available today, many of which developers are working to make available to Versa users soon.

● Fitbit Labs:

An R&D initiative introduced last year focused on accelerating innovation and driving behaviour change, Fitbit Labs is introducing a New Parent app to help parents more easily stay on top of their baby’s schedule. By logging their infant’s feedings, diaper changes and sleep, plus their own mood, all from their wrist, new parents can better understand the connections between their sleep and mood, and, over time, help build a healthy routine for themselves and their baby.

● Broad compatibility:

Versa is compatible across Android, iOS and Windows devices so you can use most smartphones.

Fitbit Ace 

Ace is designed for kids aged 8+ and automatically tracks steps, active minutes and sleep, has up to 5 days of battery life, features an adjustable, showerproof wristband in two bright colours.Fitbit says the aim of Ace is to get kids motivated:

● Track their activity:

Provide kids with motivation to move by automatically tracking steps, active minutes and sleep stats, and set customisable daily step and active minute goals. The World Health Organisation recommends children ages 7-17 get 60 minutes of daily physical activity.

● Remind them to move:

Reduce sedentary time by setting up personalised reminders that nudge them to get at least 250 steps each hour with a small buzz when they’ve been sitting on the couch or in front of a screen for too long.

● Reward them for moving:

Encourage kids to achieve their goals by rewarding them with celebratory messages and fun, collectable badges, which can be seen in the Fitbit app on their (or your) phone.

● Motivate them with challenges:

Kids can compete against family, or friends (coming soon), in daily and weekend challenges, or in a Family Faceoff – a new 5-day step challenge that allows members in a family account to compete against each other and stay motivated (coming soon)

● Parent view setting:

Lets you navigate between your view and your kid’s view to check their activity, progress, and approve their friend requests from family members and friends (coming soon) at any time in the Fitbit app. Ace automatically syncs with most Android and iOS devices; Windows devices coming soon.

● Kid view setting:

Limits what data your child sees in the Fitbit app, such as stats, friend requests, badges, clock faces, and more.

● Stay in touch:

For kids with smartphones, ensure they never miss your call with notifications directly on their wrist.

Availability

Fitbit Versa ($299.95) and Fitbit Ace ($129.95)  are now available for presale through fitbit.com.Versa will be available in stores in April while the Ace will be available in shops sometime before July.

Female health tracking

Fitbit is also introducing female health tracking to help women understand how their menstrual cycle connects to their overall health.It’s designed for all Fitbit app users who identify themselves as female ages 13+.Fitbit says the tracking function does the following:

● Stay on top of your cycle:

 
Easily log your menstrual cycle data, and record symptoms like headaches, acne and cramps; helps you be more informed about your health and life planning, and, as needed, can help you show your doctor specific details for more personalised care.
 

● Know what’s ahead:

 
See dynamic cycle predictions for where you are in your cycle and when to expect your period using Fitbit’s new proprietary cycle algorithm that gets smarter over time the more you log; see where you are in your cycle at-a-glance on your wrist.
 

● All of your data in one place:

 
View holistic data in one place to reveal connections between your cycle and other stats in the Fitbit app, such as activity, sleep and weight trends to better manage your activity and sleep needs during certain times of the month.
 

● Period 101:

 
Learn more about the menstrual cycle, ovulation, fertility and common misconceptions with educational content on the Fitbit blog through the Fitbit app.
 

● Connect with others:

 
Join other women through Groups in the Community tab of the Fitbit app for support around key topics like periods, birth control, trying to conceive, pregnancy, and perimenopause and menopause.
 

● Insights and guidance:

 
In the future, as the database of female health metrics grows this data may help enable Fitbit to deliver even more insights, such as how your cycle impacts your activity, sleep, weight and nutrition, and potentially how these things can affect your cycle.
 

Female health tracking will be available on-device for Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic™ users, and to all Fitbit  app users starting in May 2018.  

 
 
 

 

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Accessibility

Image Matrix Tech on Sky News: iPhone SOS via Satellite

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In Sunday’s segment on Sky News Australia (Weekend Edition with Tim Gilbert) we took a look at Apple’s SOS via Satellite service which is now operational in Australia and New Zealand.

Since launching last year, Emergency SOS via satellite has already helped save lives in the 12 countries where it has been available. The service is free for two years starting at the time of activation of a new iPhone 14 model.

I showed Tim how it works and why it’s a game changer for Australians.

WHAT ABOUT ANDROID USERS?

It’s coming soon. Samsung has announced it’s working on satellite comms and Qualcomm has also announced Snapdragon Satellite. So it could be this year, maybe next?

Garmin has small devices that already do Satellite texting but that’s another device and another cost. We always have our phones with us so that’s why this type of smartphone service is so critical. 

APPLE ACCESSIBILITY

Apple made some important accessibility announcements during the week but one really stood out – it’s called LIVE SPEECH – coming soon to iOS. With Live Speech on iPhone, iPad and Mac a user can can type what they want to say – then the iPhone will speak in their voice – creating a synthesised voice that sounds like them. This will work out loud during phone and FaceTime calls, as well as in-person conversations. 

Live Speech has been designed to support millions of people globally who are unable to speak or who have lost their speech over time.

Users can create a Personal Voice by reading along with a randomised set of text prompts to record 15 minutes of audio on iPhone or iPad. This speech accessibility feature uses on-device machine learning to keep users’ information private and secure, and integrates seamlessly with Live Speech so users can speak with their Personal Voice when connecting with loved ones.

Detection Mode in Magnifier Introduces Point and Speak for Users Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

Point and Speak in Magnifier makes it easier for users with vision disabilities to interact with physical objects that have several text labels. For example, while using a household appliance — such as a microwave — Point and Speak combines input from the Camera app, the LiDAR Scanner and on-device machine learning to announce the text on each button as users move their finger across the keypad.2 Point and Speak is built into the Magnifier app on iPhone and iPad, works great with VoiceOver, and can be used with other Magnifier features such as People Detection, Door Detection and Image Descriptions to help users navigate their physical environment.

Apple Watch also has one handed gesture controls through Assistive Touch. It’s something we all can use. These important developments help us all. 

DRONE PILOTS CAN KEEP FLYING AFTER JOE BIDEN’S VISIT WAS CANCELLED

Drone pilots are free to fly again this week in Sydney and Canberra following the cancellation of the Quad Leaders Summit.

A lot of people may not have been aware before the cancellation, significant airspace restrictions were put in place in and around the cities from 22-25 May 2023.

The Australian Government temporarily banned people from flying a drone or model aircraft – even one considered a toy, within:

  • 28 km of Sydney Airport
  • 21 km of Canberra Airport.

It’s wise to follow CASA’s advice and check with a CASA-verified drone safety app if you are cleared to fly. Do not assume it’s OK to fly. 

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2021

Image Matrix Tech on Sky News: Samsung S21 and CES 2021

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In Friday’s segment on Sky News Australia (First Edition with Danica De Giorgio) we covered Samsung’s early flagship phone launch of the S21 series and the completion of CES 2021.

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Accessories

As Android Steps Up What’s Next for Apple?

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MWC-2019-THUMB.jpgMWC-2019-THUMB.jpg

In the wake of Mobile World Congress 2019 the experts agree – Android heavyweights like Samsung and Huawei are innovating faster that Apple.But don’t write-off Apple just yet.Check out our wrap of MWC 2019.

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