Fitbit launches rivalry with Apple as it enters smartwatch market

fitbit iconic

Wearable technology company Fitbit is preparing to debut in the smartwatch market with the launch of its first smart timepiece this year.

The company, which is known for its wrist fitness trackers, will officially launch its first bona fide smartwatch the Fibit Iconic in October for $299 (£230).

In a bid to stand out from competitors, such as Apple and Android, Fitbit is promoting the timepiece’s health-focused features. The health-centred applications include a heart rate reader capable of tracking the amount of oxygen in the blood, fitness coach and built in GPS navigation.

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“We’ve seen the need for more and more advanced sensors while still maintaining long battery life,” Fitbit CEO, James Park, told TIME. “The only way we felt we could do that was with a larger form factor device. So that drove the thinking behind developing a smartwatch.”

While the timepiece is predominantly targeted at the fitness market it also includes features available on other smartwatches.

The wristwatch will support wireless mobile payments, display notifications and offer its own selection of apps accessed through a new App Gallery.

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