Here’s a fun way to pass the time while you’re catching up on CES news at home: take a drink of your favorite spirit every time you see the word “wearable.” Now say goodbye to your liver. Korean manufacturer LG has decided to enter both the smartwatch and fitness tracker markets at once with the Lifeband Touch, a watch-style Bluetooth device with an OLED screen.
Both fitness tracking and remote notification bases are covered here. The Lifeband Touch will track your steps taken, distance, and calories burned, and use the OLED screen as a readout for said data. When you throw in a pair of LG’s “Heart Beat” headphones, they’ll use an integrated optical sensor to measure your heart rate as well. Connect the Lifeband to an Android or iOS device with Bluetooth 4.0 and it can also display call and notification information, as well as controlling music playback. The watch will interact with LG’s customized diet and exercise apps, though these may be exclusive to LG hardware. Oh yeah, and it also works as a watch.
The all-black, waterproof Lifeband Touch looks a lot like the Nike Fuelband, but if the early press release is accurate, it’s a lot more functional (not to mention cross-platform). At the moment there’s no indication of when the Lifeband Touch will hit retailers, or for how much, but you can bet that LG will be pushing it alongside its high-end smartphones in the same way that Samsung is now pushing the Galaxy Gear.
Update: LG has put up a full English site for the Lifeband Touch. It looks like it will cost $179 when it comes to market (whenever that is), and it comes in three sizes, so I assume that it’s not adjustable. All three sizes are priced the same.
Strangely, the HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) earphones are also $179.99. It looks like this is a pair of standard Bluetooth headphones with a heart monitor and at least some of the Lifeband’s tracking functionality built in, but there’s no display on the semi-detached monitoring station. Naturally, both the Lifeband Touch and the HRM Earphone will work in conjunction with an Android or iOS smartphone.
LG isn’t saying when these devices will go on sale, but based on the layout of the promotional page, I’d guess that they will be hitting online and retail stores sooner rather than later.