A few years ago during a press event show I came across one of the early fitness tracking devices designed to work in conjunction with iPhones. At that time I wondered whether these devices would make serious in roads into the health and fitness conscious consumers mindset. That answer seems to be yes as the market for these devices keeps growing with numerous models from companies such as Nike, Jawbone and Fit Bit. Withings another health focused company have decided to enter this field with the release of their own activity tracker – the Pulse.
This portable dongle is worn by the user to track numerous metrics such as steps taken, distance travelled, elevation climbed, calories burned, heart rate, sleep duration among others. Using Bluetooth 4.0 it wirelessly connects to Android and iPhones and works with the free Withings HealthMate app, which collects and interprets the data collected by the Pulse and other Withings devices such as their Wireless Scale and Blood Pressure monitor.
Withings has partnered with over 100 apps that work in conjunction with the Healthmate allowing users to integrate other tools into their health program. Used together, the Pulse and Healthmate provide an excellent means of aggregating, sorting and displaying data obtained from the fitness tracker.
The Withings Pulse arrives in a brown cardboard package with the device visualized through a clear plastic window on the front. On the sides of the box are the minimum requirements, box contents and a description of a few features. The back of the box lists additional features with more images of the Withings Pulse along with a picture of the free Healthmate app.
Inside the box we find the Withings Pulse, a clip, micro USB charging cord, sleep wristband and quick installation guide.
The Pulse measures 4.3 x 2.2 x 0.8 cm and weighs 8 grams. It comes in black and has a rubbery coating over the device. Its appearance is reminiscent of the 1st generation Jawbone Bluetooth headset as the Pulse has a rectangular shape with curved sides.
The touch screen comprises the face of the Pulse. On the top of the device is the Withings brand name with the hard button on the right corner.
On the bottom left is a micro-USB charging connector. On the back of the device is an optoelectronics sensor for heart rate measurements. Inside the Pulse is high precision MEMS 3-axis accelerometer.
The included clip is designed to keep the Pulse securely in place on one’s clothing or belt. It is covered with a rubbery black material and the Pulse slips through the front of this clip.
The sleep wristband is composed of a soft black and orange neoprene material, which closes using Velcro. The Pulse slips into a protective pouch through the back. When housed in this wristband it has the appearance of a large watch.