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Fitbit lets bike-tracking loose

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Fitbit has announced an outdoor bike tracking feature for Fitbit Surge users, which allows them to monitor distance, duration, average speed as well as their heart rate and calories burnt.

Fitbit  has announced outdoor bike (road, mountain and BMX) tracking for Fitbit Surge users. Bike-tracking leverages GPS and other sensors on the device to allow riders to see distance, duration, average speed, heart rate, calories burned and the time; stats automatically sync wirelessly to the Fitbit app dashboard to review routes, speed and elevation in more detail. The Fitbit Surge now tracks all of these multi-sport activities and captures activity data in one place with easy to read historical charts and graphs.

Fitbit Surge offers the best of GPS, continuous wrist-based heart rate, all-day fitness tracking and smartwatch functionality in one device, with up to seven days of battery life. Multi-sport mode allow users to easily record running, cross training, cardio and now biking workouts – which automatically sync wirelessly to users’ accounts where they can easily view their exercise summaries.

  • Multiple Sport Mode – Track and view workout summaries for up to seven exercises that can be added to a device for easy tracking, including Bike (new), Run, Hike, Weights, Yoga, Bootcamp and more.
  • Superior Heart Rate Tracking Technology – Continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking with Fitbit’s PurePulse optical heart rate technology to motivate users to maintain workout intensity, more accurately track calorie-burn, as well as hit fat burn, cardio and peak intensity with simplified heart rate zones and track resting heart rate over time. All this is done without wearing an uncomfortable chest strap.
  • Industry-leading battery life – Up to 7 days of battery life (168 hours for heart rate, 5 hours GPS) to track everything from the work week, a full marathon or a rigorous mountain bike trek on one charge; Fitbit is working to deliver even longer GPS battery life.
  • Real-time comprehensive bike stats – Distance, duration, average speed, heart rate, and calories burned right on the wrist.
  • Bike exercise summaries on the app – Map preview of route, distance, duration, average speed, heart rate, calories burned, active minutes and ride impact on daily stats on the Fitbit app or web dashboard.
  • Additional bike stat details on web dashboard – Thorough map and graphs with a by-the-second view into speed, heart rate, heart rate zones and calorie burn for each ride; elevation profile gives insight into intensity of ride.
  • Bike exercise historical progress – Cyclists can challenge themselves to improve their stats by monitoring frequency, distance, duration, time in heart rate zones and calories burned for past rides.

Fitbit has also announced Multi-Tracker Support, which lets users seamlessly switch between Fitbit trackers throughout their day or week, so they can use the right tracker for any occasion. Users will now be able to pair up to six Fitbit trackers (one of each model) and MobileTrack (iOS only) to a single Fitbit account:

  • Once multiple trackers are paired to an account, Fitbit will automatically detect when a user switches from one tracker to another, with no buttons to push on the device or the app;
  • For users who want to wear a more discreet Fitbit One to work, or Fitbit Surge for a run, all of their steps will be seamlessly captured on their Fitbit dashboard;
  • Users with a compatible mobile device can also use MobileTrack as a tracker to fill in the gaps if they leave their tracker at home or forget to charge it

Availability
The Fitbit Surge is available from iStore and Dion Wired at a recommended retail price of R3 999. Fitbit Surge bike-tracking is now available to all Fitbit Surge users.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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CES: Most useless gadgets of all

Choosing the best of show is a popular pastime, but the worst gadgets of CES also deserve their moment of infamy, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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It’s fairly easy to choose the best new gadgets launched at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week. Most lists – and there are many – highlight the LG roll-up TV, the Samsung modular TV, the Royole foldable phone, the impossible burger, and the walking car.

But what about the voice assisted bed, the smart baby dining table, the self-driving suitcase and the robot that does nothing? In their current renditions, they sum up what is not only bad about technology, but how technology for its own sake quickly leads us down the rabbit hole of waste and futility.

The following pick of the worst of CES may well be a thinly veneered attempt at mockery, but it is also intended as a caution against getting caught up in hype and justification of pointless technology.

1. DUX voice-assisted bed

The single most useless product launched at CES this year must surely be a bed with Alexa voice control built in. No, not to control the bed itself, but to manage the smart home features with which Alexa and other smart speakers are associated. Or that any smartphone with Siri or Google Assistant could handle. Swedish luxury bedmaker DUX thinks it’s a good idea to manage smart lights, TV, security and air conditioning through the bed itself. Just don’t say Alexa’s “wake word” in your sleep.

2. Smart Baby Dining Table 

Ironically, the runner-up comes from a brand that also makes smart beds: China’s 37 Degree Smart Home. Self-described as “the world’s first smart furniture brand that is transforming technology into furniture”, it outdid itself with a Smart Baby Dining Table. This isa baby feeding table with a removable dining chair that contains a weight detector and adjustable camera, to make children’s weight and temperature visible to parents via the brand’s app. Score one for hands-off parenting.

Click here to read about smart diapers, self-driving suitcases, laundry folders, and bad robot companions.

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CES: Tech means no more “lost in translation”

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Talking to strangers in foreign countries just got a lot easier with recent advancements in translation technology. Last week, major companies and small startups alike showed the CES technology expo in Las Vegas how well their translation worked at live translation.

Most existing translation apps, like Bixby and Siri Translate, are still in their infancy with live speech translation, which brings about the need for dedicated solutions like these technologies:

Babel’s AIcorrect pocket translator

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The AIcorrect Translator, developed by Beijing-based Babel Technology, attracted attention as the linguistic king of the show. As an advanced application of AI technology in consumer technology, the pocket translator deals with problems in cross-linguistic communication. 

It supports real-time mutual translation in multiple situations between Chinese/English and 30 other languages, including Japanese, Korean, Thai, French, Russian and Spanish. A significant differentiator is that major languages like English being further divided into accents. The translation quality reaches as high as 96%.

It has a touch screen, where transcription and audio translation are shown at the same time. Lei Guan, CEO of Babel Technology, said: “As a Chinese pathfinder in the field of AI, we designed the device in hoping that hundreds of millions of people can have access to it and carry out cross-linguistic communication all barrier-free.” 

Click here to read about the Pilot, Travis, Pocketalk, Google and Zoi translators.

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