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Fitbit unveils new Charge, Flex

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Fitbit this week unveiled two new fitness wristbands, the Fitbit Charge 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 with new sleek looks and a more engaging experience designed to motivate users to reach their goal’s.

The following information was supplied by Fitbit:

  • Fitbit Charge 2: The most popular fitness wristband from Fitbit just got better. In addition to PurePulse heart rate tracking, it now features an enhanced exercise experience, new health and fitness tools, the smart notifications you need most, and a new design with a larger display and interchangeable bands that easily let you go from a workout to a night out.
  • Fitbit Flex 2: Fitbit’s ultra-slim, first-ever swim-proof fitness wristband, features a removable tracker that transforms with classic bands, elegant bangles or pendants, allowing you to effortlessly track all-day activity, exercise and sleep in a style that’s all your own.

“Over the past nine years it has been our ability to innovate on both design and utility, and our deep understanding of what consumers want, that has made us the leading global wearable company,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.

The newly launched FitBit Charge 2

The newly launched FitBit Charge 2

“Flex quickly became the best-selling tracker on the market as one of the first wearables to successfully merge fitness and fashion; we’ve revolutionised Flex 2 by making it swim-proof and adding more features in a design than is 30% smaller than the original. We broke new ground with Charge HR by making wrist-based heart rate accessible to millions of users around the world, and we’ve done it again with Charge 2, giving users a snapshot of their cardio fitness based on estimated VO2 Max.”

Fitbit, the world’s leading wearables company1, has reimagined Fitbit Charge HR, its most popular fitness wristband that was the first to bring continuous, automatic heart rate to your wrist. With a new, sleek look and an easy-to-read display that is four times larger than its predecessor, Charge 2 brings an experience that is more engaging, motivating and personal to help you reach your goals.

Top features include:

  • Innovations from PurePulse: Continuous heart rate tracking makes it easier to optimise workouts, better track calorie burn, and get a picture of your overall health. Charge 2 advances health and fitness tracking with two new impactful features that are powered by your personal heart rate:
    • Get a snapshot of your cardio fitness level: Automatically find out how fit you are with a personalised cardio fitness level and score, based on your estimated VO2 Max, that are calculated using your user profile, heart rate and exercise data. Plus, get guidance to take action and improve your score over time by increasing exercise frequency, intensity, or by reaching a healthier weight.
  • Relax with guided breathing sessions: Charge 2 offers a relaxing mindfulness experience that calms your body and mind through personalised deep-breathing sessions called “Relax”. Beat-to-beat changes in your heart rate determine your personalised breathing rate. Two-and five-minute sessions display real-time heart rate visualisations, animations and vibrational cues to help you align each inhale and exhale with the guide, and find moments of calm throughout your day. Research has shown that developing a long-term guided breathing practice can have health benefits including reducing stress and anxiety, and lowering blood pressure.
  • Enhanced fitness experience: Get real-time, actionable exercise stats right on the display so you can make instant adjustments during your workouts and improve over time.
    • Multi-sport modes: Track specific workouts like runs, bike rides, weights, yoga and more, plus get post-exercise summaries and a detailed report of your activity in the Fitbit app.
    • Connected GPS: Links your fitness wristband with the GPS in your smartphone to provide even more precise and actionable real-time stats, like pace and distance when you’re running, while recording a map of your route in the app.
    • Interval workout mode: Guides you in alternating periods of high-intensity exercise and recovery to optimise workouts like circuit training so you can stay focused on your workout.
  • Smarter, easier all-day tracking: Advanced sensors make tracking your whole day effortless by automatically capturing all-day activity and sleep. SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition records everyday activities like walking, running, elliptical, and more with ease. Reminders to Move motivate you to stay active throughout the day.
  • Sleek, new design: The modular design and easy-to-read tap-sensitive display is four-times larger than Charge HR, letting you personalise a look that fits your style with interchangeable bands and clock faces – while keeping you connected with the smart notifications you need most.

“Ever since my days as a competitive athlete, staying healthy and fit has always been a top priority and I’ve built my life around those goals,” said Gabby Reece, athlete, model, mother, fitness leader and Fitbit ambassador.

“Fitbit Charge 2 is unique in that it gives me the tools and guidance for both. I not only have continuous visibility into my heart rate which gives me real insight into my overall health including workouts – but Fitbit built on that even further with access to my cardio fitness level. This new feature provides an estimate of my VO2 Max, which is something I only had access to in a lab during my pro days. But it’s Charge 2’s guided breathing sessions that really resonate with me as one of the most important things I do to improve my health and manage stress.”

Fitbit has enhanced its iconic and industry-defining tracker, Fitbit Flex, into an ultra-slim, swim-proof fitness wristband that can transform to fit your personal style with a variety of stylish new accessories. With smarter exercise features, Flex 2 effortlessly tracks your fitness and provides friendly motivation to help you stay active throughout your day.

Top features include:

  • Ultra-slim, minimalist design: Now 30% smaller, Flex 2 features a removable tracker and interchangeable slim, classic fitness bands in seven colours that are perfect for every day, hitting the gym or going for a swim.
  • Premium accessory options: Transform and customise Flex 2 in a variety of Fitbit-designed bracelets and pendants to best suit your style or activity. Choose from a range of luxe, premium mirror-finish bangles in silver stainless steel, and 22k-plated gold or rose gold stainless steel, or elegant lariat-style necklaces in silver stainless steel or 22k-plated gold stainless steel for an elevated look that fits seamlessly into your everyday life – from the office to a night out.
  • Swim-proof and automatic swim tracking: As Fitbit’s first swim-proof wristband, Flex 2 is water resistant up to 50 meters, whether you’re in the shower, pool or ocean, and automatically tracks your pool swims including laps, duration, and calories burned in the Fitbit App.
  • Effortless and automatic: Track your most important health and fitness stats, plus:
    • SmartTrack automatic exercise tracking recognises select workouts (walks, runs, rides, elliptical, sports, aerobic workouts, and now swims).
    • Reminders to Move help you stay active with friendly reminders to reach mini hourly step goals and reduce stationary time.
    • Personalised weekly exercise goals to help you embrace a consistent routine and stay motivated.
  • Smarter: A simple LED display uses colour-coded lights to show progress toward your daily goal, and keeps you connected with call and text notifications.

“Whether I’m working out, taking a class, rehearsing or running errands I want a device that is small, yet stylish, that I can match to whatever I’m wearing,” said Julianne Hough, dancer, singer, actress and Fitbit Ambassador. “Fitbit Flex 2 helps keep me motivated to hit my health and fitness goals and it’s even swim-proof, so I can truly get credit for everything I do in my day.”

Pricing and Availability

Charge 2 and Flex 2 will be available globally at major retailers in September and October, respectively. Pricing below is recommended retail pricing; pricing at retailers may vary.

  • Fitbit Charge 2 (R2,999.00) tracker with a classic fitness band in black, blue, plum or teal
    • Classic fitness accessory bands in four colours – sold separately
    • Luxe premium leather accessory bands in blush pink, brown, and indigo – sold separately
    • Special edition series in gunmetal and rose gold  – sold separately
  • Fitbit Flex 2 (R1,899.00) tracker with a classic fitness band in black, lavender, magenta or navy
    • Classic fitness accessory bands in seven on-trend shades of black, blush pink, grey, lavender, magenta, navy and yellow – sold separately
    • Bangle accessory in gold, rose gold and silver stainless steel – sold separately
    • Pendant accessory in gold and silver stainless steel – sold separately

Charge 2 and Flex 2 will be available in South Africa in selected colours at major retailers in September and October, respectively. Retail pricing and launch dates for accessory bands, special edition series and other accessories noted above from Fitbit will be confirmed at a later date.

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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Five key biometric facts

Due to their uniqueness, fingerprints are being used more and more to quickly identify and ensure the security of customers. CLAUDE LANGLEY, Regional Sales Manager, for Africa at HID Global Biometrics, outlines five facts about the technology.

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How many times in a day are you expected to identify yourself? From when you arrive at work you are required to sign in, visiting your bank, receiving healthcare services… The list is endless. When a system knows who you are, you are able to do any number common, everyday activities. Your identity is unique and precious. It is also easily stolen and the target of many hackers across the globe. Technology is constantly evolving alongside the criminal element, always looking for ways to protect data and identity. One such solution happens to be biometrics and it is rapidly gaining traction in our increasingly complex modern world.

Reliable, secure and fundamentally YOU, unique biometric traits such as fingerprints are being used by banks, enterprises and consumers to verify identity. Biometric solutions offer significant identity protection because they use unique biological details to ensure an account is only accessed by the account holder, a door only opened by the owner. Here are five things that are little known about this technology…

  • The uncut identity. Your fingerprint is unique to you. Nobody can use a copy of it to impersonate you. Good technology is capable of scanning down into the layers of the fingertip to differentiate unique elements of a person’s fingerprint, this data is then encrypted and used as a key to unlocking whichever physical or virtual door that the biometric system protects.
  • The living proof. No, there is nothing to the stories of fingerprints being used without their owner’s knowledge or permission. Biometric solutions can use specific variables to determine if the finger used to access the system is that of a present, living person.  A copy or a fake cannot be used to access a cutting-edge biometric solution.
  • Easy and convenient. Queues and documents and paperwork may well be a thing of the past should biometrics take a firmer grip of government and banking systems. The process of registering is easy, and access to identity documents and records is yours alone.
  • Security blanket. A thousand passwords and a hundred post-it notes stuck on walls and drawers.  An excel file with a list of sites and applications and their corresponding passwords, all a thing of the past.  Nobody needs to remember their password with biometrics, they only need to show up.
  • Anywhere is cool. Schools, airports, networks, offices, homes, toilets, banks, libraries, governments, border controls, immigration services, call centres, hospitals and even clubs and pubs – knowing “who” matters and biometrics can quickly and conveniently confirm your identity where needed.

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