Fitbit is on schedule, as its boss James Park keeps reminding us, to launch its next smartwatch by the end of the year. We don’t know what the smartwatch will be called, though Blaze 2 seems likely, but thanks to leaks we know its design and some of the hardware improvements.
Images obtained by Wareable show a similar large display design to the Blaze – which we have already seen in a Yahoo Finance report – alongside a new heart-rate arrangement that uses two red lights and one blue light.
The company’s previous devices have used a green light to track heart-rate because blood absorbs the light. However, it reflects red light, which allows it to penetrate deeper into the skin, providing a more accurate heart-rate and new biometrics like blood oxygen levels.
This should help close the gap between Fitbit and the Apple Watch when it comes to heart-rate accuracy. Fitbit is also reportedly improving the accuracy of GPS for the new smartwatch.
It won’t be just hardware this year, Fitbit is planning to launch an app gallery that will come with a selection of launch apps, before opening to the wider developer community. The company has reportedly tapped Pandora to be the launch partner for music, after unsuccessfully trying to partner with Spotify.
The firm is in a precarious position, once the dominant player in the wearable market, it has lost significant marketshare to Apple and Xiaomi. Other brands, like Garmin and Samsung, are providing customers with alternatives to the standard smartwatch and fitness tracker options.
This new smartwatch has most of the improvements people have asked of Fitbit, but delays and rumors of poor performance could ruin the new device before it even hits the store shelves.