Nike is revealing a new version of its FuelBand today at an event in New York City. Dubbed the FuelBand SE, the new fitness tracker sports a variety of color accents and represents the sporting goods maker’s first non-cosmetic update to its activity tracking wearable since the gadget’s introduction.
The FuelBand, for those who aren’t familiar, is a wearable wristband that provides users with a visual readout of their steps taken during the course of a day, and also offers up a ‘Fuel’ tally, which is a metric made up by Nike that calculates based on your activity level through things like walking, running, paying basketball and more. They don’t share much about how they come up with that number, but it’s likely not terribly scientific and meant primarily as a motivation device to get people moving more frequently.
This new second-generation product has a similar design to the original version (but with red, pink or yellow accents), with a rubberized band that fits snugly around the wrist available in different sizes. This edition is intended to be better at encouraging users to move, and harder to cheat with. Nike reports that doing things like punching your fist in the air to game your score won’t up your Fuel score, according to CNET. It also looks to offer up better ability to differentiate between different types of activity, like cycling, spinning and rowing.
Nike’s new hardware is sealed and waterproofed, making it usable in the shower, and it’s got a highly refined motion detection algorithm. There are regular reminders (once hourly) to prompt you to get up and stop being so lazy, and there’s a new shortcut to let you double tap the button to access time. It uses Bluetooth 4.0, too, which should make it easier to sync data and provide a bit of a battery boost. There’s also a brand new app redesign to do along with it, with more granular and informative charts and graphs related to activity data. A new Fuel-per-minute metric offers a look at your average intensity, rather than just cumulative activity totals.
Finally, there’s sleep tracking, which the first generation device lacked entirely. Sleep tracking is available to users of the Fitbit Flex, and the Jawbone Up, so that’s a huge addition in terms of playing catchup with the competition. The FuelBand SE is still iOS only, however, so don’t expect an Android app anytime soon. Users not in the Apple flock can still use the website, however. Nike has also launched “Fuel Lab,” a 12-week program designed to help companies launch integrations of its Nike+ and NikeFuel APIs and SDKs, which offers $50,000 to each of 10 companies chosen to take part.
The FuelBand SE will be available on November 6, along with the updated iPhone app and the Nike Move app debuted at the iPhone 5s reveal. The FuelBand will cost $149, and ship initially in the U.S., UK, Canada, France Germany and Japan, with pre-orders kicking off today.