Health and fitness of CES 2013

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There were plenty of trends here at CES 2013, and we'd be remiss to overlook all of the activity trackers and other health-related tech devices that were shown off at the show. If you're looking to catch up, you're in the right place.

9 updates and 250 comments below.

Jan 11 6:00p

Invasion of the body trackers: take me to your leader

There's no doubt about it — CES 2013 marked the point where fitness- and health-tracking devices became a legitimate affair. The category until now has been dominated by a few success stories — Fitbit, FuelBand, and so on — and true to CES form we're seeing a lot more companies attempting to cash in. After all, "people in America, frankly, are really fat" as Fitbit CEO James Park told The Verge in an interview yesterday; the obesity problem has been a hot-button issue for decades, and...

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Jan 10 8:27p

Mio Alpha is a less cumbersome heart rate watch for athletes

It's not hard to find fitness trackers here at CES (just take a look around the South Hall), but one that has caught our eye outside of the usual suspects is the Mio Alpha. The company is here with its heart rate watch after a successful Kickstarter campaign this summer, and we've just had the chance to use the product for ourselves.

Watches that monitor heart rate aren't new, but what's different about the Alpha is that it can accurately take continuous readings during intense workouts...

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Jan 09 7:09p

Spot the difference: LG unveils Nike+ FuelBand-inspired Smart Activity Tracker

Fitness and lifestyle products are a major theme at CES, and LG's clearly eager to get on board the trend — its booth has a new prototype called the Smart Activity Tracker. As you'll no doubt have noticed, it bears more than a slight resemblance to Nike's FuelBand, sporting a similar dot matrix-style display and matte black rubber finish.

Despite this, it does actually have some cool features of its own — the band is controlled by a touchscreen, which should make it easier to control than...

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iBitz fitness tracker encourages kids to exercise by caring for a virtual pet (hands-on)

Amid concerns that the world's youth are becoming increasingly unhealthy, GeoPalz is releasing a new fitness tracking system for families that — like so many others — is primarily aimed at making exercise fun for kids. The colorful iBitz pedometer syncs with an iOS app using Bluetooth 4.0, and tracks your steps for the day. For adults, GeoPalz has designed a standard fitness tracking app, called Unity, which we're told also allows parents to track the progress of any kids devices synced with...

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Jan 07 7:12p

Hands on with Fitbit's new Flex wristband fitness tracker

We just spent some time with the Fitbit Flex, the company's latest wristband-style fitness tracker. Announced earlier today, the device syncs in realtime with iOS hardware (and select Android handsets soon), and there's also an included USB dongle that will automatically upload your activity data to a nearby PC or Mac. Getting set up is simple enough; you just pop the tiny white tracker unit into a soft, colored wristband and go about your day. Aside from its core fitness monitoring, the Flex...

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Fitbit Flex wristband with Bluetooth could be the best activity tracker yet

Fitbit is here in Las Vegas to announce its new $99.95 Flex wristband activity tracker. Better yet, the Flex syncs wirelessly with your iPhone giving you real time access to your data — easily trumping the Jawbone Up and Nike FuelBand bracelets in terms of connectivity. And later this month or early February, Fitbit's trackers will also sync with Samsung's Galaxy S III and Note II Android devices via Bluetooth 4.0, with more devices "available soon." The device also ships with a Bluetooth 4.0...

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Jan 06 7:33p

Fitbug Orb tries to take down activity tracker rivals with Bluetooth scale and blood pressure monitor

We're sure to see plenty of activity trackers here at CES, and tonight one smaller company here is releasing a new line of equipment to try and win over a few users. The company's called Fitbug — yes, they compete with Fitbit — and it has a new Bluetooth tracker called the Orb. If you've used a Fitbit One or a Jawbone Up you'll be familiar with what's on offer with the Orb, though Fitbug does change it up by offering three different syncing modes — one for real-time updates for use during...

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BodyMedia Core 2 personal fitness and health monitor hands-on

We're at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas, and just had a chance to take a look at BodyMedia's new Core 2 health and fitness monitor. The company is hailing the device's sleek form factor — it's much smaller than its older Link and Core monitors — and its new size allows it to quickly change appearance with snap-on faceplates, armbands, and cuffs. The smaller size alsop BodyMedia says the Core 2, like its existing devices, can capture over 5,000 data points per minute with a variety of sensors that...

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Withings Smart Activity Tracker and Smart Body Analyzer scale (hands-on)

We just spent some time with two new products from Withings, the company behind the Wi-Fi Bodyscale. As we reported this morning, the Smart Activity Tracker is the company's answer to the Fitbit One: it's a small activity tracker that measures your steps taken, calories burned, and the quality of sleep. It also features one significant new addition: press your finger to the back of the device for 15 seconds, and it will detect your heart rate. The data is synced to the Withings app, giving...

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Leikr's GPS sportswatch: how a group of ex-Nokia triathletes are innovating on the wrist

The Leikr GPS sportswatch launched on Kickstarter last week, and we just had a chance to sit down with head of US product development Ryan Krems to take a look at their prototype and learn about how the company got its start. The team behind Leikr all previously worked at Nokia's now-closed Copenhagen office, and are all avid athletes. That focus on athletic usage shows up in Leikr's design — the watch is more functional than stylish. It features a two-inch color display with Gorilla Glass;...

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