BY CARMELA MELONE
Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 2 2018)
Counting steps and calories, analysing sleep and monitoring fitness levels – fitness trackers are the mega trend of recent years. Although the devices have become slimmer and increasingly personalisable, they can still be identified as such immediately. While they normally aren’t a problem at the gym or while jogging, the fitness armbands are usually replaced by watches or suitable jewellery for business outfits or smart evening wear. The British company Bellabeat has identified this gap in the market and developed a smart accessory called “Leaf” that is not only optically appealing, but which also discreetly and reliably gathers data.
The new smart accessory by Bellabeat is both classy and variable. Be it silver or rose gold, a bracelet, necklace or brooch, Leaf can be adapted to every outfit and is therefore an ideal everyday companion. Its gleaming exterior conceals a whole palette of functions that offers far more than a simple step counter. Developed especially for a female target group, Leaf gathers additional data on the monthly cycle and provides discreet reminders for taking the pill. Bellabeat shifts the focus onto the requirements and daily challenges of the modern woman. The company calls the new lifestyle developed for Leaf ‘personal wellness’. This includes movement and fitness as well as healthy and adequate sleep and regular mediation.
The Bellabeat app can be synchronised with Leaf in order to provide a graphic visualisation of the gathered data. It displays the number of steps taken, the duration of sleep and other health-related data at a glance. It also provides interesting and motivating notifications on the topics of health and fitness as well as breathing exercises for relaxation on the side. The battery's longer lifetime is a major benefit and a further advantage in comparison to conventional fitness trackers: it is said to last six months before it can quickly and easily be replaced using the tools included. Depending on the model and design, Leaf can be purchased for between 120 to 200 Euros, while the tracker can be integrated into any manner of outfits with various chains, bands and clips that can be bought through the web shop.
While the development of smart wearables is still in its infancy, the consumers’ levels of enthusiasm for the majority of these devices has already been significant. An interesting development can be observed when it comes to smart watches. An increasing number of watch manufacturers are incorporating smart products into their product ranges, but the technology behind these products is often obscured. These hybrid models serve technology and style in equal amounts, and Bellabeat is joining this trend with Leaf Thanks to an elegant and personalisable product design, technology is taking a step back for the purpose of increased acceptance.
Picture credit © Karen Li: @kacozi/Instagram