Remember when those yellow Live Strong bracelets came out and you weren’t cool unless you had one? And then new ones came out in cooler colors and you had to get those, too? Well that’s kind of what’s going on with health bands, except it’ll cost you a heck of a lot more to stay cool this time around.
The newest smartlet (smart+bracelet, get it?) expected to hit the market is AIRO. Not only can it track the calories you’re burning like most other smart bands on the market, it can also track the calories you are gaining. It’s the first of it’s kind, but since the product isn’t actually out, there’s little user experience to back up whether or not it works as promised. So take all of this in with a grain of salt.
The AIRO uses LED lights to detect metabolites in your bloodstream as they are released during and after meals. Basically, this means it can tell how the body breaks down and stores food, e.g. carbs, fats, proteins, etc. AIRO then counts the calories you consume and even analyzes the quality of meals you eat.
This is a similar technique to the Basis B1 health band, which also uses LED lights but does not count calories consumed.
But like the Basis B1, AIRO does measure heart rate and keep track of calories burned during exercise. It’s not based on motion-sensing technology like the NikeFuel SE, so AIRO can be used for activities like biking even though the wrist remains relatively stationary. NikeFuel SE? Not so much.
AIRO can also use your heart rate to monitor stress levels. It detects and tracks sudden fluctuations and can even recommend quick ways to calm you down. When you go to sleep, the band continues working by tracking your circadian rhythm to recognize sleep cycles. AIRO then evaluates how much of your rest was restorative.
As you can see from the picture, the AIRO band has no screen of any kind on it, but instead uses your iPhone. You can view all the data on an app for IOS devices. The band itself vibrates to wake you up in the morning, as well as for other alerts that can be seen on the app.
You can order an AIRO now for $149, but the small Canadian company that makes the health band doesn’t expect to ship until this time next year (Fall 2014). They are charging upfront like other crowd-funding campaigns and say they will offer “full refunds” before an order is shipped.
That upfront order will do two things: save you $50 and keep you ahead of the smartlet trend.