Skip to main content

Fitbit's new Alta HR to bring features that will help you sleep better

fitbit alta hr machine learning sleep tracker 2
A year after releasing the Fitbit Alta, Fitbit is ready to make your fitness wristband smarter at analyzing your sleep. Debuting with the upcoming Fitbit Alta HR are two new features to give you even more insight into your daily activities: Sleep Stages and Sleep Insights.

With the new Sleep Insights feature, your Fitbit uses machine learning to coalesce all of your Fitbit data, along with the more than 3 billion nights of sleep Fitbit has tracked since 2012, into personalized recommendations on how improving your sleep can improve you health. If you usually sleep six hours during weekdays, but average nine hours over the weekend, your Fitbit Alta HR may suggest to you that you are not getting enough sleep during the week.

For the new Sleep Stages feature, your Fitbit will accurately estimate how long you have spent in light, deep, and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. This is powered by Fitbit’s most requested feature, PurePulse, the continuous automatic heart rate tracking found in the Fitbit Charge 2.

Both features will be available this spring, and not just on the Alta HR. Through an update on the iOS, Android, and Windows Fitbit app, the sleep stages feature will also work on the Blaze and Charge 2 devices. The Sleep Insights feature will be available on all Fitbit devices that track sleep via the Fitbit app.

Machine learning has gained popularity in recent years since IBM Watson’s Jeopardy dominance in 2011, but Fitbit has been working the technology into its fitness trackers for even longer. Shelton Yuen, Fitbit’s vice president of research, told Digital Trends popular Fitbit features such as automatically recognizing when someone is asleep requires machine learning

In order for your Fitbit to think for itself, it needs to have a relatively large knowledge base, and Fitbit’s billions of nights of sleep data put it in a rare position to leverage machine learning. “You have to get to a critical point, where you have enough data where you can make conclusions, before you can really start to reach things like a Sleep Insights feature,” Yuen said.

The Alta HR’s slim design housing the PurePulse heart rate tracking required Fitbit to think smaller. Yuen said Fitbit started working on the Alta HR roughly 18 months ago. Around the same time, Fitbit was working on a one-of-a-kind chip able to reduce the amount of components and space needed inside the Fitbit to operate PurePulse in such a slim design.

The Fitbit Alta HR will retail at $150 when it is released in April. You can pre-order one today at Fitbit’s official website.

Editors' Recommendations

Keith Nelson Jr.
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Keith Nelson Jr is a music/tech journalist making big pictures by connecting dots. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY he…
Fitbit Inspire HR tips and tricks
Fitbit Inspire HR tips and tricks

Fitbit is still by many as the ruler of fitness trackers, and for good reason. The Fitbit Inspire HR may be an entry-level wearable fitness tracker from a few years ago now, but it's lost none of the flair that made it such a good choice back in 2019. Its slick, sleek presentation and no-nonsense approach to tracking meant Fitbit could keep the price down, but without compromising on any of the features you actually needed.

An old dog may not be able to learn new tricks, but this device still has plenty of features to explore. We walk you through some of our favorite Fitbit Inspire HR tips and tricks to help you use your fitness tracker to its fullest potential.
Setting up the Fitbit Inspire HR

Read more
New iFit ActivePulse feature uses heart rate to customize treadmill workouts
NordicTrack Active Pulse

It's a new year, which means new resolutions, new commitments to working out, and exciting new gear, as we've already seen at CES 2021. One of the leaders in the smart gym market, iFit, is known for its interactive video workouts that bring users to all corners of the world. The company is now taking its technology one step further by bridging the gap between your exercise intensity and the exercise equipment. The newly announced iFit ActivePulse monitors your heart rate during a workout and adjusts the treadmill's speed and incline so athletes get the best workout possible.

Not only do iFit users work out alongside a professional trainer, but the software, when bundled into a treadmill, can control the speed and incline to match the terrain on the screen. Users don't have to worry about adjusting their treadmill and can merely workout. One disadvantage to this automatic control is that it assumes you can work out at the trainer's pace. Those new to working out may find the default incline and speed settings are too difficult, while experienced athletes may feel they are too easy. The new ActivePulse from iFit is designed to address this troublesome flaw.

Read more
Everything you need to know about the new Fitbit Charge 4
Fitbit Charge 4

Fitbit just debuted its latest fitness tracker called the Fitbit Charge 4, which is packed with new features like built-in GPS and a workout intensity map. 

There's a slew of new features in the Fitbit Charge 4 that people have been asking for, as well as the usual Fitbit fitness tracker features that you have come to know and love. 

Read more