For $50, budget conscious consumers will soon be able to buy Misfit Wearables' new Flash fitness tracker.
The new device is made of soft plastic, not the aluminum used in the Misfit's previous, more expensive Shine model, which lists for $99.99. Like the Shine, Flash features a disc-like design.
By comparison, Apple's iWatch will have a starting price of $349 and isn't expected to hit store shelves until 2015. The far less costly Flash, on the other hand, is slated to become available next month.
The Bluetooth-connected device tells time, tracks calories burned and steps taken, quality and length of sleep, and distance walked. Flash syncs with a user's phone, runs on watch batteries, and connects to a Misfit app available for iOS, Windows Phone, or Android.
Since the wearable uses a watch battery, it does not require nightly charging, according to Misfit. This capability also allows users to more easily monitor their sleeping habits, the developer said.
[Learn more about Apple's plans. Read Apple Arms For Wearable War.]
Flash is waterproof, according to Misfit, although only to depths of 30 meters, compared with Shine's ability to handle 50 meters of water.
Other developers offer wearables at the lower end of the price range but Misfit appears the first to deliver at the $50 threshold, a price point that could expand the market to a much broader audience. As healthcare systems, payers, and employers seek new ways to encourage consumers to engage in their healthcare, cost is an issue -- and at $50 retail, organizations might consider picking up the tab or heavily discounting Flash trackers for members.
Fitbit is available in a $99.95 and $129.95 model, although a clip-on wearable tracker lists for about $60. Jawbone Up costs $149.99, although several models were on sale on Tuesday for $79.99, and Nike Fuelband SE included models for $99 and $149.
Available now for pre-order, Misfit Flash is slated to go on sale in October at retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. Available colors include: Coca-Cola red, fuchsia, frost, onyx, zest (greenish yellow), wave (blue), and reef (teal). Three shades are exclusive to Best Buy.
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