A new generation of a wearable made solely for fitness promises to deliver more data, and that’s the start.
There are plenty of wearables out there, but if you’re someone looking for a smart band that tracks and understands your health, the choices get a little interesting.
On the one hand, there are the usual suspects of the Apple Watch (currently in Series 6) and Fitbit’s wearables, plus the Samsung Galaxy variants you can find, as well as others from Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei, and so on and so on. And then there’s Whoop, a brand not widely known in Australia built solely for fitness and nothing else.
Focused more on athletes and those looking to understand as much about their fitness as they possibly can, Whoop’s technology isn’t so much in the hardware you wear, but rather in the insights its platform offers. The technology provides analysis of your activities, recovery time, and sleep, and brings it all together to provide an understanding of how you can improve, even going so far as to warn you if you have COVID.
Having only recently reviewed Whoop’s 3.0 strap, we can tell you that the wearable is like none other out there, skipping on the typical assortment of a screen and buttons, replacing it with a zero-distraction approach to health monitoring, but it’s one set to get an upgrade this year.
The latest model increases the version number, launching it as the Whoop 4.0, a health tracker sporting a smaller size with a five day battery, and a few more sensors, at that.
With health technology at the heart of the Whoop, it makes sense that the sensors are getting an update, with the green LED heart rate tracker being boosted with a pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels, a skin sensor to measure temperature, while the heart rate tracker still covers live heart rate, resting heart rate, and heat rate variability.
Sleep tracking will also improve, with Whoop 4.0 rolling out vibrating haptic feedback to wake you up based on how you sleep, so as to help you not oversleep.
It’s a combination of technology that should provide more information, and can even be shared with a personal trainer, coach, or physician.
And it’s not alone.
Whoop has also been working on how you can wear its strap, readying garments to go along with the band. That’ll arrive in Whoop Body, with activewear holding the Whoop 4.0 unit an able to track vitals from parts of the body, such as the waist and torso, picked up by a detection technology built into the garments. This will come in sports bras, compression tops, shorts, leggings, and athletics boxers, while a more intimate collection will include bralettes and boxers for holding the Whoop under your clothes.
Granted, they’ll be an optional extra, but they’ll provide another way to hold the sports band, as well as new straps made for fast drying after going in the water, plus a new style of strap that will make it easy to switch between your wrist and the garment easily.
“I’ve been thinking about this technology for more than a decade, and I can promise you that this is the most innovative product we have ever released,” said Will Ahmed, Founder and CEO of Whoop.
“We’ve always aspired to develop wearable technology that is either cool or invisible,” he said. “With the launch of Whoop 4.0 and Whoop Body, we have accomplished both.”
As for how much the Whoop 4.0 will cost, that will depend on your membership status.
As it is, Whoop is a subscription-based wearable, charging around $44 per month or closer to $384 per year, but members with at least six months of membership remaining on their account will be eligible for a free Whoop 4 upgrade, which will apparently coexist alongside the Whoop 3.
In short, Whoop 4 will seemingly be free from a hardware level, but like the rest of Whoop, you’ll need to pay for the access to the app in order to get the hardware working in the first place.