It’s getting harder and harder for the smaller names in the increasingly competitive activity tracker business to take on beloved veterans like Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin or even Misfit, but you can’t turn a blind eye to software innovation, especially when combined with very solid hardware.
At first glance, the just-announced Mio Slice fitness band greatly resembles a dozen or so other low-cost wearables, including Microsoft’s latest, the Garmin Vivofit 2 and Vivosmart. It’s circular, it’s got a curved, little, colorful screen, it shows the time, stats, goals and notifications from Android and iOS, and that’s about it.
Well, not exactly. For one thing, it’s much cheaper than the Microsoft Band 2, at $100, and though it lacks a few crucial sensors, it should reliably measure your heart rate, which in turn will tell you everything you need to know as far as staying fit and healthy is concerned.
Forget simply counting steps and monitoring distance covered while running or playing sports. The Mio Slice introduces an ingenious Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) index to replace your run-of-the-mill, one-size-fits-all calculations of fitness accomplishments.
What this does is basically cut you some slack if you’re pushing yourself too hard, and endangering your long-term medical condition to hit those pesky daily or weekly targets. Based on various factors, including age, gender, resting heart rate and so on, the PAI will be tailor-made to increase or decrease both the quantity and intensity of the activity required to achieve and maintain a satisfactory general score of at least 100.
Sounds intriguing, at the very least, potentially game-changing even, but let’s wait and see how it works in real life, shall we?