Though Samsung mostly showcases all of its innovations at individual launch events, but making appearances is now important for the Korean multinational giant. Thus, the company setup a booth at IFA Berlin to show-off its latest flagship smartphone offerings, alongwith a fashion accessory called WELT.
Debuted at CES’16 this year, the WELT is a beautifully crafted smart belt that tracks your core fitness indicators. It is a spin-off startup that has graduated from Samsung’s own in-house incubator called ‘Creative Lab‘. And though the implementation of the fashion accessory and its functionality seems strong, but it isn’t the first company to make it past the gates of the company.
The WELT might look like an ordinary belt at first look, but it packs in an array of sensors that can be used to track three main health indicators — waist size, activity and food intake. Firstly, in terms of activity, the smart belt acts as a pedometer to count the number of steps taken and can also record inactivity by calculating time spent sitting throughout the day.
The magnetic sensor in the belt buckle records your waist size in real time, a key starting point for gauging overall health. It can sense waist sizes from 28 to 44 inches in circumference. You can then check your progress and compare statistics using the WELT app on your Samsung device.
The last feature of WELT is complimentary to the waist size functionality and makes it even more attractive to the masses. It can be used to track your eating habits in real-time. Samsung points out that abdominal fat is a product of excess calorie intake, and the waist can expand or contract over a duration of time. The WELT also keeps tracks of these rapid variations in waist size to monitor your overeating patterns.
Samsung has included a micro USB port that allows you to charge the WELT, which has the capacity to last more than 20 days on a single full charge. The WELT app, on the other hand, gives you actionable insights, warnings and feedback to focus on staying active and fit. Just like any other fitness app, it also allows you to set personalized health goals meeting your lifestyle decisions.
In addition to showing off its latest wearable fashion accessory at IFA, the Korean giant has also debuted the product on crowd-sourcing platform Kickstarter. And I don’t know how a smart belt would inspire me to get off my butt, walk, run and make myself fit, but 270+ backers who’ve pledged a total of almost $28,000 believe the opposite.
With over 30 days still to go, I would be much interested in seeing how many backers does the WELT accumulate. The smart belt is expected to start shipping January 2017, starting at $69 for the casual version and $99 for the classic one.