Smart gadget specialty firm Withings introduced a fashionable Swiss-made time piece Tuesday that doubles

as a fitness tracker.

The French company billed "Activite" as a chic watch with computing brains to track steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, and sleep patterns. "Our mission is to inspire health," Withings chief executive Cedric Hutchings said in a release. Fitness has been a hotspot in the budding trend of wearable computers, with activity monitoring bracelets or pendants such as UP24 and Fitbit finding success in the market.

Consumer electronics titans such as Sony, Samsung, and LG have stepped up with smart watches boasting fitness tracking capabilities. Apple built a Health Kit into the newest version of the software powering iPhones and iPads, adding fuel to rumors that the California company plans to release a smartwatch of its own. "Activite" was created by designers in Paris in a spirit of "reinterpreting classical time pieces."

It use Bluetooth connectivity to synch with Withing Health Mate applications on Apple smartphones or tablets. "Activite" will be priced at 390 dollars when it is released later this year, according to Withings. Since being founded in 2009, the firm has become best known for a smart bathroom scale that lets people tap into powers of the Internet and smartphones to manage their weight.(afp)





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