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Basis Band and App

An easy-to-use health and heart rate tracker with advanced sleep data

by Josh Rubin in Tech on 21 January 2014

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The wearable activity monitor market has exploded; we saw more than 30 players at this year's CES. Basis—an easy-to-use watch with a mobile and web app offers data more advanced than most of the competition through monitoring and leveraging heart rate, body temperature and perspiration information. Launching today is their brand new advanced sleep data service, further differentiating them from the rest.

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The hardware is simple and usable; a small screen linked by a chrome coupler and two black silicone straps. It's comfortable, customizable and light, so it doesn't weigh the arm down. On the front screen—navigated by four stainless steel touch-pin buttons—the trans-reflective LCD screen has a backlight option, as well as dedicated buttons to access all of the information the watch accrues. There, users can view their steps, heart rate, where they stand regarding the day's goals and more—not to mention the time. The battery life is only a few days (four maximum) so each device comes equipped with a USB charger that also allows the watch to synch with your computer.

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Through the web application, users can set initial goals and build a profile incorporating height and weight. From there, the mobile application does everything. The Bluetooth synch is a bit slow, but Bluetooth can be switched off altogether—a good feature in case users are concerned with the EMFs it emits. The apps dashboard incorporates steps, RHR and calories burned. There, users can edit and add to the goals list. Two additional screens provide information on habits and insights based on all logged data in conjunction with goals listed.

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All tracking is done through multiple sensors on the back of the watch. Steps are tracked through a three-axis accelerometer. An optical blood-flow eye tracks heart rate, both day and night. A perspiration monitor provides additional information on the intensity of workouts and everyday movement, especially when coupled with the device's skin temperature monitor. All of this yields comprehensive tracking on par with (if not better than) most other analysis devices. And while all of the technology inside is complicated and the sensors are the most advanced for any tracking service, the user interface across device and applications is very simple.

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Along with all of this information, today's software update enables Basis to provide top tier sleep data analysis utilizing both the heart rate data and also movement information. This contributes to a detailed outline of sleep patterns and the way one's body functions at night. It can track deep sleep, light sleep and REM cycles; the movement sensor indicates how much the user tosses and turns during the night. With this much data at their disposal, Basis then provides small tips toward improvement. From suggesting earlier bed times to physiologically backed stress reduction techniques. Altogether, the information is invaluable and Basis aims to help users put it to use—easily.

The Basis carbon steel edition is available online for $199.

Photos by Greg Stefano, screenshots courtesy of Basis

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