With childhood obesity becoming a major issue, Adidas has been working to ensure that kids are motivated to be healthy and fit. Last year the company launched The Spirit Challenge in partnership with Interactive Health Technologies (IHT) to encourage K-12 students to be more active. The challenge was designed to provide motivation, with schools competing against each other for prizes, and to foster awareness. The Spirit Heart Rate Monitor used for the challenge was a simple, screen-less device that provided auditory feedback as students moved between 3 different heart rate zones. The 5 year old device provided no visual feedback to help kids discern with a glance how they were doing. Recognizing that 5 years in wearable technology represents an incredible technological shift, Adidas has announced a new wearable compatible with the IHT system and software.
The new Adidas ZONE is a watch-like wearable designed to resemble current smartwatches and fitness trackers. Similar to the monitor it is replacing, the ZONE is designed only to be a heart rate tracker. At first glance, the most notable change with the new device is the addition of a screen to display a child’s current heart rate. To provide at-a-glance visual feedback and aid them in understanding what different heart rate zones feel like, the screen is also surrounded by a ring a LEDs. These LEDs light up either blue, yellow, or red depending on which zone the heart rate falls into. The sensor has also seen improvements, allowing the ZONE to more accurately provide heart rate data only using a wrist based sensor. Like the previous model, the new wearable syncs via NFC and the school’s software allows for cloud-based viewing of the data.
The new ZONE is being sold for $139 but it really isn’t designed to be sold as a one-off unit. A package of 28 units can be purchased for $3,995, which includes a reader, charging case, and 1 year access to the IHT software or a school can purchase 112 ZONEs for $14,995. If your school already has the old version of the sensor and would like to upgrade to the new Adidas wearable, IHT is offering a 20% discount for traded in units. While the costs seem pretty steep, IHT claims there system is already being used daily by over 600,000 kids and they expect that number to reach 1M by the end of 2016.