New technology makes tracking your health easy. Apple pushed their new health suite; Fitbit made tracking easier; and all manner of smartwatches track your health in various ways. However, each of these accessories come with a hefty price tag. The developers of Shapeheart wanted to tackle convenience and affordability with their innovative armband. Their efforts resulted in something unique, simple, and smart.
Developers created the armband for active use over five years ago. The design only evolved so much before reaching something that everyone recognizes today. Unfortunately, that same design lacks certain conveniences that left me frustrated.
The current design involves a neoprene armband with a phone slot and a plastic screen cover. The strap wraps around your upper arm and velcros on. This simple design is tried and true and stands the tests of time and vigorous activity. However, it also leaves you with the inconvenience of having to take the phone out of a very tight plastic sleeve if you need to text, change your playlist, or check your time.
Our over-saturated world offers a variety of solutions to this uncomfortable problem. Unfortunately, most of those solutions involve a chunk out of your paycheck. The Shapeheart, on the other hand, offers convenience and affordability… Oh, and tracking.
A Unique Design
The Shapeheart Armband straps on very similarly to every other armband on the market. In fact, it looks like most armbands on the market. But this armband includes a detachable, magnetic phone enclosure. That same issue I struggled with on my bike becomes a non-issue when the phone can easily be removed from the strap. The two hefty magnets on the armband hold the smartphone in place during intense workouts.
While that simple feature intrigued me, the developers wanted to include tracking in their design to make the Shapeheart Armband stand out. The armband includes a heart monitor that fits into the armband. The optical sensor houses a rechargeable, 25-hour battery and pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth. According to the developers, the sensor measures heart rate with a high level of accuracy while also being able to keep up with your pace and distance. Additionally, the sensor can assist in a variety of workouts including biking, pushups, and running by communicating via a variety of smartphone apps.
The developers kindly included a few other simple features to make the Shapeheart special. The armband incorporates a fingerprint hole. While this simple inclusion seems trivial, fingerprint unlocking is just a wonderful convenience. Also, the armband consists of a durable, neoprene material and a touch sensitive plastic cover. Therefore, the Shapeheart Armband includes all the features found in other armbands in addition to their new, innovate components.
A Competitive Price
I’ve mentioned affordable once or twice… The Shapeheart Armband costs about $64 as a super early bird special on Kickstarter. There is a limited supply of those, and I don’t expect them to last long. Beyond Kickstarter, the armband will cost $130. Unfortunately, this will run a little higher than a Fitbit, but also offers greater tracking accuracy and stability.
The armband will most likely come with the usual struggles. The plastic screen cover can be a nuisance, the armband can chafe. However, the additional technology also adds to uncertainty. While the Shapeheart claims to measure heart rate accurately, heavy activity may make reading that heart rate difficult. But the price makes the Shapeheart Armband desirable. Overall, the Shapeheart Armband looks great and provides a great solution to affordable health tracking in contrast to a smart watch.
Shapeheart is seeking funding on Kickstarter. They have achieved $22,000 of their $39,000 goal and still have 43 days to go. They are seeking funding to manufacture the armband in mass. The design is complete and heavily tested. Let us know in the comments what you think of the Shapeheart and if you are picking one up!