Fitbit Charge HR, Surge Fitness Trackers Now Know When You’re Exercising

Fitbit on Tuesday rolled out software updates for its Charge HR and Surge fitness trackers, as well as updates to its iOS and Windows companion apps – with an Android update scheduled to roll out soon. The highlight of the software update is the introduction of SmartTrack, a feature that can detect when a user has started exercising. The software update also included improvements to its PurePulse heart rate monitoring tech for high-intensity workouts.

Meant to detect the start of exercise without user input, SmartTrack automatically detects when a user is performing certain exercises, such as elliptical, outdoor biking, running, walking, and general categories of aerobic workouts (Zumba, cardio-kickboxing and other dance classes) and sports (tennis, basketball and soccer). It then records them in the Fitbit app, and gives an exercise summary, including duration, calories burned and heart rate stats. Users can also select the types of activities they want recognised as exercises, and also adjust how long they must be active before an activity is recorded. By default, that time is set at 15 minutes.

Fitbit has also updated its PurePulse heart rate monitoring technology with better heart-rate tracking experience during and after intense workouts such as boot camp and Zauba. The update is said to be activated when users put their Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge on Exercise Mode and multi-sport modes respectively.

The iOS and Windows app updates brings the Exercise Goals feature, which helps users set weekly exercise goals that are tracked on a daily basis. Goals can be customised as users can choose the number of target exercise days per week and the types of activities to reach the goals. The Exercise Goals feature is also available for Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One, and Fitbit Zip trackers. The app update will arrive for Android soon.

“At Fitbit we’re always working on innovative features that are easy to use and make tracking health and fitness a fun, motivational experience,” said Tim Roberts, VP of Interactive at Fitbit. “Our users find exercise in all parts of their day, including activities like short walks with the dog or a bike commute to work. These new features allow them to focus on their exercise, giving them credit for their most active moments and letting the technology do the work to automatically track progress toward their fitness goals.”