Withings Acivité: Making the smartwatch beautiful

2014 is undoubtedly the year of the smartwatch, with Google, LG, Samsung, Sony and maybe even Apple all jumping on the bandwagon to create a smartphone for our wrist - but they have struggled aesthetically to match their mechanical siblings - until now.

The Withings Activité is a mechanical watch with a gorgeous leather strap and classic face, but inside an accelerometer and Bluetooth connection mean it can subtly and accurately track your daily exercise.

The only tell-tale sign of the Activité’s smartness is a second dial on the face which sweeps from zero to 100% a a reflection of how much of your daily step goal you have completed.

Head over to the accompanying iPhone app, and you’ll find the watch has been tracking your steps, distance travelled, calories burned and elevation climbed, as well as your sleep pattern.

Withings believes the future of wearable technology isn’t to make “a smartphone for your wrist”, but to create a device which regular watch-wearers will want to buy - and then make it smart, without affective the way it looks.

We tried out the Activité at the IFA technology show in Berlin this week and we were very impressed. No one would know this beautiful watch is a fitness tracker - and that’s the point. The watch can even sync up with Withings other tracking products - including smart bathroom scales - to paint a larger and more accurate picture of your health and fitness.

The Activité will be available in the UK imminently, but it won’t be cheap - costing £320 it’s significantly more than the circa-£180 smartwatches currently on the market from LG and Samsung. But, for those who want a fitness tracking without looking like a prop from a sci-fi movie, with the Activité they could well be in luck.

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