Whilst Withings' may sound like the makers of your nan's favourite tinned soup, they are in fact producers of the ScanWatch - a hybrid smartwatch that has the ability to passively track for heartbeat irregularities and sleep apnea.
Fortunately for you all latecomers, Withings' have crammed all the technology found in their previous wearables into the ScanWatch, so you don't have to spend all your time re-wearing the entire Withings' back catalogue to benefit. This includes the fitness tracking functionality from the Withings Move, combined with the ECG tracking and mini-display in the Withings Steel HR. How very thoughtful. Whilst the release date for the ScanWatch is pending (predicted to be Q2 2020), the price has been confirmed and begins at around £229, which will get you the smaller 38mm version of the watch that has a sleek rounded look with a glossy finish. The larger 42mm model has a far thicker metal bezel and will cost you a touch more at £279.
The immediate difference you notice with the ScanWatch compared with other smartwatches on the market is the design. It looks like a traditional timepiece, and whilst this styling may have been to engage the demographic who would likely benefit most from the heartbeat irregularity and sleep apnea tech, we think it works and follows a string of classy alternatives that really raise the design game for tech smartwatches. A seamless mix of the old with the new.
In terms of the interface on the ScanWatch, its limited. Given it's a small screen, it only has the ability to display one thing at any time, for example, your steps or ECG readings, all of which you can cycle through by twisting the crown on the face of the watch. All other info can be tracked through the paired Health Mate app, which contains many of the previous health and fitness tracking capabilities, as well as 2 more: passive heartbeat irregularity and sleep apnea.
Detecting passive heartbeat irregularity is done through its PPG sensor, which the ScanWatch uses to track your heartbeat at various times throughout the day. If an irregularity is detected then the watch prompts you to take an ECG, which uses a different set of sensors that are activated through a separate function. Once read, the ECG then produces a PDF report that you'll be able to share with a medical professional or with your friends, on your Instagram or on ratemyirregularheartbeat.com (not a real site yet).
Sleep apnea is detected through Sp02 sensors, which emit and absorb light-waves passed through blood vessels. The Sp02 sensors check the oxygen levels in your blood and record any dips that occur throughout the night. This function also allows you to generate a report that you'll be able to share. A final point to note is the battery, which Withings' have decided to upgrade to cater for the increase in active technological capabilities. Whilst previous models would last about a year, the ScanWatch is predicted to run out in about a month. They've made the assumption that you'll probably want to use the features for longer than this so the watch comes with a charger.
All in all, the ScanWatch looks like it's going to be a real positive step for Withings'. Whilst its price appears to be more in line with some of its more distinguished rivals, such as the Samsung Galaxy Active 2 or the Apple Watch 4, the blend of the French company's design ethos with some potentially life-saving tech, gives the ScanWatch an edge and is perfect for someone looking for something that blends the traditional with the contemporary.
Discover more about LARQ at: Withings.com.
Photography credit : Withings