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Fitbit Allegedly Developing Force Wristband to Take on Smartwatches

The Fitbit Flex is already a household name when it comes to wearable fitness tech, but the company is reportedly prepping a new model known as the Force. The Fitbit Force will be more capable than its predecessor and will build on the functionality introduced with the Flex, according to new reports.

New features include an altimeter that can measure its wearer’s altitude and a “Floors” function that identifies how many flights of stairs a person has climbed in a given time frame, The Verge reports. The unreleased wristband may debut with an improved display and a physical button that can be used to cycle through settings and features. The report also suggests that the Force will come with more robust watch functionality, unlike the previous version. There’s no word on availability just yet, but The Verge’s sources say that the Force could run customers $129.95 at launch.

It’s no surprise that Fitbit appears to be stepping up its game. Fitness-only wearables are facing the threat of being cast aside in favor of newer smartwatches that serve a wider audience. Until this point Fitbit had largely competed against Jawbone and Nike, but wrist-worn gadgets such as the Pebble, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch 2 can sync with popular health apps as well as make phone calls, display text messages and run apps. The Pebble and Sony Smartwatch 2 are also waterproof, which adds to their functionality as fitness devices.

via The Verge