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On Tuesday, Misfit announced Flash, its second wearable product. It’s a disk-shaped activity tracker that is covered in soft plastic. It will retail for under $50 when it goes on sale in October.
The Flash is a sequel to Misfit’s first wearable activity tracker, Shine. The primary difference is that the Shine is $99.99 and is made out of machined aluminum, while the less expensive Flash is made of plastic. Like the Shine, the Flash will be able to track steps, sleep and other forms of activity and sync it with the Misfit app.
Flash won’t require nightly charging, because it lacks a screen, so it can draw power for months from a watch battery. Instead of a screen, Flash will work like one big button: Tap the front and embedded LEDs will light up, allowing you to check progress toward your daily activity goal.
As Google and Apple continue to expand on their vision of wearable technology, Misfit is going a different direction. Both Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches can provide activity tracking, but those devices conceive of it as one leg of the wearable stool along with notifications and other apps. Misfit is focused on activity tracking, licenses some of its algorithms to other companies through a new development kit and continues to emphasize sleep tracking, which is hard to do with wearable devices that need to be recharged every night.
Whereas other wearable technology still relies on the touchscreen for input as well as feedback, Flash, as well as Misfit’s other supported product, take advantage of a new, lighter type of user interface, which Misfit CEO Sonny Vu calls the “glanceable UI.” Mladen Barbaric, who designed the Misfit Shine, will be discussing these concepts at our design conference Roadmap in November.
The Flash will come in seven different colors, three of which will only be available from Best Buy. There will also be a wristband that can affix the disc-like tracker onto your wrist.