Smart watches are still struggling to gain traction in the market beyond early adopters, but they do have the potential to bring a wide range of functions to a convenient wearable device. With the right sensors, they can also provide useful Health Tech data such as heart rate and blood oxygen levels. The problem is that not everyone wants to spend about $300 or more for one of these, especially if they already have an attractive and functional watch. Many smart watches are like strapping a hockey puck to your wrist; some consumers may prefer something a bit sleeker.
Rifft is a French company that has created the CT Band, which transforms any standard watch into a smart watch. The thin watchband comes in silicon and leather models in different colors, and incorporates a small OLED screen. It connects to your smartphone or tablet via BlueTooth and includes a battery that is rated to last a day or two. It supports both iOS and Android operating systems, and includes a variety of sensors. Like an activity tracker, it counts steps, speed, distance traveled, and time of exercise. It also measures health metrics, including heart rate and blood oxygen. It even keeps track of weather factors such as temperature, UV rate, and moisture rate.
The company has ambitious goals to add features and functions, from interacting with cars to fall detection to contactless payment. Imagine a watch band that can deliver stock market alerts automatically. The company currently is taking pre-orders, with the costs ranging from about $200 to $250 depending on size and material. If you’ve been tempted by smartwatches but don’t want to give up your current watch, the CT Band could provide an attractive and unobtrusive alternative.