The GadgetWhore Quick (PRE-RELEASE) Review
The Atlas features an OLED touchscreen display and is able to recognize gym exercises and other fitness activities. It features a 3 -axis Accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, continuous real-time heart rate sensor, support for Bluetooth LE, a vibration motor and two M4 processors.
We would have liked the Atlas to include GPS. We would also like if they chose to use the original yellow OLED display. It also appears that they made the UI display much smaller than in the original prototype renders. This may be in an effort to preserve battery life, but the original UI looked much easier to read. The 120mAh battery sounds great, but the continuous heart rate sensor and vibration motor are going to use up battery life quickly.
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This is the first fitness wearable product that can tell if you are doing shoulder presses, squats, pull-ups or about 50 other gym exercises. It also counts reps/sets/heart rate. This device was made for the gym and makes no excuses for it.
The gap between pro athlete fitness gear and consumer gear is starting to narrow. Wearable devices that put a $500 a hour personal trainer and a sports science institute on your wrist are becoming available to the masses. The price of sensors has come down from $20 to a few dollars and that has made it possible for the next wave of consumer wearables to exist. Consumer Wearables 1.0 were the step trackers, Consumer Wearables 2.0 added sleep tracking to the mix. Consumer Wearables 3.0 takes things to the next level with whole body movement and data recognition that can determine proper form, calculate explosiveness and determine individual muscle groups used in exercises. This data in conjunction with the proper software should be able to help you get stronger in a safer and more efficient way than ever before. The Push Strength and the Atlas Wearables devices are two of the leaders in this Consumer wearables 3.0 category.
The Atlas Wearables device will retail for just under $250 when it hits the market.
The Atlas Wearables device uses one wristband to discern between 50 to 100 activities personal fitness activities. The device makers promise that this device will be gym-ready at launch and even hope to distribute to gyms and cross fit clubs. If the demos posted online are correct, this device is already our favorite fitness device ever. We already own a Fitbit, Nike Fuelband, Jawbone Up and several lesser known fitness devices that left us feeling that something was missing. Currently, the Atlas Wearables device can recognize 30 unique exercises. The most requested and popular exercises will be added to the device before launch and more will be added after the initial launch. If you have an exercise that you want added, feel free to let them know via their reddit group.
An Alpha Tester version will be sold to 10 lucky backers for $399 and should be released in August 2014.
The Atlas band will eventually be able to track nearly any fitness activity and will be able to “learn” new activities for a fully customized fitness experience. Most devices in the $130-$199 price range give you basic features, but Atlas gives you a device that can work without being actively synced to a mobile device. The Atlas has an OLED display that will provide fitness stats at a glance. Gym rats can finally leave their phones in their cars and lose the workout log when they go to the gym. The Atlas is a self contained device that only needs BLE to sync data to your phone or web application. Unlike other devices, the algorithms and activity databases are all ON THE DEVICE and not in the cloud. The device can even estimate the weight that you are lifting and if it estimates incorrectly, you can fix that by swiping the touchscreen and making a quick edit. At launch, the Atlas band will be compatible with Fitocracy and MapMyFitness. At least one more integration is being added for the launch and the Atlas backers will be able to vote on it. The most popular integration will be announced at the completion of the Indiegogo campaign. The next app integration looks like it is going to be MyFitnessPal according to recent surveys taken by the backers. The Atlas campaign just recently reached a stretch goal to add true waterproofing(50 meters) for swimmers and other underwater activities. You’ll never have to worry about accidentally throwing your Atlas into the washer when washing your clothes. The next stretch goal is $75k ($600K in total funding) away and will add a vibration motor for alarms, reminders and alerts. Adding the vibration motor gives the Atlas all of the features of every accelerometer based tracker currently on the market. In addition to the advanced workout recognition this device will also have a clock, track steps, calories, resting heart rate and sleep. Apps for iOS and Android will be released and even possibly Windows phone integration sometime down the road. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can also use the desktop software for Windows or OSX. Under Armour should buy the Atlas Wearables technology & team to take down Nike’s Fuelband team. The Atlas Wearables device fits with Under Armour’s image and marketing. They are already in the fitness app game with the recent purchase of MapMyFitness. The Atlas Wearables team is a small group of young men who have the credentials to pull off bringing this innovative product to market. The team consists of engineers and data scientists who have already worked with and designed products that are out in the market now. The current render design looks very cool, but we highly doubt that the design will stay the same along the process. We suspect that the device will get a new band with a new locking/latching mechanism. We also suspect that the design will morph into something that fits the traditional form factor of a watch or something like the Samsung Gear Fit. The purpose of the current design is that the team wants to keep it modular and allow users to take the core out to work with other types of bands/straps/clips. If this is being marketed along with the step counters and sleep trackers, the current design is not something that you can wear to work or on a trip to the store without looking a little strange. We really like the design and don’t plan on using it for anything other than workout tracking, so the large screen works very well for what we would use it for. Here is a little info from the Atlas website: Smarter analytics mean better workouts. Atlas measures your heart rate, calculates the calories you burned and tracks your body on the x-, y- and z-axes, so it knows how many laps you swam and if you did push-ups or triangle push-ups. It’s preloaded with the most popular exercises and can learn new exercises you teach it so you can instantly see your progress, analyze your form, anticipate plateaus and find what makes you stronger, faster. Open Platform Your favorite apps, endless applications. Other fitness trackers are just glorified pedometers. Our API lets you experiment and build amazing applications. Plus, Atlas is compatible with your favorite fitness apps, and when you leave the gym, all of your hard-earned workout data is stored on your phone.
The team just launched an Indiegogo campaign and has twitter/facebook/Vimeo/ and a standalone website. The device was being offered at $100 for the first 100 supporters. The price will be $130 for the next 450 supporters and then jumps to $160. The campaign was recently extended and the new price is now starting at $169. GadgetWhore is already a supporter, so why don’t you join us and click that Indiegogo link and get your device when it is released in *December 2014. *Our take on electronic devices with Indiegogo campaigns: When you are a backer for an Indiegogo product you should generally expect that the product will be delayed. These delays are difficult for the company to predict until weeks before production is set to begin. Expect longer delays when you add water proofing and other changes in design that require structural modifications. Backers should also expect that the design can and may change considerably from the product render image. These changes usually have to do with being able to efficiently mass produce the item. Devices tend to get smaller as new smaller components become available. The software and apps for most of these devices are provided as “beta” packages, so assume that you will be “testing” the software and hardware. Disclosure: Please note that this article may include an affiliate link/links. Please do your own research before purchasing any product we review.
UPDATES – POST INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGNUPDATE: 03/09/14 – The indieGoGo campaign has ended and all updates will be provided via email and the Atlas Wearables website. Two major stretch goals were met and the device will now be waterproof and have a vibration motor. The Atlas team can be reached on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/AtlasWearables The device is now available for pre-order and will ship in the Spring of 2015. The current price is $199 until mid October 2014. The price will then increase to the full retail price of $249. Here is where we will post updates on Atlas post-indiegogo campaign: PROS – 1. New render design. 2. Team Atlas announced that they are releasing several Prototype Alpha Units out in the wild to fan who want to participate in the data harvesting program. Make your pitch here. CONS – 1. The ultra-cool yellow OLED display that made the design really POP is being replaced with a white OLED display. The reason for the change was listed as “after extensive testing, the white proved to have better battery life, visibility and readability than the yellow.” We feel that the yellow display was the signature look of the Atlas, but it is now gone. Here is what the white display might look like. It actually isn’t that bad. Update: 06/13/14 – Team Atlas released some alpha devices out in the wild to four lucky people. Here is how the device looks. Update: 06/19/14 – Team Atlas has some prototype devices. Sign up to be an Atlas Champion and get email updates from them(not us). Update: June 2014 Alex Hsieh, Atlas Wearables’ Senior Software/Firmware Developer has left the company to work for Apple as a firmware developer. This can be seen as a negative to lose one of the three original members, but maybe Apple saw something special in Atlas and just wanted a piece of it. We reached out to Atlas via twitter to ask if losing Alex would take them off of their timeline and they had this to say?
Atlas wearables Hinting at delays for backers
We may have to change the title of this post to: ATLAS WEARABLES: The Killer Device of 2015. After announcing 16 week lead times for certain parts that delayed Alpha Tester and Developer Units, this may also delay the standard backer perks and pre-orders. In one of the videos at the bottom of this post, Peter Li said tester units would be available in October. That puts the Alpha/Dev units two months behind, so maybe that means the same for the production units too. Atlas is gearing up for a new update, so we will find out soon enough.September 16, 2014 – The Atlas Wearables team has been silent with the Updates for two months now. In our opinion this can only point to one thing – A POSSIBLE LONG DELAY for backers beyond the December 2014 delivery schedule. The often pointed to timeline graphic no longer appears to be on schedule. *(WE WANT TO POINT OUT THAT WE WERE WRONG AND ATLAS STILL HOPES TO DELIVER IN DECEMBER 2014)
We could be *wrong and we hope that we are just reading too much into it, but it looks like Alpha and Developer units will go out in October or November, so that would appear to push back backer devices to February at the earliest or more likely mid-March to early April. They stated in the developer/alpha tester update that lead time for some of the parts was 16 weeks, so I would expect that they had certain expectations that parts would have lead times of at least 4 weeks, so that would put them approx. 12 weeks behind if everything else goes as planned. We are half-way completed with September and the fully functional , working prototype devices have not been seen yet. I think a fully functional unit will be displayed in the upcoming video update that is expected to be pushed out shortly. It would be nice to see how the screen looks and have a look at some of the functionality of the device. I don’t think that they have all the parts yet for the Alpha/developer units and I highly doubt the tooling process has begun yet. The tooling process alone can take a few months, so be prepared for delays. If I am correct , I believe we were told that alpha units were basically the same fully functional devices that the backers are getting. Peter Li hinted in a video that several Atlas features won’t be available at launch and I do not believe it will keep track of sets or give us the ability to train activities at launch. This is typical of most crowd funded projects. Like I said earlier, this is just my guess. The team may announce that they are on schedule. I think a quality device is worth a few months delay if it gives the team a chance to improve the device. I really do have faith in the Atlas team that I haven’t had in other projects that I backed and I don’t want any of my comments to be taken in a negative manner. These guys are going to create a great product,but we have to give them some time.September 18, 2014 – I’m not sure if this updated estimate applies to backers, but it looks like a Spring 2015 release date if it does. In the northern hemisphere, Spring begins on March 21, and ends on June 21. September 19, 2014 – We don’t want to spread false information about the timeline, so here is more information straight from Atlas via their Twitter account. They say they are still aiming for December, so they may actually deliver on-time. As a bonus, Start up Grind ATX had an event where Atlas CEO Peter Li spoke about ATLAS and gave them a sneak peak of the new ATLAS UI. We don’t quite know how we are feeling about it at the moment. It may grow on us, but for now we still love the original UI from the Indiegogo video. October 02, 2014 – It is going to be nearly impossible for Atlas to deliver on-time in December at this point. No Alpha/Developer units have been sent out, so we doubt that production has begun for the backer units yet. From our experience backing other wearable products, production in China should take at least 45 to 90 days plus shipping time. Some of the parts required to build Atlas have 16 week(4 months) lead times, so it is looking more like a delivery date in *February or March 2015 if we are being realistic. We are a little nervous that no fully functional units have made any appearances in any of the live events that Atlas has been a part of. This close to delivery time, we would like to see a more finished looking product in action. The new UI image above was verified as being only a render. We had a rough go at supporting the Amiigo Fitness Bracelet in January of 2013 and we just received it late last month. Thousands of backers received their devices months before us when the software was VERY BETA. Those early users ended up testing the device and reporting bugs that made the experience so much better when we got ours. We’ve been testing the Amiigo and it turns out that it is good device. We are still exploring the potential and training it to recognize new activities, but it has some very cool features. I don’t think Atlas will be as late as Amiigo, but it is worth waiting a few extra months if it means receiving a superior product that is not filled with buggy software. We’ve supported Amiigo, Gymwatch, Push Strength and ERI and none of them have been delivered anywhere close to the projected delivery date. Gymwatch was closest to making its delivery estimate and it looks like it is about a month away from delivery (that would mean a three to four month delay). Atlas set an eleven month estimate for delivery, so it did seem resonable to think that they had a chance to meet the December 2014 delivery date. *We have no experience building or shipping wearable products, so our timeline is nothing more than a guess.
October 03, 2014 – Team Atlas released a great update with some pics of the Atlas device. The display has a clean design with what appears to be a slightly textured finish.
Here is a sneak peek of the Beta Android App by Atlas Wearables. We will post some of the iOS app in the next day or so. Links to another page to help this page load quicker.
Update 10/24/14 – Sneak Peek of the ATLAS by Atlas Wearables
See a point of view demo of the Atlas in action and auto recognizing activities.
Update 01/10/15 – Additional Information about ATLAS by Atlas Wearables
Work has been very busy, so we have been radio silent since October 2014. In that time, team Atlas announced delays for the production Atlas Devices to a April 2015 timeline. Beta and Developer units are supposed to be delivered this month(January 2015), but we won’t find out for sure until next week.
The team did recently announce a partnership/licensing deal with Valencell Technolgies to use their Perform Tek biometric sensors in the Atlas device. The Atlas team was even at CES in Las Vegas this year at the Valencell booth for a live demo. This is a huge deal and I don’t know why team Atlas hasn’t really been promoting this partnership on their website.
The PerformTek sensor is clinically proven to provide some of the most accurate biometric data available in any consumer grade products. Several mainstream companies currently offer the PerformTek sensor in their products, so look up the Amazon reviews for some of the products I will list below and you can get an idea of what this sensor is capable of:
iRiver On Heartbeat Headphones [Amazon]
Scosche Rhythm Smart Arm Band [Amazon]
LG Heart Rate Headphones [Amazon]
SMS Audio Bio-Sport Headphones [Amazon]
Most of the devices received very good reviews, but some of them have issues with the apps provided by the different companies. I assume that these are all issues that can be worked out. I did not find many reviews [sthat disputed the accuracy of the data.