The Fitbit Versa. It's Almost There.

Hello.  As any long-term reader of my blog knows, I usually talk about the arts, specifically writing, publishing, and illustrating.  But occasionally, I hang a sharp right and go off-topic.  This is one of those times.

I recently received an email from Fitbit showing off their new Versa smartwatch.  I've used a Fitbit One for years and love it, but I recently discovered that product has been discontinued (boo!).  With that being the case, I've been looking into their wrist-worn devices. Thus, I followed their link, and I read and watched their videos about the Versa.  I think that it's a pretty good-looking watch (much more so than the Ionic or Blaze), but it's not there yet.  It could be so much better.  So, Fitbit, here are my suggestions for what would make the Versa 2 an awesome, must-buy product.

  • Swap out that touchscreen for an extra button and an e-paper display.  This provides all kinds of benefits:
    • The screen would always be on, like a proper watch.
    • Throw in an ambient light sensor and a backlight that only kicks in when you need it, and you could read the screen under any lighting conditions, indoors or out.
    • You could operate it with gloves on.
    • You could also operate it without looking at the screen by memorizing button pushes, like launching or interacting with your music or podcasts, which depending on your activity (such as driving), would be a lot safer.
    • Increased battery life.  With that screen swap, you should be able to provide 10 days on a charge.  Maybe even more.  We're talking industry-leading battery life that blows away the competition.
  • A gently curved back that conforms to the shape of your wrist.  Major comfort boost.
  •  While still maintaining water resistance, throw on a microphone for voice responses and notes.
  • A "timeline" interface that shows your upcoming and past calendar events as well as other items of interest, like the weather or this day in history.  Now you need to pull out your phone even less, which is a good thing.  By opening that up to developers, who knows where that could lead?
Here's what I imagine such a watch could look like:

Pebble Time 2 from 3 angles

You're on the right track, Fitbit.  Make those few tweaks, and I'd buy one in a heartbeat.  In fact, I predict that priced the same and with the proper marketing push, you would sell tens of thousands of such devices on pre-order alone, equating to millions of dollars in sales, and could go on to sell a million or two more devices easily.  Heck, with your retail presence and brand recognition, I could be underestimating.

Or to put it another way, you're almost there Fitbit.  You're at like 80% of your step goal.  Push a little harder, and you can do it!  I have faith that you have the proper technology and people who can make that happen.

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